AMCHO Computer Services Ltd, Tamar Way, Gunnislake, Cornwall, PL18 9DH, UK
|To start on the road to being a webmaster, use the free web space provided by your ISP (Internet Service Provider). If you want to save money and want to learn how to do it yourself - this is the best way to start.|
|One drawback of the free web site is the long site address (eg:
If your ISP does not provide free web space then you could try Geocities (now run by yahoo). who offer free web site packages to get you started today. Sponsoded ads appear on the right of the screen.
If you are planning a business web site or are planning to sell anything from your site you really need your own domain with an address such as www.yourname.com and accept that you will have to pay for hosting.
If you want more than the free sites offer or want someone to setup your web site for you then Click here for our pricelist.
|First you need to create your web pages - quite easy - many word processors will now let you convert your current marketing text to HTML, just save your document as a HTML file. Better still use one of the many HTML editors - these range in price from free to expensive. If you really want to do it the difficult way you could even use windows notepad! There are plenty of good books on the subject - check what amazon.com has to offer. It is worth spending some time on creating your web pages, especially if you want images, logos etc. Also check to see what the pages look like in different browsers and different screen settings (size resolution colour) - it is amazing how many pages I have seen where you cannot read the text because of some fancy background that has taken half an hour to download!|
If you want a domain name similar to www.amcho.com then you need an IPP (internet presence provider). You can get a list of IPPs and their charges and other details by going to hostsearch or budgetweb or webhostlist or hostfind . Most IPPs will do the registration for you. For a '.com' domain you will be charged upto $70 for two years registration, and the IPP will charge you a set up fee and a monthly hosting fee. Expect to pay anything from $100 to $1000 per year. Before shelling out loads of money to your site provider, run the server test provided at www.netmechanic.com - this will show you how well your prospective server really performs - you can now ignore all the bumf about T1 and T3 connections to backbones etc! (If you must know - a T3 is about 10 times better than a T1).
Check to see if your required domain has already been taken at www.internic.net or www.nsiregistry.com for .com .net .org domains, or www.nic.uk for .co.uk domains, or you can do multiple searches on quite a few top level domains to see what is still available in .com .net .org .uk etc. with our domain check script.
You have now spent lots of money, and even more time. You sit back and wait for the calls to roll in - and keep on waiting - because no one knows your site is there.
You must publicise you site: tell the world that you have a web site - mention your web site address and your email address on all your published material - letterheads, email, advertising. Give your customers a good reason to go to your web site.
Submit your site to all the search engines. For approx $50 your site could be submitted to some 500 search engines and directories by Traffic Boost or you could use one of the free submission service such as http://www.register-it.com or http://www.submit-it.com or http://www.addme.com. or my own personal favorite jimtools.com. After submitting your site to all the search engines use http://www.did-it.com/ to check your ranking - you will get an email telling you exactly where your site ranks on particular keywords - a very useful resource!
If you publicise your site and put something worth seeing or useful on your site you will find that visitors start to trickle in.
Get links from other related sites. If you put a link on your site tell the webmaster of the site you have linked to. Join one of the banner exchange schemes - for example Smartclicks or LinkExchange. You create a banner to advertise your site - in exchange you show banners on your site - Have a look at the bottom of this page for examples. You can also pay to have your banner displayed.
I have found the various pay per click search engines quite good (expensive but effective - the trick is to calculate how much a visitor is worth to you and to be careful not to overbid) - for more details see our sitepromote.htm page.
The following sites are also worth a visit for more information on promoting your web site:
|http://www.bruceclay.com/web_rank.htm||A page on how to improve your ranking in search engines.|
|http://searchenginewatch.com||Will tell you more than you really want to know about search engines.|
|http://www.virtualpromote.com||Provides information on promoting your web site - while you are there subscribe to their excelent newletter.|
|http://www.promoteone.com||Provides tips and info on promoting your website.|
|http://www.webpromote.com||A commercial web site promotion service - will save you a lot of time and effort - and seems reasonably priced.|
|Image showing how the search engines relate to one another. You might consider visiting the site at BruceClay.com especially the Search Engine Optimization page. Bruce's site offers content-rich free advice on search engine optimization, website search engine ranking, and site promotion.|
If you are trying to increase the traffic to your website you need to improve your position with the various
These are a few resources that should help you achieve a better position:
|RankThis||is an on line tool that will give you your ranking in any one of the most used search engines for a selected list of keywords.|
|PositionAgent||monitors where your web site is ranked on leading search engines for selected keywords and reports all listings and positions to help you get more hits.|
|WebPosition||is a program that you can download and configure on your machine offline before using it to check your position.
