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website planning

You wouldn't build a home without a blueprint. Building your website needs just as much planning.

Even when you are working with an experienced web designer, there are a lot of parts of the puzzle that only you can fit together. No one knows your business like you do, so your input is critical to a successful project.

You will need to gather a lot of information together and think through all the many things you'll want to have available to your customers on your website. The better prepared you are before your first meeting with your web designer, the easier the process and in the long term, the less your site will cost you. If you're doing a redesign, you will still have a lot of reviewing of your current site's content to do, but at least you will know a little more clearly what is expected of you.

I don't have a domain name yet. How do I get one?

This will be one of the first tasks you will tackle with your designer if you are designing a new site and have never registered a domain name before. We can help you register a new domain name, or if you feel knowledgeable enough and want to register your own you can certainly do so. We offer the convenience of registering a domain name through us.

What is "hosting" and why do I need it?

"Hosting" refers to the use of a specialized computer—a "server"—that is permanently connected to the Internet using special connections, allowing anyone who is browsing the Internet to be able to see your web site. An analogy would be your DVD player—you can buy a movie on DVD, but you can't view it without a place to play it, your DVD player. Hosting is the equivalent of that player, your website would be comparable to the DVD movie.

We offer very competitive pricing for hosting, thanks to our agreement with a company (located in the U.S.A.) that specializes in hosting. Maintaining a server takes a great deal of knowledge and expertise as well as time, we find that using a specialized company we have investigated and know to be reliable with good support works far better for our clients. It does not matter where you host a website as far as geographical location is concerned as your site will be viewable all over the world wherever there is Internet access. What DOES matter is that your hosting company offers you at least 99% uptime (we offer 99.9% or better) and responds quickly when you have a problem. It does help if the company is located within your own country, but that's not as critical a factor as it once was.

Do you have anything that will help me plan my site?

To assist you as you begin planning your site, we pleased to provide you with the information listed below. All of these forms are in Adobe Acrobat PDF format. You will need Adobe's Acrobat Reader installed on your computer in order to read them. If you need to download Adobe's Acrobat Reader, click here.

What You Should Know About Your Website
(15k - 4 seconds @ 28.8)
Questions to help you decide the purpose for your website and focus on what you want to achieve with a web presence. Not everyone needs a website; this should help you determine whether a website is right for you.

Website Planning Worksheet
(62k - 17 seconds @ 28.8)
This form will assist you in planning out the elements of your website. The more you know before you begin, the smoother the design process will be.

Website Content Worksheet
(30k - 8 seconds @ 28.8)
This form gives instructions for preparing the information you wish to have on your website in a form that's easiest for us to use. Following these instructions will help us to save you money.

Search Engines in a Nutshell
(25k - 7 seconds @ 28.8)
You can download this file directly, or read more about site promotion by clicking here. This file includes basic instructions on making your site search engine friendly.

Domain Registration and/or Hosting Form
(57k - 16 seconds @ 28.8)
Some general information about domain registration and hosting with Toner Design, as well as the form you must complete in order to have us register and/or host your domain. This form must be filled out completely in order for us to have all the information required for registration and hosting.

Documentation Required for Secure Certificates
(54k - 15 seconds @ 28.8)
Contains some general as well as specific information about what is needed in order to obtain a secure certificate. If you are planning an e-commerce site, or any site that requires security due to sensitive information (such as credit card numbers) being collected on the site, you should read this.