Because getting a web site can be
needlessly daunting, we can make it as simple and quick for clients as
providing a bio and a photo. You don't need to know anything about
computers because we do it all for you. However, for those who want to know
more about web sites first, here are the details.
Q: What goes into a web site address?
A: Every web site has a unique address
so it can be located. A web site address looks like www.name.com.
Each part is separated by a period called a "dot." There
are no spaces. Capital and small letters are interchangeable.
The full address may be
http://www.name.com, with http
(hypertext transfer protocol) for a language used to
transfer web pages among computers. Because http and www are redundant,
it is sometimes shortened to name.com. Every page within a web site has its
own URL (Uniform Resource Locator) address.
for World Wide Web.
name can be a person's name, a corporation's name, a description of
services and products, a made-up word, etc. with a dot suffix. Although the
part between www and the suffix can be combined
with more than one suffix, each domain name is unique
to the site and may not be used for any other site, anywhere in the
world. A site can have a more than one domain name pointing
letter suffix, referred to as "dot suffix" or extension,
identifies the web site's category, such as com for commercial, org mostly for non-profit organizations, gov for government, edu for
educational, net for Internet companies, etc. Dot com is still the most popular and
prestigious, but if it is already taken, other suffixes may be
It's best to have your own domain name, rather
than a domain name that
appends yours as a secondary name with "forward slashes" because your own domain name is shorter, easier for people to
remember, and promotes you,
not a phone company,
Internet Service Provider, or a web site with your competitors.
Q: How is a domain name obtained?
A: After devising a domain name, its
availability must be checked. If it is not already taken, it can be registered, i.e. its usage rented for a period
of time from a registrar. Registration of domain names is
for a year and multiple years and renewable. Web Sites and Sound
Bites® not only develops domain names and obtains their registration, but registers them in clients' names (rather than own the
registration as some hosts do). Both services may be
included without additional cost in our server hosting package.
Q: What is a web site server?
A server is a big
computer. A web site must reside on a server, which is programmed to transmit it
to the Internet.
Except for large companies, a server
is usually shared (note sharing is of the machine, not the domain
name). There is no geographic proximity
requirement for a web site and server machine; everything is electronically
transmitted. Rent is
for space on the server and for delivering the
stored data to computers everywhere.
A host (often the web designer) is the manager
of server storage, transmission, technical support, etc., in a package.
Web Sites and Sound
Bites® has server hosting packages for our clients. Our packages provide
detailed site traffic statistics (by hour, entry page, exit page etc.),
e-mail boxes and forwarding, secure server, 24/7/365 tech support,
and the availability of shopping carts, poll takers, surveys, guest
book, and lots of other features.
They are attractively priced.
Rent for server hosting should not be confused with
monthly maintenance. Although monthly maintenance (checking web sites after
they are running) is charged by many web site designers, Web Sites and Sound
Bites® does not charge a monthly maintenance fee.
Additions and updates are on an
à la carte fee basis. You only pay for what you
want and get.
Q: Do I have to order a domain name,
server host, and web design from different sources?
Web Sites and Sound Bites®
can do all of these essential ingredients for you: obtain domain name registration, arrange server hosting,
design your web site, provide advice, and
coordinate it all. One stop convenience.
Q: What goes into designing a web
A: Professional web site
designers develop the entire web site, from planning it to uploading it to
the Internet. The
designer is responsible for text, graphics (photos, logos, and other
art), layout, colors, font style and size, navigational structure and
internal links to travel around the site, and external links to connect with
other sites. It is very important that the designer understand the
site's content and how search engines pick up information in order to
devise the best metatags (information about the page, in contrast to
coded tags that determine how the page is displayed) including titles,
descriptions, and keywords; design attributes; and links. The
designer uses HTML (Hyper Text Markup Language) code
to convey structure, text, graphics, and layout of web pages and how
they are linked.
Special skills, such as a sense of aesthetics for attractive graphics and good
spatial perception for page layout, are important. It is essential to know how people process
Products to produce an
attractive and unique web site include OCR software,
graphics programs, and licensing rights for photos. They can run up a big
tab, but Web Sites and Sound Bites®
provides these for our clients. Furthermore, we can edit your own photos
appropriately for your site. We also have the
capability to edit and upload video and audio on your site.
