Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Template Websites

"I do not know how to develop a website but I really need a web presence, what do I do?" I hear this question quite frequently. The answer to this question can be very simple but also very complex. First of all, if a business does not have a quality web development company in their area then it may be difficult to find someone to do quality work for a unique business. There are hundreds if not thousands of individuals who claim to do web development but cannot offer the tool-set to give a unique company the product it needs. Therefore, don't settle for the "average" if you need more. There are resources available online that do quality work. For example averagestreetprice.com offers a service where they build a website that is unique to your company or organization. From the homepage, click on Build a Website in the menu and then click on Web Design Services. Once you own your domain name (and possible an SSL certificate) then that service is the only other product you need to buy to have your site online because it includes hosting as well.

Most web design services offer website monitoring, monthly update packages, and tools to promote your site and business. Pricing is not too bad considering all of the attention you get with the product. However, after looking at a full service product you may decide that you want a little more control at a cheaper cost. If that is your desire, then you may want to consider what is called a template site. A template site offers you a large selection of available templates giving you the ability to choose one that matches your business or service. Once deciding on a template, then you have the ability to upload logos, images, and content for each page you want to build.

To see more information and examples of template sites, go to www.averagestreetprice.com and click on Build a Website from the menu and then click on Website Builder. Packages start below $5.00 per month and include hosting. Determine your needs and then take your time finding the right products and services that fit your business. Website templates may be the solution for you.  

Monday, August 12, 2013

Hosting your Domain

The last post discussed buying the perfect domain name. Once the name has been secured then you need to think about designing a website and hosting it. Today we will discuss the hosting part of the process.

Every website must have a place to reside on the Internet. This place is called the host. A host is a server somewhere on the Internet that has the capacity of hosting one or many websites. Servers can come in many different flavors with plenty of options. For example some hosting servers are Microsoft Windows based while others are Linux based. Some servers only offer the directory structure to host the site while others offer software modules to give the web developers more options on their site. Some hosts provide pre-built templates while others do not. Therefore you must research the type of site host you need for your site.

One of the most frequent questions I get on the subject of hosting is should I use the Microsoft Windows hosting option. My reply is always the same. Never use Windows as a host unless your development requires it. For example, if you develop in ASP then you have no other option. If your site requires a Microsoft SQL platform then you will have to use a Microsoft based host. Other than using a technology that requires Microsoft hosting, my recommendation is to avoid it. It is more resource intensive and can be less secure. Linux will offer a more streamlined and better experience.

To find a host simply go to the pace you purchased your domain name (such as www.averagestreetprice.com) and look for the hosting options. You usually encounter three different levels of hosting. Most people on small sites can usually get by with the economy version of the hosting. There are not too many extras that you need to purchase unless you require something like a dedicated IP address or a secure certificate.

Spend some time looking through the various options of hosting and then use the new acquired information to make a great decision on your new host. Keep in mind it is an easier process to purchase the hosting at the same place you bought the domain name.

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Buying a Domain Name

We have discussed various subjects concerning Advertising, Internet, and Social Media. A lot of people want an Internet presence of some sort, however have no knowledge of how to make it happen. People become frustrated when they call website development companies only to find out they do not have the money to pay for a complete product. Therefore over the next series of posts we will cover the process of creating a website starting with buying your first domain name all the way to designing and hosting your website.

The first thing you have to do is buy your perfect domain name. This is not as easy as it used to be. The process is not difficult, but finding the right domain name is. When the Internet was in its infancy, the right domain name was easy to find. Today, the right domain name is more difficult to acquire because someone else has already acquired your perfect idea. For example, I own the domain name dougjohnson.net. I wanted the domain name dougjohnson.com, however someone else had already acquired it.

Buying a domain name is very easy if you can find an available name that suits you or your organization. Keep in mind that the domain name you choose needs to include something about your business. Most organizations try to use their business name. IBM (www.ibm.com), Dell (www.dell.com), HP (www.hp.com) are great examples of that concept. These technology innovators secured their names early in the Internet age and therefore was able to secure exactly what they wanted. Today finding a business name is more difficult.

Lets say I owned a company called Great Cars. Logically an ideal domain name would be greatcars.com. If we go to a domain registrar and search for that particular domain name we will discover that it has already been registered and therefore we cannot use it. Therefore, a person's first step to acquiring the perfect domain name is spend some time writing down domain names that would compliment you or your business. Once you have acquired a list then may your way to a domain name registrar and start your search. There are plenty of domain name registrars but if you need a hint on where to start I use www.averagestreetprice.com.

If you go to www.averagestreetprice.com you will notice a domain name search tool pasted in the center of the homepage. All you have to do is put in your number one choice (without the extension) and click on search. You will immediately find our if your domain name is available. If so, you will have the option to buy it and add on all of the possible tools you need to complete your project. If your favorite domain name is not available then you will be presented with plenty of options that are both similar to your search AND available. This is a great tool because you may find a name that fits perfectly and you never thought of it.

A quick note on domain name extensions is warranted in this post. The most common domain name extension is .com. This was the original commercial domain name. It is the most desired however other extensions can fit your organization as well. .org was originally designed for organizations and .net was originally dedicated to Internet businesses or functions. Most of the original rules do not apply for extension usage but a few are still in place such as .gov (government) and .mil (military).  So spend some time and get the right domain name and in our next post we will talk about how to host it.

Friday, August 9, 2013

Social Media vs Traditional Websites

The question "has social media taken the place of traditional websites" has come across my desk a few times in the past few months. This is a great question considering the energy and resources spent in designing ads and developing social media campaigns. The answer to the question is "it depends". It depends on a lot of things.

First of all, you have to answer the following quesions:
  • What does your organization do?
  • Do you sell products or services?
These questions are very important in the fact that it drives what type of Internet presence you have. For example, if your organization is an online store that sells products then having a website is a MUST. Without it, you would have some difficulty selling the actual product. However, if your web presence is a one-time event then a website may not be necessary. For example, your organization is sponsoring a marriage enrichment retreat. This event will only be held one time. In this scenario you could develop a Facebook page or group and advertise through various forms of social media. Once the event has ended you may want to post a few pictures and allow others to comment on their experiences. A website would be somewhat overkill for this purpose.

As you think about the question to spend the money or resources on a website, understand that any long-term goal should not be connected only to social media. Historically, social media sites lose popularity in around 5-6 years. A good website can weather the storm. So anything beyond a one-time event you may want to consider buying a domain name and hosting and start putting together an incredible web presence for your organization. Average Street Price is a great place to start! 

Thursday, August 8, 2013

3:16TV now on ROKU!

We just released 3:16TV on ROKU. This summer was our public launch date and in just three weeks we gained over 2800 subscribers without any advertisement! This is amazing to see the venue of Internet television expand without the use of ads. We can't wait to see how God is going to connect to people around the world through this new venue especially when we start promoting 3:16TV on ROKU.

First Baptist Church of Morristown's entire Sunday schedule not only appears on tow cable networks (Charter and MUS Fibernet), but now also appears on ROKU TV. We feel this is a great bonus for our current 3:16TV ministry partners. Our goal is to extend active (streamed) content 24/7. This means there are plenty of opportunities for ministries to gain prime time slots through our Internet TV presence. As we continue to grow we feel that the 3:16TV network will be a 24/7 presence on many platforms.

If your ministry desires to have a weekday slot on 3:16TV through ROKU, please don't hesitate to let us know. We are finalizing our content plans and would love for you to be a part of the exciting growth of 3:16TV. Just call the church office at (423) 586-0522 and ask for Doug or Terri. We look forward to hearing from you soon!