Small Business Web Site Design and Development - Step-by-Step Overview


Were focused on the basics of designing, developing and promoting web sites for small businesses, with emphasis on simple, effective and affordable web page design, development and promotion.   We specialize in first-time web pages for sole proprietorships and other small businesses, as well as larger web sites for companies with more extensive needs.  Initial consultations are free of charge. 

AJR Web Site Services - Small Business Web Site Developers

Based in the Houston-Galveston Texas Area

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[ Step-by-Step Overview ] Design and Development ] Registration ] Hosting ] Publishing ] Promotion ] Maintenance ] Visitor Logs ] Pricing ] FAQ ] Sample Sites ] Glossary ] Links ]

Small Business Web Site Design and Development - Step-by-Step Overview

The following are some of the basic decisions and steps that must be taken into account, planned, and carefully executed in order to establish a successful web site. 

  • Making the Decision to Develop a Business Web Site - Your competitors have web sites.  Your associates have web sites.  You are looking for better ways to promote your business.  You have been tempted for some time to make the business leap to establish an internet presence for yourselfand you have made the decision to do so.  What next? 

  • Choosing a Domain Name (Your Web Address) - Every web site starts with a domain name, and the site is made "findable" on the Internet via its domain name or web address  (for example,,,, etc.)  A domain name can be the name of a business, a person, or a catchy business phrase, usually (for small businesses) ending in ".com".  The domain name does not necessarily have to match the exact name of your business, but should be at least related to your business.  One of the first steps in establishing an Internet presence is to decide on, and ensure the availability of, your chosen domain name.  One of the best sites to check the availability of any given domain name is: 

  • Registering the Domain Name - There is a yearly cost associated with registering a domain name.  Network Solutions is the best known domain registrar and charges $35 per year for domain registration, but they are not the only domain name registrars.  Others are less expensive, but some of those less expensive registrars are also less reliable.  Be cautious of how and with whom you register your domain name. 

  • Choosing a Web Site Host - The web host is an Internet Service Provider (ISP) who provides "space" for your domain on one of their network servers or host computers.  By "renting" space from a web host, your web site becomes viewable on the Internet.  (Web hosts are not to be confused with Internet connection providers, which is another type of Internet Service Provider whose services you will require if you do not already have a dial-up or broadband ISP for your regular internet connection).  There are generally monthly, quarterly, or yearly costs associated with web hosting. 

  • Establishing an Internet Connection (if you don't already have one) - Most people have some type of Internet Service Provider (ISP) that provides them with either dial-up service to connect to the Internet (such as AOL or a local ISP) or high-speed, broadband service such as a DSL or cable Internet connection (RoadRunner, for example).  These ISP's are necessary for you to get general Internet access, to exchange e-mail with other people, etc.  These type of ISPs or "connection" providers are generally NOT the same as web hosts, above.  If you don't already have one of these types of ISPs, you'll most likely want one if for no other reasons than to be able to view your web site once it is published to the Internet and to send and receive e-mail from prospective customers who may wish to contact you via your web site.  There are generally monthly, quarterly, or yearly costs associated with Internet connection ISPs. 

  • Designing and Developing the Web Site - You'll either need to purchase a web site development software program (such as Microsoft FrontPage) and learn how to use it correctly and effectively, or you'll need to hire someone to do the job for you.  That's a business decision you'll have to make based on your own needs and wants, your budget,  and how much overall responsibility for your web site you want to take on yourself.  The cost of designing and developing your web site is either in your purchase of the software tools and investing a LOT of your time learning to use it, or hiring someone to perform the design and development tasks. 

  • Publishing the Web Site - Websites can be published in many ways.  Programs like Microsoft FrontPage can be set up to do your web publishing directly via their software program (as long as you have an Internet connection, have purchased the software, and have learned how to use it), or you can use File Transfer Protocol (FTP) programs to do the same thing (these programs also generally need to be purchased, adding an extra expense to the process).  If you hire someone to develop and publish your site for you, they will use the publishing method that works best for themwhichever method they generally make use of.  The cost of publishing to the web is either in purchasing the software tools and investing time learning how to use them, or hiring someone to perform this task. 

  • Promoting the Web Site - Web site promotion (very much the same as "advertising" your site on the Internet), can be a very complex and time consuming process.  Many Internet business provide such services, there are certain steps your site developer can take to help you promote your web site, and there are steps you can take yourself to promote your web site on the Internet.  The costs of promoting your web site will vary greatly, depending on if you wish to take on part of this task yourself, have your hired designer/developer perform this task, or hire a third-party service provider to perform the task.  Remember, too, that "search engine optimization" is part of the promotional aspect that has its roots in the design and development process.  By designing the web pages correctly, those pages are optimized for search engine friendliness, enabling and encouraging search engines to rank the site favorably. 

