What does it take to develop a successful business website? In a wired world where internet years are measured in weeks, the answer becomes more complex and specialized every day.
Not long ago, website developers could post a list of a few standard services and prices that fit most of their customers. But the old, "one-size-fits-all" approach doesn't fit today's sophisticated marketplace. That's why Major Media customizes all of our services to fit your individual business requirements.
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What Do You Expect from Your Website?As with any medium of communication, an effective website depends first upon clearly defined objectives. What do you want your site to do for your business? For instance, your objectives might include one or more of the following:
To sell products or services directly from your site
To cut mailing costs by putting your product catalog online
To attract customers outside your immediate geographic area
To develop a qualified list of prospects
To improve overall customer service
To inform present customers of product updates and new uses
To encourage new customers to contact you by phone or mail
To provide product information & price lists to clients, suppliers or distributors
Content, Visuals, and Technology
A successful web site involves the right content, the right visuals, and the right technology.
Content is the key element of a successful website. Research has proven that when people visit a site, they want more information -- not less. First, we'll check out your competitors' sites. Next, we'll analyze your current marketing and corporate communication materials, and the message you need to communicate to achieve your website's objective. We'll work with you to determine the types of information that should be included and the flow of the presentation. We can also provide expert copywriting to hold your visitors' interest, because the longer they look, the more likely they are to buy. Of course, we'll also structure your web site with clear navigation cues and a thoroughly tested interface to make it easy for your customers to visit the page they want.
Of course, unique and creative visuals are also essential. Major Media will develop custom visual elements for your site. These include logo and title art, buttons, and navigational elements. Finally, we'll make those graphics fast and efficient to make sure your customers don't have to wait for oversized graphic files to download. This complex task requires both experience and a thorough understanding of web bandwidth and color demands.
Beyond the basics of HTML (the language of the web), your site can be enhanced with sound, video, animation, and interactivity. Transaction and retail capabilities can be installed to enable your site for online commerce. Database integration can make just-in-time data available to your web based clients, while keeping your records continually up-to-date..
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Web Site Development ServicesThe key tasks involved in producing a web site include:
Major Media will work with you from concept to server, and handle every aspect of producing a website for your organization.
- Full initial analysis of site to create a master plan and detailed flow chart with concept graphics if applicable.
- Establishment of a Domain Name and Server if necessary.
- Organization of the Web Site, a number of distinct page elements describing the overall flow chart with basic Email.
- Allowance for time to meet with your organization to analyze the effort and acquire all necessary information.
- Conversion of client information into useable formats.
- Basic editing of client supplied copy.
- Writing of original copy.
- Creation of custom header art for the opening page, elements of which will carry through the entire site. If necessary, two to three options may be explored in creating the 'look and feel' of the site if clear definitions have not been made in client meetings.
- Creation of custom navigational bars, buttons, and tools based on the initial concept work.
- Programming of all pages based on final look into appropriate Web formats (HTML, Java, PERL, etc.)
- Management and oversight of any required task-specific vendors.
- Complete testing and assistance with placement on server.
- Custom forms with server scripts for processing if required.
- Initial promotional efforts.
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Website ManagementThe completed site will require regular maintenance and management, and may generate costs for server fees.You may choose to handle site management yourself, or Major Media can take care of it for you. The minimum fees are based on the page count of the site and other technical demands that the site may present. Minimum monthly management fees include:
You may have additional management costs if your site requires regular changes or additions. Some areas that may increase monthly management fees are:
- Random access throughout the month to check site's performance
- Full reporting of statistical counts and maintenance reports
- All problem resolution with Internet Service Provider or other server issues
- Random checks of search engine entries
- Maintenance of client records and data
Monthly fees may change based upon client authorized alterations or additions to the site. Such changes will be communicated to the client as part of the standard estimating process.
- Inclusion of periodic newsletters, press releases, etc.
- Management of advertising banners and other devices
- Complex systems supporting multi-media, sound, or video
- Management of database implementations
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Web HostingIn order for users to access your Web site, it must reside on (be hosted by) a physical computer linked to the Internet. Major Media has partnered with Virtualis Systems, to provide you with the highest level of hosting service, flexibility and support available on the worldwide web. Click here to see the options Virtualis provides. Of course, you are always free to choose another hosting service, or to host your site on your own server.
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Website Promotion OverviewIn order to ensure that your Web site can be located by your desired customers, several types of promotional efforts can be performed. As part of our development costs, we will submit information about your site on ten of the top web search engines -- where 99.9% of all web-searchers will go to seek information.
There are a number of additional avenues available for Web promotion efforts. Final determination of the extent of the promotional effort should be planned and finalized during the project development cycle.
It is important to understand that your web site will be one of hundreds of thousands of sites, and the number is growing by thousands a week Launching a web site is similar to starting a business: Just because you open the doors doesn't mean people will come. Like a business, it must be marketed properly. Web sites can be marketed through various Internet related media as well as traditional media (direct mail, radio, TV, print advertising, and public relations efforts).
Internet MarketingInternet marketing is accomplished through:
- Index Listings: There are more than 200 general search sites that allow a user to search based on category, name, subject, etc. Additionally, there are hundreds of industry specific lists and search engines. The ability of your potential viewers to locate your site through these means is highly dependent on their skill and understanding of the specific type of search required by the site. Further, the increasingly large number of entries being submitted to the search engines often causes older entries to be changed or eliminated. Our monthly maintenance fees include random checks of key search engines to ensure proper entries. Corrections are submitted if necessary.
- Banner Advertising: Many web sites, particularly those with very high access rates, sell space for small banners that load at the top of the page. These banners can be controlled in a variety of ways, taking into account regional, personal, and subject specific requests, and allow the user to 'click through' to your site. Pricing varies widely and is based on the number of impressions (times that viewers have actually seen the banner). We can prepare banner ad proposals and design appropriate banners upon definition of your specific needs.
- Mass Email Lists: Similar to traditional mailing lists, Email lists of qualified prospects can be purchased online. The relative ease of producing mailings to millions of addresses has made this both productive and caused much debate among the on-line industry. Use of mass Email lists must be done carefully.
- Cross Links: Links to and from related sites should be pursed where appropriate. Such sites may included related manufacturers, services, and associations. We can assist you by providing custom graphics and code for submission to sites that may consider linking to you.
- ListServs: Information about your company can be distributed through on line news lists and discussion groups.
Traditional Marketing MethodsTraditional advertising and marketing of your site can also be provided by Major Media. This may include custom collateral materials announcing the site, direct mail pieces, press releases, etc. We will be happy to make recommendations as the project progresses.
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What Does it Cost?It takes a variety of professional services to produce an effective website. The final price is based on:
the physical number of pages in the site,
site content, including copywriting, layout and text links to other web pages,
the number and complexity of original and scanned-in graphics,
and the technical requirements of each section.
Unlike many firms which charge anywhere from $50 to $150 per hour of development time, Major Media works with you to clearly define every aspect of your site from the onset. We provide you with a firm price quote based on that written project definition, so you won't be surprised by a price that's higher than you expected to pay. At your request, larger projects may be bid in sections, with mutually agreed upon pricing strategies, to accommodate the potential changes that may take place in the scope of the project as it proceeds.