Determining the type of site needed.
||Generally when a prospective client meets his
web developer he has an idea about the type of site desired. Sites may
be informational, instructional, e-commerce sites etc. After deciding on
the type of web, one of the earliest decisions is whether to make site
static or dynamic. E-commerce sites are interactive and require behind
the scene scripting to function. Informational sites can either be
interactive or static. The type of information to be
presented often determines the best way to present data.
Back to top.
Selecting a domain name
If you have an existing business, a
domain name that duplicates that name or resembles the name is highly
appropriate. The exact domain name may not be available. Long domain names are hard for a user to duplicate.
Brevity is an advantage. Our ex-client Yearwood Speed and Custom uses
the domain name www.yearwood.com.
If you are establishing a new business,
the choice is harder but offers many more opportunities for selecting a
catchy memorable domain name. The current trend is to select a
domain name that involves one or more of your keywords. (See
below). Let your imagination run wild and
see what ideas you come up with that are available.
Be sure to read this post on DigitalPoint and
avoid the trap described.
Beware of selecting a domain name that has recently expired. If
the previous owner has used scamming practices and has been dropped from
search engines for those practices, you may suffer for his deeds.
Currently domain names involving either an underscore or a hyphen are in vogue.
For search engine purposes the hyphen is preferable to the underscore. You see similar
conventions used in naming folders and html pages.
The cost of a domain name currently is
quite low. If you purchase from a non-reputable registrar, you may
pay too much and have trouble transferring to a reputable registrar at a
later date. As with all areas of web development, it helps to
research the business with which you are dealing. Currently Omnis
dot com and Godaddy offer cheap domain names.
Warning: This message appeared on a registrars page.
NOTICE... November 2004 ICANN Transfer Policy Email
sending customers an email regarding a new ICANN-enforced domain
name transfer policy, effective 11-12-04. It dictates that IF WE
RECEIVE A TRANSFER REQUEST (and your domain names are not locked) we
must honor the transfer, even if you do not confirm it. You can
eliminate ANY chance of your domain names being transferred away
without your permission by
locking your domains.
Don't let this happen to you.
Sometimes people purchase more than one domain name to use with a single
site. One reason is to avoid copycats. This practice must be
used carefully or web will face duplicate content penalty. If
using more than one domain name make sure you use a 301 redirect for
secondary domain names.
Note: As a webmaster I started out believing that each client
should have domain name registered in the client's name for their own
piece of mind and protection. If registered in web developer's
name, developer can hold domain name for ransom. But, after having
two clients loose their domain names and having to go to hassles of
either redeeming expired domain name (expensive) or register a new one
are starting over trying to get site ranked in SERPs (also expensive due
to work involved), I have changed my mind. Which ever way you
choose to go be watchful and keep whois innformation up to date, as well
as contact information with registrar. I highly recommend setting
up your domain names with an automatic renewal feature. Here too
you need to be watchful for credit cards expire and registrar must be
able to contact you. If you let developer register the domain
name, make sure that there is a statement in your contract that you will
have ownership of the domain name if you terminate working relationship
with the developer.
Back to top.
Backordering Domain Names -
For More Advanced Webmasters
As you enter the planning phase of you site you must settle on a domain
name for your site that will work well for your site and is readily
available. Unfortunately some let a needed domain name get away
and will need to try to repurchase the domain name or want to purchase a
domain name owned by someone else. If the domain is not in use you can
always contact the owner and offer to buy. There are various options:
- Contact domain name owner directly and try to buy..
- Wait for the domain name to expire and try to purchase it.
- Backorder the domain and hope you get it. Most registrars
operate or are affiliated with a backorder group such as SnapNames
used by Network Solution, and Pool.com
Use the appropriate domain name aftermarket for your registrar.
This is the surest way.
The backordering game changes often. The latest info I have
seen on backordering is on
DigitalPoint. By all means do your homework before you try
Back to top.
Keyword are the way web surfers locate
your business. Optimizing for the wrong keywords will make your
site hard to find. As you start thinking about the keywords to use ask
yourself, "If I were someone searching for my business, what words might I
type in the search engine?" Make a list of all words or phrases
that you might use. This list will serve as a starting point for
your keyword research.
Approximately 80% of web searches involve
keyword phrases of 1 to 3 words. More searches involve generic
phrases rather than more specific phrases. That is more will
search for auto air cleaner than will search for Hi-Tek air cleaner.
There are various research aides available to help with your keyword
research. The best is Wordtracker. You may subscribe to
its service by the day, week, month, quarter or year. Currently
the daily rate is $7.33 US. My recommendation is to to use the the free
resources initially and then get a daily or weekly subscription to word Wordtracker.
One good free resource is
Overature. It provides some good keyword
phrases but is not good with differentiating between singular and
plural terms. It also ignores punctuations. If you type in your keyword or keyword phrase in Overature it will show
you the number of times that phrase appeared in searches in this past
month. Now DigitalPoint offers a keyword suggestion tool using
reuslts from both both Overature and Wordtracker. Still yet another
source is Google itslef.
Many search engines create suggestions for other searches.
I use the following tool for keyword research. It incorporates
both Overature and Wordtracker.
After using all of these resources, finalize a list of
keywords to target. If you are in a highly competitive area, you
may want to target one of the less competitive keyword phrase and attain
a good ranking for it before going after the more competitive phrase.
Read more about
optimization and Google stemming before
you write your copy.
Back to top.
After determining the keywords to target, it is time to
plan the architecture of the web. Determine the number of pages
needed for the web, whether all pages will be located in the root
directory or if you need sub-folders ( large webs require sub-folders.)
and plan the linking structure for your pages. Always include a
site map to make web search engine friendly as well as user friendly and
easy to navigate. Be sure to plan for future additions you may
want to incorporate into your web so when you are ready to implement no
massive reorganization of web architecture will be required.
At this stage it is advisable to plan how to
distribute targeted keywords phrases among the pages. Target no
more than three keyword phrases per page. Repeat the phrases no
more than three or four times. Targeting keyword phrases is part
of search engine optimization. It is easier to optimize a page as
you build the page.
Now you are ready to start constructing the web pages.
Do not begin this process until you have an idea of what is involved in
Search Engine Optimization.
Back to top.