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Are You Being Scammed By Your Web Design Company?

Tuesday, August 21st, 2018

This is a growing concern amongst many business owners. Does your web design company own you? This may be possible if you’ve allowed them to host your web site for you and also register your domain name for your company.

Web design companies have a lot of control over their clients. I refer to this as “False Power”. The sad reality is that most of their clients don’t even know they are stuck in this potentially painful predicament. This power is usually exercised when a client of a web design company finds a better deal on hosting for their web site and they simply want to switch their hosting provider, or when the “client” wants to upgrade their web site for a better rate than their current web development provider is offering.

Here’s what usually happens to so called “traitor clients”:

– Current web design company sends their client a hefty bill for switching

– The web design company cancels their client’s account

– They may point the domain name to another place

– They sometimes take down the entire website until further notice

You get the point! Too much power is given to the web design company. I truly believe that it is your right to shop for better prices and it is your right to own your domain name even if you didn’t have a hand in registering your domain name.

As the owner of the website, you put your trust into your web design company to represent your business appropriately and honestly, only to find out down the road that honesty isn’t in their vocabulary.

I truly believe there should be a law against web design companies that can be summarized as such: For any domain name registered by the web design company on behalf of their client, the domain name may not be disputed or need to be disputed, the domain name is automatically owned by the client and is automatically bound by their web development contract.

With every new venture, there is always going to be loopholes. From the aforementioned example, what if there is no contract? If you are reading this and are in the process of searching for a web design company, please ENSURE that you have a contract drafted, outlining everything you are entitled to and that you have sole rights to your domain name.

See what most business owners fail to realize is that their domain name is as important as registering their business name itself. I will repeat that… Your domain name is “hot real estate”, would you want someone else owning your property?

The same applies for your domain name. Don’t get caught with your pants down while asking, why don’t I own my domain name. It is as important as owning your own company name. There are people out there searching for suckers to take their domain name – don’t be the one who gets caught!

How to avoid this “Power Stricken” disaster:
The best solution is to go out and register your domain name BEFORE you hire a web design company. This ultimately gives you the power over your domain name. At any given time, you can go back and log into your “domain name registrant” in order to switch your web site to any hosting company you choose.

When searching for an “all around” package for your web design project, make sure that your hosting is suitable for your needs. 95% of all web design projects don’t need a large hosting package that costs between $150-$500 a year. The most you should pay for your hosting in this case is around $100.00 a year, no more.

You only need a large hosting package if:

– Your web site is 1000+ pages in size

– You’re going to buy traffic in the 1000’s every month

– You need over 25 email accounts setup

Ask questions when shopping for a web design company! Here are a few questions you should be asking right away before you sign any contract…

– Do you provide a contract for all your projects?

– If you register my domain name, will it state in my contract that I own the domain name under all circumstances?

– If I am late making payments, is it your company policy to cancel the account?

– Why are your hosting services so high in price? Why wouldn’t I go somewhere else for $100 a year?

– Does it state within your contract that I cannot switch to a different hosting company later on?

– Going forward, am I going to be able to hire any web developer for my website updates, if I am able to negotiate better prices?

This is another important note:
Make sure your web design company gives you the “FTP (File Transfer Protocol)” access to your website. The FTP allows you to hire another web design company to go in and update your website at any time. Without the FTP information, no one can update your website besides the original web development company or hosting company that you hired.

In Conclusion:
Be weary of web design companies that don’t provide contracts for all of their projects. Be careful with your domain name; make sure that in the end, you own all rights to your domain name, not someone else.

I hope this article helps you out!

For more of Martins articles, go here: http://www.smartads.info/newsletter

Build A Web Site

Monday, August 20th, 2018

The Internet is the future, and a Website is your key to taking advantage of it. A Website not only showcases your products and services to the general public, but more importantly, introduces you to a whole new audience and potential market. So powerful is the Internet that a significant percentage of retail sales in the United States is now generated by e-commerce.

You, too, cash in on the trend by launching your very own Website. Depending on your computer skills and the time and money you are willing to spend, you can either build your Website yourself, or hire a Web developer to build it for you.

Doing it on your own is the best and cheapest option if you are highly computer-literate (or at least adept at learning new kinds of software fast), and if you have a lot of time to devote to your site. You should invest in user-friendly applications like Microsoft FrontPage, which enables you to easily design your site yourself. Not the creative type? Don’t worry – you can purchase pre-designed templates from hundreds of Websites offering them at a minimal cost.