The web site designer should understand
both the client's work and search engines to develop the best traffic attractors. Fill-in-the blanks web sites, templates, and do-it-yourselfers lack the
capability to build sites to attract search engines well.
much control do I have over what is on my site?
A: Web Sites
and Sound Bites® welcomes client's comments throughout site
development. In fact, we post web site drafts online so designer and
client can view and discuss them without public visibility. We never publish a web site for the public to see without
the written approval of the client. Since some clients like to
delegate and others like to control, we invite clients to decide how
much they want to be involved in the process.
it possible to do a web site myself ?
Sure, you can do your own
web site, by learning web design or by filling in boxes in a template, which is simply a form for a
prefabricated web site. You can also do your own
taxes, plugging numbers into a computer program. But you probably don't
because you know a CPA can do a better job, save you money via advice
and time (in which you can be earning money), and take over an annoying
quiz to help you decide
whether to do your own site.
The reasons people use template web
because they don't have to learn to do complicated technology.
bypassing complicated technology, writing
well for the web is not as simple
and quick as assumed. Most people don't know how to write for the
web, which is not the same as writing books and articles. What
they write may be grammatically perfect, but wordy, repetitive, boring,
and stilted. Wordiness is not only cluttered,
unattractive, and overwhelming, but communicates poorly and may make the viewer give up.
A do-it-yourself web site is not necessarily
cheaper. Even writing text to
fit in a box on a
form can be very time consuming for you. How much do you earn
per hour? Multiply that amount by the number of hours it will take you
to do your own web site. That is the real cost of a web site. It may be far more expensive to do
it yourself than to hire a web designer who can design a site in much
Unless you really prefer to do web design than what you
do for a living, it would be more cost-effective and have better results
if you give the job to a
professional. Just as you go to a surgeon, accountant, or lawyer
rather than do-it-yourself and you seek objective opinions, professionals,
such as Web Sites and Sound Bites®, know how to write for the web.
Q: What are the problems with a template web
A: The expression, "one size does not
fit all," sums up problems with templates. For instance, a site
that is appropriate for a bar and grill is inappropriate for a member
of the bar, an attorney. Typical problems are looking
too much like the web sites of competitors and looking amateurish.
A template is a form with spaces to fill in and
thus very limited. Just like
a directory, it provides basic information, but only what can be filled
in the boxes. It does not enable flexibility of placing things
anywhere on the page.
Rigidity is not the only problem. It does
not convey high quality. Business luncheons are not
held waiting on line for ready-made burgers at fast food chains because
the food and atmosphere are not appropriate quality. Likewise, templates do
not impress potential and current clients with the quality of your firm,
customization, and professionalism.
Don't be fooled by web design companies that
claim they don't use templates, but really do. Instead of starting
from a blank screen and building a unique web site, they may simply be
filling in templates for you. Be suspect if the offer is too cheap
to be true or they only use data you provide without editing or
contributing expert advice.
Q: What is a browser?
A: As the name suggests, a browser is
a software program that locates and displays web pages so you can surf the
Internet. Originally only
able to display text and graphics, browsers now provide interactive
multimedia presentations with audio and video components.
are many types of browsers and versions of each. The two most popular browsers are
Internet Explorer and Netscape Navigator, with Internet Explorer used by
most people. You can install
multiple browsers free. Update the latest versions to get new
features and patches (fixes) of problems noted after release of the
has different features. Web pages will not look identical on
them. Which brings us to the next question...
Q: What determines how a site looks?
A: One of the most frustrating aspects
of web design is the impossibility of identical site appearance on
different computers. The browser and its
version are big determinants of each site's display. A major
variable is the curvature of the screen, from flat to significantly
curved. The size, resolution, and
settings of monitors also affect the display (just as the settings on
TVs affect colors as you've noticed when someone looks orangey on
one set, flushed on another, and jaundiced on another set next to each
other in stores).
Computer brand and age also affect appearance.