  • Updating and Maintaining the Web Site - Most web sites, or at least some of the pages that make up the sites, should be updated periodically to keep their information current.  Additionally, new pages may need to be added periodically to showcase other of your business capabilities or to elaborate further on products or services that you provide.  The cost of updating and maintaining your web site will vary, depending on how much maintenance or updates are involved, whether you yourself will perform the updates, or whether you will pay the designer/developer to periodically make updates, when necessary. 

[ Step-by-Step Overview ] Design and Development ] Registration ] Hosting ] Publishing ] Promotion ] Maintenance ] Visitor Logs ] Pricing ] FAQ ] Sample Sites ] Glossary ] Links ]

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Developing a small business Internet web site can be an affordable and cost-effective solution to keep up with business competitors (or indeed, to leap ahead of them), adding unlimited visibility for you, your products, and your services.  A web site provides a way for you to make your products and services visible to prospective customers 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.  If you are depending (and spending) too much on hardcopy advertising using tools such as yellow pages and directory ads, mail-outs, fliers or other attention-grabbers, a small business web site may be the answer for youthe answer to more effectively use a portion of your advertising budget.  At AJR Web Site Services, we don't do high-end, complex, expensive web page development.  Instead, we focus on the basics of effective web page design and development, domain name registration, hosting, publishing, promotion, and maintenancejust the things that a small business needs to get the right start on the Internet.  We can take your business through the entire process, doing as little or as much as you need us to do.  Almost anyone can publish a web site to the Internet, but it takes special effort to publish a site that is "findable" by the major search engines and to obtain listings in the major Internet directories When your site attracts those major search engines and gets listed in the major directories, it also attracts the visitors who use those search engines and directories.  By designing web pages that are "search engine friendly," we make it easy for your site to attract the major search engines, which, in turn, attracts the visitorsvisitors who are looking for your products and services.  Our web sites are designed with emphasis on  these concepts.  We incorporate the right design elements into the web pages, then use effective methods to promote the web site.  Our web services also include writing and editing of text, photography services for illustrative visuals, and placement of existing graphics, company logos, or other promotional information within the site material.  Whether you have only a rough idea of what you want, or if you've got a clear concept about the web site you'd like developed, we can help in the web page design and development processdoing as little or as much as you need us to do.  If you need help with an existing small business web site, or if you've got a site that's just not working for you, we can provide consultation services for site improvement.  Services include editing and rewriting of existing text for clearer and more concise presentation and communications, as well as evaluation and recommendations for correct and effective meta data presentation (effective use of hidden titles, descriptions, and keywords) to enhance search engine and directory promotions.  Our physical operations are based with accessibility to the Houston, Galveston, and Clear Lake, Texas, areasbut we can work with businesses in virtually any area of Texas, the United States, and beyond. 

We have the ability to work with small businesses in any part of Texas or the United States, but for work with our local customers, regional areas of service include (but are not limited to):  Harris County, Galveston County, Brazoria County, Chambers County, Fort Bend County, Liberty County, Montgomery County, Waller County.  A partial listing of cities includes:  Aldine, Alief, Alvin, Angleton, Arcola, Atascocita, Bacliff, Barker, Barrett, The Bay Area, Bayou Vista, Baytown, Beaumont, Bellaire, Port Arthur, Port Bolivar, Champions, Channelview, Clear Lake City, Clear Lake Shores, Cloverleaf, Conroe, Crosby, Crystal Beach, Cypress, Deer Park, Dickinson, El Lago, Ellington Field, Friendswood, Kingwood, Galena Park, Galveston, Gilchrist, Hedwig Village, The Heights, High Island, Highlands, Hitchcock, Hockley, Houston, Huffman, Hufsmith, Humble, Hunters Creek Village, Jacinto City, Jamaica Beach, Jersey Village, Katy, Kemah, Kingwood, Klein, La Marque, La Porte, Lake Houston, Lake Jackson, League City, Manvel, Missouri City, NASA JSC area, Nassau Bay, Needville, North Houston, Park Row, Pasadena, Pearland, Prairie View, Red Bluff, Rice University, Richmond, Rosenberg, San Leon, San Jacinto, Santa Fe, Seabrook, Sealy, South Houston, South Shore Harbour, Southside Place, Spring, Spring Valley, Stafford, Stuebner, Sugar Land, Sylvan Beach, Taylor Lake Village, Texas City, Tiki Island, Tomball, Webster, West University Place, The Woodlands 

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