Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

Why have a website?

Why? Because there is simply NO BETTER WAY to instantly supply a prospective client with all the information they need to know about your business and what you can do for them! Your site works 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Prospective clients can check out your site whenever they want and not have to wait for your office hours.

What else can a professional web site do for me? A professional, well laid out, informative web site speaks volumes for your business! It inspires confidence in your potential clients that they are dealing with a professional, organized and efficient company.

All this for less than the monthly price of a Yellow Page ad!

With your professional web site, you can:

Attract countless new clients via your web site on search engines, directories, advertising and email lists.
Immediately supply a potential client with answers to their questions without wasting an hour on the phone!
Let your client know exactly what services you offer and supply them with a printable fee schedule to eliminate timewasters!
Have your services contract, forms and any other type of agreement on your web site, ready for potential clients to print and email or fax to your office in seconds!
Have the ability to have information requests sent directly to your site INSTANTLY, via extensive online forms.
Accept payment by credit card or PayPal DIRECTLY FROM YOUR SITE!
These, and MUCH MORE are some of the things possibe with a professional web site!


What are the different types of websites?

We do web site development services for:

general business
legal offices
accounting/finance
home builders
medical/dental
travel/vacation
country/sports clubs
religious organizations
real estate
weddings
cities/villages/towns
photography
community groups
internet sales
homeowners’ associations
chambers of commerce

or anything else you can think of …


What steps are involved in developing a website?

Some of the following steps can be accomplished before hiring a web designer. But if you hire a full services web development company, they will do all of the steps below. This will take the burden off of you and get your site up and running much faster.

  1. Check for your desired domain name and get it registered. See What’s a domain name? for more information.
  2. Research your industry and competitors on the web. See How to research your web site for more information.
  3. Determine the type of site you want. (e.g. navigation, colors, number of pages, forms, testimonials, etc.)
  4. Determine and write content. (This is not easy.) The words and pictures will come from other promotional material you have and from your web site research.
  5. Develop the web site. This is an iterative process with your web site developer.
  6. Optimize site for fast downloading.
  7. Determine site description and keywords to be used in your site.
  8. Procure a web site hosting company to store your site.
  9. Proof your site. You may want to have other people view your site for errors, overall readability and look and feel.
  10. Upload your site to your host server.
  11. View your site and check for any problems.
  12. Advertise your site and celebrate!


How much does it cost to have a web site?


The cost depends on which companies are used to procure the various services and site development. Please see the website pricing pages for my costs

What's a domain name?


Web browsers and web servers work together through web hosts to call up web pages by using the domain name also known as its URL (uniform resource locator). A web browser finds a web page based on its IP address. Domain names are easier for humans to remember than the numerical locator that makes up the actual IP address.

Ours is http://www.4summitsweb.com. This name is actually a four-part designation: http stands for hypertext transfer protocol. The prefix, www, for World Wide Web, the domain name (4summitsweb), and the suffix domain name, .com, which indicates a commercial or business site. Other domain name suffixes include .edu, for education-oriented sites; .org, for organizations (usually non-profit); and .net, for some specialized Internet and computing sites; .gov, for government sites; and .mil, for military sites. Suffixes for other countries include .uk for United Kingdom, .ch for Switzerland, .de for Germany, .fr for France, etc.

When you type in a domain name your browser goes to a domain name server(DNS) on the internet and gets the address of the web site (see diagram below).


How does the internet work


Web browsers and web servers work together through web hosts to call up web pages by using the domain name. Your host server goes out to the internet to a domain name server and finds out where the site you’re requesting is located (i.e. it finds out the IP (internet protocol) address. Then your server goes to that site and retrieves the main page for that site and downloads it to your computer. As you navigate through the site, your browser retrieves the appropriate pages.

What is Web Hosting?


You need to have a place to store your web site, so that it can be accessed by other people through the internet. When someone types your name into a web browser, the browser sends your name to a domain name server on the internet. The domain name server tells where you web site is “hosted” and points the browser to your host and downloads the asked for page.

A web host is a service provider that places your web site on a computer which is connected to the internet. This then gives people who surf the internet a way to access your website. The computer that the web hosting company uses is typically just like the computer you have at home, the only difference being that it is set up to serve up web sites and is therefore called a “server”.

A web host will typically have a fast connection to the Internet and they may host thousands of web sites on many servers. The web host essentially rents out space to you so that you can get your website up on the world wide web. Web hosting companies also provide 24/7 up time as well as having backup for your site in case of a problem with loss of data. Your web host also needs to provide other capabilities for running your site, like form mail, eCommerce capabilities, email accounts, mail forwarding, web site statistics, etc.

Some large web hosts own their own datacenter (collection of servers), some rent a server from a larger web hosting company and then resell the space under their own company name. In this case the web host will manage your account on the server, but they will be renting the actual space from another much larger company.


What is web site optimization?