Click here to learn more about WebPosition.
Click here to download a free trial of WebPosition.
|OK - You have created your site - You have setup lots of interesting content - You have added links to other relevant
sites - You have promoted your site with all the search engines. You are now in the maintenance phase of being
a webmaster. You are updating the content on a regular basis. And being human you are accidentally corrupting your
links and putting in invalid HTML code. This is when you need to use a service such as
NetMechanic or SiteInspector.
These sites will allow you to check your site for broken links, check your HTML code, and check the performance
of your server. Also worth a visit is http://www.rankthis.com to check your
rating in various search engines using different key words for searching.
Visit http://www.freecode.com/ and check the FreeCode software archive for programs that are Free for personal and commercial use.
You have now probably spent hundreds of hours setting up your web site and probably as much in telephone bills - You now want to make it pay. Read the story written by Michael Schriner of how MicroVision Computer Products used the internet to make his business grow and become more profitable. If you are aware of any other internet success story then let me know and I'll feature it here.
One way of getting a small income from your site is by subscribing to one of the associates programs - you send people to a site that sells books or software and get paid a commission on anything that is bought. There is a very good guide on the Associate Programs Website for details.
Earn an income from your website
Take a look at this page for more ideas on generating an income from your website.
Make Your Site Sell Workshop
Join our workshop based on the book by the same name by Ken Evoy.
If you know a site with useful content please let me know and I'll keep this page updated - so check back regularly - there is a service that will send you an e-mail whenever a page is updated: check out the details at: http://www.netmind.com/URL-minder/.
For example you can enter your e-mail address below to receive e-mail whenever this page is updated.
There are three reasons for having a web site - you want to tell the world about your company - you want to communicate with your customers and suppliers - you want to sell your products over the net. Most people use their web site to advertise their product; then make the customer deal with them in the traditional manner. But it is possible to take payments over the net. The following is a random selection - If you know of any others please let me know: Please re-check prices and terms; they change on an almost daily basis, also the table below is my best understanding of the info as it would have applied to me - your requirements will be different and I may have missed some of the detail and all the small print(there is a lot of it!). Visiting the web site is the only check I have performed, so you are advised to take out references as appropriate. Remember to check all the charges that are associated with your merchant credit card account: discount rate on turnover (usually 1% to 4%) a per transaction fee (10c to 30c) a daily batch fee ($0.20 - $0.30 per day) a statement fee ($10 - $15), and monthly charges ($10 to $50 per month). Check for minimum fees if any of these are free or included in the monthly or transaction charges. Are there any software or equipment leasing fees? This is why a charge of 15% may not be as high as it seems - especially if your volume may be low.
World pay offer a service that will guarantee both merchants and shoppers against fraud. For an extra 20 pounds per month and 1% transaction fee the merchant is protected against fraudulent chargebacks. For details please see www.worldpay.com/guarantee/index.shtml or call us on 0870 740 7683 to discuss setting up a turnkey solution using worldpay.
Check out the auction sites at ebay and amazon. For example you can list your items in the amazon.com auction and allow the buyer to buy by credit card - sounds reasonable at a max charge of $2.00 listing fee plus 5% of the sales value.
|www.coulomb.co.uk||accept micropayments - free trial|
|21st Century Resources||$100||$19 (other fees?)||??||2.49%||referral program|
|Yahoo Store at store.yahoo.com||none||$100||You need to set up the credit card processing separately, so add $500 cybercash setup, plus whatever credit card charges (monthly - transaction - turnover).|
|The Internet Billing Company||none||none||none||15%||Note the large 'cut' but then no monthly or setup costs
- ideal if you are not sure how it will go!
