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Tips

 

 

 

Tips

This section of the Natural Healing Center website is a guide for small business owners and individuals who would like to own their own website. On this site you will find the basics you need to know explained in understandable language. Please scroll down to read interviews with 2 website owners and their experiences building a website. They are a helpful warm up to get you ready for reading the rest of So You Want a Website!

Some information you will find on this site:

Web Addresses - (AKA domain names, URL's, website names). How to choose one, buy one and keep it safe from domain name poachers!

Hosting - What is it? How much does it cost? How do I keep my website up on the internet.

Email - How to get email with same address as the name of your site.

Adding graphics - What you can and can't use on a website. The basics you need to know about graphics.

Text Content - How to organize the navigation system and hints on how to write your text for in a way that will help you on to rank well on the search engines.

NHC Webpage - What is an NHC webpage. Who can benefit from this. How to get an NHC webpage.

DIY Sites - Information on building your own site by yourself. What are the benefits? What are the drawbacks?

Contact Information - How to contact Sascha Hewitt, the creator of this site and examples of her work.

Interviews - Interviews with small business owners on their experiences creating their websites. Good and bad!

Interview with Tom Morris, owner of Agape Ceramics Studio & School in Yokohama. By Sascha Hewitt.

Tom, you lost your domain name www.ACSJapanesePottery.com at one point. How did that come about?

When I first had my website built I didn't know much about it so asked the webmaster (the second webmaster I worked with) I was working with to buy the domain name and get the site hosted. A couple of years after the site was built I hadn't had much contact with the webmaster. He was difficult to contact anyway.

I went to my website one day and it had a notice on it that the domain name was for sale. My site wasn't there! The page said I could buy my site name www.acsjapanesepottery.com for $250!!!

The webmaster had forgotten to renew it. I contacted the webmaster and he was no help. So I called the company who had a notice up on my site. They were very unfriendly and said someone had bought the domain name and I could buy it back. It was a hosting company which was located in Singapore. To get my domain name back I had to agree to host the site with this company. I ended up only paying $50 for the domain name but also had to agree to host my site with this company. I was affraid of leaving the site hosted with this company so soon after, at my new webmaster's suggestion, I had it transferred to a reputable hosting company. But company that hijacked my site made it extremely difficult to do this. It took a great deal of effort to get it changed to a new hosting company.

Knowing what I know now, I suggest having the renewal date for your domain name written on a calendar.

How many websites do you have?
I have one website but it has been rebuilt 3 times by 3 different webmasters.

Do you have any suggestions for people building their first website?
KNOW WHO YOUR DEALING WITH. Can you underline or highlight that statement somehow. The first webmaster I dealt with was a nightmare. There were so many mistakes. I spent 3-4 months writing the text and then 5 months of nightmare with the first webmaster. The second one was really slow to do work or to respond, it was so frustrating trying to get anything done.

Know who you are dealing with. See if you can find a friend to work with. Make sure the person you are dealing with is flexable and willing to change things when new things come up. A website is art work. If the person doesn't have any interest in it, if they are doing it just for business, it can be a great discouragement. Find someone who isn't going to charge you for every moment. There is such potential for being ripped off.

How did you go about building your site?
First I figured out a rough structure, the pages such as home page, studio page etc. Then I spent 3-4 months writing the text and finding pictures. It is a lot of work creating text and finding pictures.


Do you have any other advice?
Keep it simple, straightforward, so that people can comfortably navigate the site. So many sites are confusing to navigate. They give you too many choices.

Interview with Prem Dana Takada, clinical psychologist and owner of Tokyo Therapy. By Sascha Hewitt.

How many websites have you been involved in creating?
Three. Two for my own business (www.tokyotherapy.com) and one for a professional organization.

How many webmasters have you worked with?
Four.

Do you have any advice for people building their first website for a small business?
It depends what you are doing but if you need a database you might need to work with 2 people. You will need someone with graphic skills for the look of the site and someone with very high technical skills to set up the database. People either seem to have the design skills or the technical skills, not both.

If you are going to get a database make sure you get someone who can make it easy to administrate and back up.

As far as designing the site goes you really need to think about the purpose. Who are the target audience? What image do you want? Choose the colours. Two or three colours.

It needs to be customer friendly, easy to use. No more than 3 clicks to any information.

You need to set a price for your website.

Does it take a lot of time to make a website?
Yes. A lot of time and energy. Even if you hire someone to do it for you, you still have to do a lot of work. It can take 2-6 months.
I suggest writing up all the text beforehand.

How about email? What would you like in an email provider?
I'd like to open my computer and be able to get to all my emails from all my email accounts. I want to be able to answer emails from my various accounts using the different email addresses I have.

Why haven't you been able to achieve that?
I have no idea. I think computers are not smart enough yet.

REFERENCES
Takada, D. Interview (15th Nov. 2004) Tokyo, Japan.

Morris, T. Interview (14th Nov. 2004) Kamakura, Japan.


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