Welcome to the Brungardt Center Websites Education Center

 

Here you can learn all the different parts of a website along with how they work and function (separately and together).  During this explanation, we will explain it in terms that you will understand – not too much tech lingo.  To better be able to explain the process and for you to understand, we will use the example of a bakery shop as your website.  Of course this is ONLY an example so we can help explain things clearly and easily.

 

Starting Your Organization/Business (Basics)

So you have decided to start your organization, WONDERFUL!  The very first thing that every business person needs to do is to come up with a plan.  This plan, also referred to as a business plan, gives the business structure and lays out everything it will and will not encompass.  So you plan to open a bakery.  (Remember the bakery is interchangeable with a website, just keep that in mind.)  To make a plan is usually a longer process than most people think.  It is rarely just an afternoon of writing – it usually takes days, weeks, and sometimes more.  But planning is essential to any and all organizations.

One question we get all the time is why we provide all of this information.  Well, the short answer is that we love it when our customers are educated and we give them every opportunity to learn as much as they want to.  So go grab a glass of water and/or a snack and read through the rest of the page.

The internet is a great place for a company, organization, or individual to express themselves or to inform others about what they offer.  So lets talk about how we can make the internet work for you.

In each section, we will use a small bakery store as our main example as we explain all the parts of creating and maintaining a website.

The internet can be thought of as the marketplace for the bakery. Just as no one person, government, or company owns the marketplace – the internet works much the same way.  So if the internet works like a marketplace then a website is a store location within the marketplace. So now take a minute to think about the stores that you shop at and which ones you like and the ones you don’t like and why.  Do you prefer certain stores because of the quality of the products, it is the workers in the store, it is the looks of the store, or is it everything combined. These are questions that we want you to think about. Creating a website is just like building a store, but the good thing about a website is that you can make it look anyway that you would like.

Thinking Exercise:
– Write down 10 stores that you visit and shop at often.
– What is your primary reason for shopping at those 10 stores?
– Write down 3 reasons why you go to those stores versus their competitors.

Just as there are several parts or facets to operating a bakery, there are also different parts to a website.  Now we promise to try and make it as simple to understand as possible, but if you are confused please feel free to email us and we can better explain the process, so let’s get started.

Domain Name

A domain name is your very own .com name on the internet, for example (bobtheguru.net), (fashionshop.com), or (kansasglass.org). So a physical location of a bakery is equivalent to your website’s domain name. Another way to think of a domain name is the internet’s street address to your website, hopefully that helps grab the concept a little bit better. Selecting a domain name is fairly easy but not always available. So your domain name can be ANYTHING you want it to be.

Let’s say that you decided to call your business South River Bakery. Now you need to think about what you want your domain name to be. It can be (southriverbakery.com) or (southriver.com) or (sriverbakery.net) or anything you want.

2 Suggestions:
a) make your domain name your business name
b) make your domain name catchy to bring focus back to your business

So now you need to go to a Domain Name Registrar (think of this as a real estate office for the internet), remember if you purchase one of our website packages we include a domain name for FREE (1 yr) and we will help you come up with a GREAT name for you.  So if you go to the Domain Name Registrar and try putting in your desired domain name and see of that name is available.

Note: your domain name might already be taken by someone else – don’t worry there are ways around this just keep reading and DON’T FREAK OUT!!!

So lets say that you wanted to register (southriverbakery.com) but you found out that some giant corporation owns that domain name, no worries now you just need to work on either changing it or shortening it. So you first try to shorten it with (srbakery.com), (soriverbakery.net), and (southrbakery.biz) but all of them were taken. You then try changing them with (freshbread.info), (yummydonuts.kitchen), and (breadbelly.cafe) but those are also taken. So you sit at your desk and just start writing down everything that comes to your mind. But then you remembered a discussion you had with your best friend about your business and how you both agreed that the bakery is like comfort food and what stuck in your head was the phrase, “bread is love.” So you try (breadislove.com) and good news it is available.

Now before you continue, make sure that the name is spelled how you want it to be (there is NO going back and correcting it later). Once you are comfortable with the spelling then go ahead and purchase the domain name. Now you have the option to purchase other services/products but we suggest taking things one step at a time and don’t fall for the extras or bundles. You also have the ability to purchase the domain for a minimum of 1 year with the option of purchasing it all the way up to 5+ years. Our suggestion is to stick with 1 year for now because if you want you can also upgrade to additional years at a later time.

Thinking Exercise:
– Remember the phrase(s) “Keep It Simple” or “Keep It Basic” You can always increase or upgrade later but you don’t want to be bogged down with too much too soon.
– Writing down keywords that describe your business will also help in obtaining an available domain name.
– Don’t get too frustrated if all the domain names you try is unavailable for purchase. Try walking away from it and come back to it later with a fresh mind.
– If you are considering purchasing an active domain name (either through buy-out or auction), carefully consider the option of purchasing a domain name for sale and ask for any and all terms of the sale before agreeing to purchase the domain name.

