The first step is to follow a marketing plan. Creating a website should follow the same blueprint as creating an offline business. If you can’t sell your website idea to an investment banker, why would you proceed? The rules are the same. Far too often, people create sites without a business plan and a marketing plan. Start off with an executive statement that describes what your company will look like when it grows up then follow it with a business plan. If you are new to it, MS Office has a basic template that will guide you through the process. Once you understand your business goals, then create a marketing plan that has the steps to fulfill your business goals.
Second step, you need to understand the technology. This will help you plan your website business and use the correct tools. There are great books available that can give you a basic understanding of each.
Popular Web Applications Technologies
Server-Side Processing Technologies
- Common Gateway Interface (CGI)
- Active Server Pages (ASP)
- Java Servlets
- ActiveX Controls (Server-side)
- Java Server Pages (JSP)
- PHP (Hypertext Preprocessor)
- ColdFusion Markup Language (CFM)
Managing and Displaying Data Technologies
- Extensible Markup Language (XML)
- HyperText Markup Language (HTML)
- Cascading StyleSheet Language (CSS)
- Extensible Stylesheet Language (XSL)
Technologies for Client-Side Processing
- Java Applets
- ActiveX Controls (Client-side)
- Flash and Media Players
Developing technology solutions follows four steps.
1) Analyze and project the overall requirements of how the system should work, including determining alternatives and technology budgets.
2) Design and choose the technology carefully and understand how all the hardware and software systems are to be integrated.
3) Implement the technology structure together and test it out to make sure it works the way you intended. This should include the hardware installation, configuration and setting up the network and software applications.
4) Maintain the technology processes fix any bugs and make improvements to the website.
Next, you should design the website. Whether you are using a WYSIWIG (what you see is what I get) or hire a website designer, ensure you follow the flow of the site to ensure you don’t lose your customer. Usability testing is critical for the success of any site and most designers do not put enough attention to this.
Probably the most important piece of advice is to work within your means. Do not over-reach your capabilities when spending your money. Work with your team to determine where your resources should be spent and don’t forget promoting your site. Motivate your employees with incentives and gifts and they will work harder for you. This will save you money in the long run, because often a gift is less expensive than additional payroll.
My Business Guide provides resources on motivation and marketing assistance.
My Business Guide: Motivating Success for your business My Business Guide covers great motivational gifts and advice on leadership.
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