‘Practical Techie:’ A polished biz site without the hassles

Written by  //  July 2, 2013  //  Biz Views  //  No comments

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Author Rafael Matos is professor of multimedia at a private university and director of the Caribbean Multimedia Center, a nonprofit media lab focusing on closing the digital divide. Questions should be sent to cccrafael@gmail.com.

Author Rafael Matos is professor of multimedia at a private university and director of the Caribbean Multimedia Center, a nonprofit media lab focusing on closing the digital divide. Questions should be sent to cccrafael@gmail.com.

This week, News is my Business is honored to welcome its newest contributor, veteran reporter and editor, Rafael Matos, who will be sharing his personal insight on tech-related issues in his new column “Practical Techie.”

If your business hasn’t one yet…it should by now.

A website, I mean.

The size of the business doesn’t matter anymore. Every small biz or any multinational corporation deserves a radiant spot in the World Wide Web. Rather, it needs to have a very rewarding presence online.

Can you imagine? A window to your business, open 24/7 and available to more than four billion global visitors.

Any businessperson patient enough to learn a few commands and some elementary design concepts as they’re usually called, can very easily construct basic information portals, or websites. In a future writ I will dwell on this theme, providing over a dozen free applications on the Web that provide for website creation, devoid of frills, yet functional.

But, let’s fast-forward events a bit now and presume an entrepreneur has already decided to create a Web presence and already acquired a domain name for the portal. That person has already decided also that it wants a full-fledged, elaborate and exceptionally built site, specifically designed for the business at hand.

Not a homemade product. A professional portal. Great!

A budget has been set aside for the project. The next step is to find the right web designer. A crucial phase, if there ever was one, in the migration of a company into cyberspace.

Key strategies
Let’s look at a few strategies that will help in getting the job done without the nuisances.

Before anything else, make sure the developer is not merely a graphics artist or a coder only. A good developer will know about both aspects, and most pivotal of all, about good marketing design.

So, before signing any contract and after establishing a fair price for the service, the web developer you hired should be able to state clearly for you the following points.

First, the person should have a clear vision of what you want the website to do for your company. This is paramount for determining the most effective contents that will go on the pages once the site is online. This content will make it possible to generate qualified leads or sales to your site. More about specific contents, as well as how to learn to update your own site, also to come in a later column.

Next, the designer must be able to code into your pages the correct tools to tie the site to social media. In Puerto Rico, women generate 53 percent of all social media traffic. A whopping 84 percent check their social sites everyday. If your company caters products or services to female clients, a dynamic social tie-in for your site is indispensable.

Subsequently, the website should be email-enabled. This essential dimension is so many times sidestepped — so to speak — simply to curtail hosting costs. Don’t. Try to get at least 50 email accounts knitted into your site. Why? Because you need mails to engage customers through intensive e-correspondence. Engage means to have people notice your business and have them talk about your company in the cyber world.

Leads or sales?
Also, decide if you want your site to generate leads or to generate sales. If the latter is true, then your site must also be pay-enabled. That is, you need a cart. If the site is about services, then you don’t. No need to get bamboozled and pay the web designer for both capabilities.

The developer must then guarantee a sound privacy policy for your website. This will avoid tons of possible legal entanglements. See this page for further briefing on this crucial aspect of having a web presence: generateprivacypolicy.com.  Also, the developer must offer use of proprietary licensed content only for visuals and provide an adequate metrics system for the site.

Finally, your website is your identity on the web. So make sure the logo is displayed correctly, prominently and in all its true colors. Proper branding on first impression is the utmost goal.

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