Website Hosting

A hosting company (in combination with your domain name) is your very own spot along the great internet highway, okay so perhaps that is an old term but it works and gives you the idea. So the best way to think of a hosting company and why it is SO important to your website, it is your location along the internet highway (we’ll try to dispense with the old terms soon).

As many people already know, the best place for any physical business is highly dependent on their location and visibility to their customers.  Going back to the bakery store reference, if you hide your store on the outskirts of town then no one will really stop by your bakery and try your wonderful products. However, if you position your store next to a mall, theater, gas station, or busy roadway then you are more likely to be seen and have more customers. A hosting company is very important to the success of your business and website.  Remember, that hosting comes FREE with any website package for the first year.

With that being said, not all hosting companies are created equal. So just as you would have to ‘shop’ for your bakery’s store location you also need to ‘shop’ for a good hosting company for your business/website. Some hosting companies are restrictive while others are open and provide many options. So how do you decide what host to choose from and what options you are needing? That is a great question and one that can be solved by talking with a website knowledgeable person or company, like us. The one thing you want to keep in mind when you are first starting out is that you want to start small and grow bigger from there – not start high and then have to downgrade. Slow and steady wins the race (and keeps your pocketbook happy).

Thinking Exercise:
– Write down everything you want your website to do soon and in the future and discuss this with a website knowledgeable person you trust.
– Go for the small and less expensive hosting package until you at the limits and need to upgrade.
– Don’t be afraid to get on Facebook, Twitter, or internet forums and ask people about good and bad hosting companies.

Company Logo

So now you have a domain name and a hosting company all setup and ready to go.  This is a GREAT and important first step to launching your website and/or business.  So many people ask us why do they need a logo?  This is a good question and also a very important part of your website/business.  If I asked you,  “what is your favorite store?” what would be your answer – Macy’s, Starbucks, Joe’s Burgers???  Now if I asked how to find your favorite store how would tell me where to find it?  Would you give a visual clue on where it is and what their logo might look like?  A logo gives your potential and current customers a visual representation of you and what you sell or provide.  Colors, shapes, style of words, etc., it is all part of a good logo.  We can help you by providing a temporary logo (we are not a logo company nor do we want to be but that doesn’t mean we can’t help you out).  We have several resources for some good and talented logo/graphic designers that can help you build the logo you want.  And we promise it will fit within your budget.

Color gives meaning and inspires emotions, whether we know it or not.  There are many articles that talk about color and how it can influence us on an unconscious level.  Here are a few interesting articles to check out: Color Wheel Pro &  HubPages.

Going back to the bakery example, lets also keep in mind what you want your website to look like and the domain name that you have.  Let’s say that you have purchased the domain name (breadislove.com) and you want to continue the theme ‘food=love’ into your website so it would also be a good idea to continue that in your logo.  Remember, that you don’t want your logo to look completely different than your website or any other materials that you present, whether it be online, printed, or some other visual aid.  You want your logo to be different, unique, and a graphical representation of you and/or your company.  Also, if you don’t have the money at first, you can always get a temporary logo made until you have saved up enough money to have a professional make you a GREAT looking logo.

Thinking Exercise:
– Think of 5-10 places that you shop the most and look at their logo and write down what you like and don’t like about them (color, shapes, style of words, etc.).
– On a blank piece of paper, think of how you would describe or represent your business in graphical form and draw something (it doesn’t have to be good just something basic).
– Think of what colors and shapes you like and which of them you would what to represent your business, brand, or organization.

Business/Website Tips

Below are just a few tips that we and others have suggested for you.

  • When starting your organization, ALWAYS start small and work your way up from there.  Too many businesses and organizations tried to start big (or medium sized) and failed because they over-extended themselves in some area of their business.
  • Research & question everything.  Just because it might be the “standard” doesn’t mean that it has to be that way for you.  Find new and different ways of doing things and ALWAYS have  an open imagination when research options.
  • Look for ways on how to make your organization different than any of your closest competitors.  Make your organization different in a way that will attract customers, investors, and potential employees.  Even if you are just selling products, put a twist on your business model or do something that you have never seen done before.  Be creative and keep an open mind (a closed mind will limit your abilities).
  • Remember that we are now in a global economy so don’t just limit yourself to your local area, however you don’t have to cater to EVERYONE, just be open to customers or people from different states, regions or countries.
  • Take control of your schedule daily.  Beginning an organization is tough work and usually includes long hours but be sure to build in some time off or at least a small/short walk away from the organization to help recharge your ‘personal’ batteries.

More tips coming soon.  If you have some tips you would like to add, please contact us.