Web Sites and
Sound Bites® tests its sites
on different browsers and monitors to obtain as much uniformity as
Q: How is traffic attracted to a web
A: Attracting traffic to a web site should be
planned at its inception. Web designers build in attractors for search
engines by using the most appropriate design attributes; titles,
descriptions, and keywords known as metatags; links; and other
features. Web sites using templates (pre-fabricated forms) do not have
the capability web designers do to attract search engines and analyze
traffic reports (by the hour, day, entry page, exit page, most popular
pages, etc.) for fine-tuning.
Site owners should participate in
promoting their sites, such via word-of-mouth networking, business cards, and ads
that can be brief and inexpensive by referring to the web site address to obtain its
abundant information. We provide tips for
increasing traffic and other marketing advice for our web site clients,
on a private web site for them only.
What are search engines?
A: Search engines are
computer programs and companies (like Google) that bring people seeking
information to sites containing it.
Q: How is priority placement obtained
on search engine lists?
engines list sites in the order
of the number hits sites get, links among sites, fee-based premium
placement, and other criteria. Although companies sell preferential placement,
not all are a sound investment. Pay-Per-Click ads,
where you only pay fees for the number of visitors who arrive from the
ads, may sound attractive but are allegedly vulnerable to fraudulent charges
(software programs can click on ads to inflate your costs and revenue for
the ad company artificially; competitors can click on ads to increase
Sites and Sound Bites® understands
your work and how to present it to
attract search engines and bring traffic to its web sites.
In addition, we can submit a web site to over a
thousand search engines, which not only list it, but have additional
features and combine for powerful placement position. Then, we can
help clients track traffic from a baseline, during typical periods of
time, and evaluate traffic statistics.
Of course, the most important criterion is the
bottom line...whether a web site brings the desired business.
Thus, we can devise strategies and
fine-tune web sites to increase clients' ROI (Return on Investment),
which is why they get a web site and why they are working.
it make sense to try a free web site from my phone company or Internet
"free" web sites may not be free. The old expression "there
is no such thing as a free lunch" is still true. Beware of
attached strings: having to buy something you don't need in order to
qualify, enabling telemarketers and spam mail to bombard you, your name
as an appendage in a third-party's domain name, and a web site with its company's big ads on it. Hardly
a classy look professionals want.
A free site is not really a test drive.
It may ruin your professional image. Negative results can
discourage you so you never move to getting an effective web site.
Meanwhile, you are wasting valuable time when you could be growing your
You may be
surprised to find the cost for a professionally designed web site can
be the same as or even less than a do-it-yourself one.
Q: How much does it cost to have a web
A: Cost is an important consideration,
but unless you are ordering an identical fill-in-the-blanks template
from a mass producer, it
cannot be stated without knowing what you want. Customized web
sites do not necessarily cost more, but cost is determined by the amount of
time involved. Some people want complex, lengthy web sites and
others want a few pages. After
speaking with potential clients, we
write a detailed
contract with a capped
amount to assure not going over budget.
are the seven most important features of a good web site?
A: A good web site
- is attractive, creative, and unique
- is uncluttered
- is easy to navigate
- communicates clearly
- provides what is sought quickly
- attracts traffic from search engines
- keeps people and brings them back
are the seven most important characteristics of a good web designer?
A good web designer
understands web behavior (how people surf the net and process
understands the client's work
knows how to advertise ethically
compatible with the client
gets work completed ahead of deadlines
honest and reliable
do I evaluate whether a particular web designer is good for me?
A: You can use the answers to the two previous questions to guide your
evaluation. Look at many sites by many designers. Compare them, especially your
competitors' web sites. Find out what characteristics you like and
Be alert for unclear communication that defeats the purpose of a web
site, which is to impart information. Sites that are cluttered and
boring are turn-offs. Getting lost, links that go
nowhere, empty boxes wtih "x"s where graphics should be, and dead pages are bad omens. Be wary of sites that have
distracting dancing cartoons or are flippant or immature.
Pay attention to web designers' priorities and how they promote their
own work. If web designers say they don't aim to create the most attractive site,
you can bet yours will neither be attractive nor have advertising savvy.