The main benefit of building and maintaining your own Website is convenience and security. You can update your Website anytime at no cost, and also guard classified information that you don’t want others (like an external Web administrator) to see.

Unless you have a firm background in programming, though, you may not be able to build more complex Websites on your own. If you want to add more complicated functionalities such as e-commerce, special programs, or secure pages, you may need to enlist a professional.

Smaller businesses with limited cash to spend on Websites are finding an ally in freelance Web developers, who usually provide professional Website creation and maintenance services at lower-than-industry rates. Some freelancing sites allow ‘buyers’ like you to post a description of a project and then let freelancers bid on it. You can then choose the Web developer you like from among the bidders, and securely pay them when they have completed the work to your satisfaction.

Hiring a Web developer to build your Website is best if you are not computer-savvy and don’t have much time to devote to developing your own Website. This option might be a little pricier than the first, but the expertise and technologies that professionals bring into your Website can end up saving you money in the long run.

e-Business 2.0 Emerges Alongside Web 2.0

Monday, August 20th, 2018

Web 2.0 has changed the way we think about the Web; whether you believe that Web 2.0 is a valid name or just some coined term by Tim O’Reilly used to define the “newer” websites that function as web-applications. According to Tim O’Reilly’s article, “What is Web 2.0?” the difference between the initial Web and Web 2.0 lies within the following example:

Web 1.0 / Web 2.0

DoubleClick –> Google AdSense

Ofoto –> Flickr

Akamai –> BitTorrent

mp3.com –> Napster

Britannica Online –> Wikipedia

personal websites –> blogging

evite –> upcoming.org and EVDB

domain name speculation –> search engine optimization

page views –> cost per click

screen scraping –> web services

publishing –> participation

content management systems –> wikis

directories (taxonomy) –> tagging (“folksonomy”)

stickiness –> syndication

Tim goes on to explain that Web 2.0 is thought to be a core set of principles and practices that tie together one or many groups of websites. These websites contain these sets of principles and stem from the core at various degrees of distance.

As we can see, Web 2.0 has truly emerged as a new set of features and functionality that encompasses modern websites as compared to the websites of the past (Web 1.0). Some popular technologies that are utilized by Web 2.0 websites include: Blogs/Weblogs, Podcasts, Video Streaming, RSS feeds, Social Networking, Social Bookmarking, Tagging, and other forms of communication and social web-based tools.

But with the birth of Web 2.0, emerges the beginning of e-Business 2.0.

What is e-Business 2.0? In the simplest terms, it is the concept that e-Business processes have changed vastly over the last few years and are delivering a new core set of practices and functionality- practices used by some of the larger and more successful corporations of today. Because the Web has emerged into what’s now being referred to as Web 2.0, members are requiring greater functionality to keep them active within websites; customers are requesting more advanced features and capabilities for product ordering, account management and customer support; and website owners require more advanced functionality to control, monitor, manage and statistically track their users and customers in one centralized environment.

Because of these requirements and expectations, technologically advanced systems are considered necessary to control/manage Web 2.0 technologies. Such examples include Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software, Content Management Systems (CMS), sales automation systems, proposal-automation tools, automated submission processes (products, RSS feeds, sitemaps), Customer Support Systems, e-Newsletter Systems, Blogging Systems, Online Payment Solutions with invoicing capabilities, and much more.

These core set of systems are necessary to manage and maintain websites that utilize Web 2.0 features. They are generally easier to access by larger corporations and are frequently more difficult for the smaller business to incorporate into their websites and back-end administrative systems.

Although it is developing, e-Business 2.0 is still in the beginning stages and I predict it will not be available to the masses for at least another five to ten years. Many Web Development companies that target the smaller business find it difficult to offer these solutions in a cost-effective manner and this is why my company, Hudson Horizons, is focusing all of our attention into developing e-Business 2.0 solutions for the small business. We successfully provide e-Business 2.0 solutions in an affordable manner for our clients, and our focus is to continue and offer advanced solutions that help our clients manage the growing needs for offering Web 2.0 features to their customer and members.

Moving into the future, I foresee Web 3.0 becoming a hot topic of discussion- as Web 2.0 is today- but not for at least another ten years. And with this I predict a following of e-Business 3.0 solutions to successfully manage these new breeds of websites. Yes, these may just be coined terms, but I think it’s a great way to easily categorize the features of the Web and allow Web professions to straightforwardly discuss and analyze the Web in an effective manner. I’m excited to see where Web 2.0 takes us!