When your web site loads onto an individual computer you want it to load quickly. Otherwise, the person waiting for the site to load may get impatient and move on to another site. In order to make a site load quickly you want your graphics files to be as small as possible but still have the appropriate resolution. Site optimization involves optimization of graphical content for the purpose of reducing image sizes to affect faster downloads and smaller file sizes to reduce overall size requirements for storage.

What are search engines?


Web design and search engine optimization is vital to your success as an commerce web site. Without optimizing your web site for particular search engines you leave your site to chance. New sites can not afford to leave their business to chance. Remember that your site competes globally rather than being confined to a small geographic area. You have to know how to get the search engines to help your business succeed.

Not all “search engines” are truly search engines. “Search engines” can be actually broken down into categories. There are search engines, directories, hybrids and now the Pay Per Click.

Search Engines
True search engines have a robot that worms or crawls its way through sites on the Internet. You’ve probably heard of them as “spiders” or “crawlers.” These “spiders” are used by search engines to map out the Internet and submit site info to the database for later indexing. This indexing sometimes takes weeks to months to happen.
Some of these search engines use meta tags, site content, and/or link popularity to rank web sites. For a site that is new to the Internet it is extremely hard to get a worthwhile link popularity rating because of the newness of the site. Meta tags and page content are the most helpful to these sites. However, it is still often a challenge for some to get indexed because they don’t follow the correct page formats required by the search engines.

Directories
Directories use submittals to supply them with information on web sites. The sites are then approved or disapproved depending upon a human factor. None of the information used by the “spiders” is used to determine placement in a directory. So you ask, what will increase the position of a web site in a directory? Not much luck there really. This depends on properly submitting in the beginning and having content that is looked upon favorably in the area you chose to submit.

Submitting to directories has now become even more of a challenge for the small business owner. Yahoo, and many other directories now charge a fee to get reviewed. (Yahoo charges $299 just to look.) Notice I said reviewed. That does not guarantee that your site will be listed in the directory. Sometimes they do give you one opportunity to make the page suitable to their liking.

Yet, Yahoo will only accept the main page of the site as in http://www.yourdomain.com without any internal pages. The other pages will get listed if the site is accepted. Because these sites are reviewed by humans the entire site gets reviewed and not just the page submitted.

Hybrids
Hybrids use an associated directory format. This means that the indexers, usually human, look at sites listed in sites that can be used to announce the presence of a new web site. Typically, the indexers again look for sites that look appealing. So here you may ask, how do I make my site appealing?

Pay Per Click
The Pay Per Click format. These listings pay for qualified leads that are searching the keyword(s)/phrases they feel with help their business the most. Unfortunately, the cost is sometimes very prohibitive to the small business that does not have an advertising budget established. To make matters worse some of these Pay Per Click directories start their bidding process at five cents per click.

With all the information that we have on the Internet you can now understand why only a portion of the sites on the Internet are actually listed in search engines. Some people choose not to submit their web sites and let the search engines find them while others choose to submit. So now you might be asking, which way should I go? Should I submit or should I not submit? That depends totally on how you want to market your web site. Again, not all “search engines” are search engines.


What is search engine optimization?


Search engine optimization is the process of choosing targeted keyword phrases related to a site, and ensuring that the site places well when those keyword phrases are part of a Web search.

Optimization involves making pages readable to search engines and emphasizing key topics related to your content. Basic optimization may involve nothing more than ensuring that a site does not unnecessarily become part of the invisible Web (the portion of the Web not accessible through Web search engines). Advanced optimization may include significant research into every element of page design, site structure, and off-the-page criteria.

Before pages can be optimized, research must be done to determine which keywords to target. This involves finding relevant keywords, determining their popularity, assessing the amount of competition, and deciding which keywords can be best supported with quality content.


How do you research your own web site?

Look up Sites in Your Industry
Get on google.com, yahoo.com and/or msn.com and look up web sites of companies in your industry. For example, type in words for your industry and the location where you will be doing business (i.e home inspectors in Waukesha WI). Also look up specific competitors in your area.

See which web sites that you like. Pay attention to the type of content and images that they use. What colors and navigation style do you like? Determine how many and what kind of pages you want.

Writing Content

You’ll need to develop/write content for your site. Looking at other sites is a good way of seeing what type of content and flow you want to have. Remember that too much text will hinder people even reading your content. Wording should be short and to the point. Make sure you have a lot of “white space.” You should have bulleted and/or numbered lists. People will be more likely to read these areas than to read a lot of text. You’ll also want to have one or more images on each page to break up the monotony of the text.


What is Content Management?


Content management involves using software that enables one to add and/or manipulate content on a Web site. The intent is for anyone who can use a word processing program to be able to update a web site. A web site is developed by a web site designer and uploaded to the internet host. The basic content of the site can then be updated, including adding graphics and links. One can also add new pages or delete pages that are not needed anymore.

Four Summits Web Services uses WordPress CMS. It’s the most popular CMS and is used by more than 50%of all new websites.