Designers' own sites are as good as they get. Be sure to look at samples of other sites
they did too. If they don't provide any, find another designer. Web Sites
and Sound Bites®
is proud of its sites and encourages you to look at
samples of its web sites.
Check references to be sure others are satisfied with the designer's
work and even more importantly, the reasons why. You can see
reference letters from clients of Web Sites and Sound Bites®
along with their web sites.
In comparison shopping, don't compare apples and oranges, but the same
Know what you are getting. Be sure everything is in writing and
read the contract before signing it. Web Sites and Sound Bites®
gives each client a clearly written contract, with all the details,
including a capped amount.
Distance is irrelevant since you will be communicating with the web
designer on the phone and through e-mail and looking at drafts of the
site in your own computer.
to the designer in advance to be sure this is the designer with whom you
want to work. Clients are pleased that we place phone calls to
them, saving them long distance charges. Be sure you will be shown drafts of your web site
that are not visible by others for your reactions and your approval
prior to its publication on the Internet.
You can check businesses with the Better Business Bureau and other such
organizations. Although web design is not a regulated profession,
there may be special indicators of high standards. For example, Dr. Carol Goldberg of Web Sites and Sound Bites®
is a licensed psychologist, is entrusted with leadership positions in
professional associations, and has served on ethics committees,
indicators of high ethical and professional standards.
are comfortable knowing private practice and business information they
share with her is treated confidentially as are other consultations by
psychologists, whereas they do not have this assurance from technicians
and unlicensed consultants.
mistakes should I avoid?
A: The biggest mistakes are
- not realizing a web site is essential
- assuming all web sites are equally
- avoiding spending any money to make money.
While some of this has been stated in answers
to other questions, here is a summary of key issues for those without
time to read every Q/A.
Don’t be fooled by “free” web sites. Be
wary of their “strings attached” requiring other purchases; ads you have
no control over, cheapen you, imply product endorsement, and distract
from promoting your work; distracting animations; and sharing with your
Don't believe the cost is what a company states
if you have to write the text yourself, which is more time-consuming
than having an experienced designer who knows your work write it for
you. The real cost is the quoted amount plus the amount of time it
takes you multiplied by your hourly income.
Don't hire a web site company that only gives
you its Internet address and only communicates by e-mail.
Be sure you can talk to the designer on the phone. Check references, ownership, and the Better Business Bureau. Be
sure the company is located in the
United States so it is regulated by federal and state laws.
When shopping, avoid comparing “apples and
- Get a classy web site that shows you off
uniquely. A customized web site does not necessarily cost more than
a template site.
- Be sure you can talk to the designer to be sure your work
and promoting it are understood.
- Be sure your domain names are registered
to you (not to a host).
- Verify there is no monthly maintenance fee
Get everything in writing, including
- what you are getting
- estimated time for completion
- cost and payment schedule
- your ownership of domain and copyright
- data security
- legal jurisdiction
Q: What is media coaching?
Web Sites and Sound Bites®
coaching for TV and public speaking consists of stress managed coaching
by Dr. Goldberg with work related material. It is
in-person. Depending upon a client's goals, practice may be
in front of a live audience in a workshop format. Practice for TV
can be mock interviews recorded by a video camera;
playback based feedback; and tapes or DVDs to keep and use for learning
radio and print media coaching can be conducted on the phone and
recorded for continued learning. Print media coaching can be mock interviews
with questions journalists ask and tips about avoiding pitfalls and
Throughout our media coaching, the
emphasis is on becoming comfortable and effective promoting your work. Advice
is provided for getting
invitations to appear on TV and radio programs and in print media.
Dr. Goldberg's media coaching is based
upon her stress management expertise; extensive experience speaking
publicly; being interviewed and interviewing professionals; being Host
and Producer of a weekly TV program for over five years; being interviewed on the biggest national
TV programs; formal training and experience in technical aspects of TV production; being a consultant
to national media; and understanding the work
of varied professions and businesses.
She also has the technical skills to do photo and
video editing for your web site.
you have other questions, please contact Web Sites and Sound Bites®
via the e-mail link at the top of this page.