But only US and Canada.
|www.carmelww.com||$290||$29.95 min||4.68%||Set up fee includes a Site Inspection Fee (required by Visa and MasterCard) of $40 (forty dollars)|
|from linkexchange/||$150||$35 min||2%||Currently US merchants only.|
|$150 Cybercash||$25 min +$40||.40c||2.30%||Cybercash needed for real time processing and authorisation|
|Total Merchant Services||$125
Equipment purchase $995
|none?||30c||?||"specializes in helping companies establish payment solutions for virtual storefronts by getting set up to securely accept credit cards on the world wide web. We do not just solve one problem... we'll provide a total solution to your payment acceptance needs."|
|Advanced Internet Solutions||none||$30||20c - 30c||1.59% - 2.75%||US banks can only issue merchant accounts to companies that have a presence in the US.|
|Merchant Card Services||-||$10+min $25||20c||2.25 - 4.25%||.|
|www.soft-shop.com||$30||no monthly||$4||4%||$30 Set up fee is per product hosted plus $10 per additional product|
|www.clickbank.com||$50||no monthly fee||$1||7.5%|
|Buy-It||none||none||$2.50 or 4%||Only can sell tangible products - uses i-escrow|
|All Countries - not just US. Multicards is a provider of Turnkey Secure Transaction Solutions for businesses worldwide with or without a credit card merchant account.|
|www.netinvest.co.uk/||from £75 one product / one price||-||-||8% or less||More expensive than US but if you are in the UK .....|
|Barclays Merchant Services||-||-||-||-||UK 0800 61 61 61|
|www.epdq.co.uk||no setup fee||£25||-||2%||Add Barclays Merchant Services card transaction fee|
|www.worldpay.com||no set up fee||£125 annual fee||no transaction fee||4.5%||multilingual support (not just US and UK)|
|www.worldpay.com||no setup fee||£245 annual fee||no transaction fee||5.5%||as above but also includes the guarantee against fraud|
|100 free then 50p per transaction
40p first 1000 then 20p
|Note - further fees would probably be chargeable by your merchant card company|
Before accepting payment over the internet remember that the supplier as well as the client can be defrauded - Read the article by T.J. Walker Merchants Beware - Fraud is Rampant for some tips on how you can protect yourself from being ripped off. Also have a look at his site http://www.antifraud.com/.
Other ecommerce related links:
credit card processing for UK - a round-up of web-shop services
www.transcot.co.uk/ Open an american bank account - £250 for UK residents.
T. O' Donnell Incorporated Some interesting info on how to get an INTERNATIONAL merchant account.
www.turtlebird.com/signup.htm $19.95 setup then 10% of transaction total plus 50¢ - US only?
It can be fun creating your web site and building traffic - the first time you check your logs to find a complete stranger actually visited your site and had a good look around. When you find that someone else has put a link to your site. When someone uses one of your autoresponders for the first time, or fills out your feedback form or leaves an entry in your guestbook. But there is a down side - the time it takes is horrendous - you start to feel that an early night is when you get to bed before 2am. So if you want to do it yourself - good luck and enjoy it - send me an email to let me know how you get on or to ask any questions - I intend to keep this article up to date so any feed back would be welcome.
On the other hand - if you decide you want to do something else but still want a web site. We specialise in small business web site site setup and hosting so why not let us do it all for you - take a look at our price list. If you want something different or want to ask any questions just send us an email.
Site Build It includes hosting, search engine submission and monitoring, Why build JUST a Web site... when you COULD build a Web BUSINESS? Take the Quick Tour Slide Show
Make Your Site SELL! The definitive work on making ANY Web site SELL!.
(c) Mike Choroszewski. This article may be reproduced free of charge on the condition that credit is given to the author and a link included to this site. Please send me an email if it is used or if you link to this page.
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AMCHO Computer Services Ltd, Tamar Way, Gunnislake, Cornwall, PL18 9DH, UK
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