What is SSL?
“Initialism of Secure Sockets Layer. Cryptographic protocols which provide secure communications on the Internet”
It’s the perfect definition. Unless you’re, you know, not a computer. An SSL certificate makes a conversation on the Internet secret. If you’re a merchant (someone who sells online), it means customers can enter their credit card information on your website, and the information is much less likely to get stolen than if you had no certificate.
A payment gateway is a service that captures payment information for certain payment methods (usually credit card details) from customers, donors or supporters when they complete a transaction. The gateway creates a message in a format that can be processed by a bank or financial institution. Payment gateways are discussed in greater detail in our e-commerce section.
The buying and selling of products and services online, including order placement, receipt and payment. e-commerce is discussed in greater detail in ‘e-commerce’.
What are the Benefits Of Having A Website?
Some of the goals that can be achieved by launching a website include the following:
1. Far Cheaper and Much More Flexible Than Traditional Advertising
The Internet is extremely different from traditional media in that space is cheap, your advertisement is accessible for a longer period of time, the content can be changed without having to ask someone to do it for you (if you use a content management system) and you can potentially reach a much wider audience.
This is not to say that you should not use other forms of advertising at all .
Traditional media is a great tool to entice people to visit your website to find out more about your company or seek out online offers.
2. Market Expansion
The Internet has allowed businesses to break through geographical barriers and become accessible, virtually, from any country in the world by any potential customer that has internet access.
3. Diversify Revenue Streams
A website is not just a medium for representation of your company, it is a form of media from which everybody can acquire information. You can even use this media to sell advertising space to other businesses.
A recent trend has risen where businesses feature their very own directory of complimentary services, where the visitor can search for information on a business that will enhance the use of your service. The business sells complimentary businesses a listing in their directory.
A good example is a catering company featuring a directory with businesses such as event co-coordinators, electronic equipment rental companies, etc.
4. 24/7 , 365 Days a year
No more turning customers away when its time to close shop, putting up a note saying closed for public holiday , or leaving an irritating message on your answering service specifying your trading hours – tell them to visit your website for the information they are looking for.
5. Offer Convenience
It is far more convenient for a person to research a product on the internet than it is to get in a car, drive somewhere and look for ,or ask someone for information, on a product. Also, a potential customer won’t have to judge a salesperson to determine whether he/she has their best interests in mind, or just wants to make a sale.
The potential customer can visit your website whenever they like, in their own privacy and comfort, without the stresses and distractions that exist in the real world .
Your website is a self-service medium to present your products or services and to help to make sales easier.
6. Add Value and Satisfaction
By offering convenience, a point of reference and that touch of individualised customer service, you ultimately add value to your offering and your customers experience a higher level of satisfaction.
Your website can add value in other ways too, by featuring tips, advice and general interest content you can entertain your customers. This will also help them remember you better.
7. Standardise Sales Performance
By looking at which approaches/pitches have worked in the past ,and those which have not, you can produce the ultimate pitch for use on your website and aim it at every customer. No more training of sales people and waiting for them to get a feel for your line of trade.
8. Improve credibility
A website gives you the opportunity to tell potential customers what you are about and why you deserve their trust and confidence. In fact, many people use the internet for pre-purchase research so that they can determine for themselves whether a particular supplier or brand is worthy of their patronage, and won’t take them for a ride.
The internet also allows for Viral Marketing, where your website visitors spread positive word-of-mouth about your business – your customers do your marketing!
9. Promote your Brick and Mortar Presence
Getting lost trying to find a place can be frustrating for a potential customer. You can publish a map on your website, which shows directions and landmarks graphically, and the potential customer can use it when looking for your bricks and mortar premises.
You might also advertise a promotion on your website encouraging the visitor to visit your actual premises (e.g.. At a branch near you! ).
If you move to a new location the flexiblity that a website offers by being able to change the content ,and your details instantly, lowers the risk of losing customers
They can always find you on the internet!
10. Growth Opportunity
A website serves as a great place to refer potential investors, to show them what your company is about, what it has achieved and what it can achieve in future.
11. Two-Way Communicative Marketing
Customers can quickly and easily give feedback on your product and/or marketing approach.
12. Cheap Market Research
You can use features on your website such as visitor polls, online surveys and your website statistics to find out what your customers like more and how they feel about certain aspects of your business to determine how you can improve your product and the way you do business.
Website statistics show you how much traffic your website receives, how the visitor got to your website and where, geographically, the visitor is from.
Does Your Email Address Work For You or Against You?
Your email address is a valuable tool to market your business. Make it work for you – why should your business promote Yahoo, Hotmail, Gmail, Bigpond, Optus, or any other mail provider at your expense?
Customers expect your business to have a domain name and website. An address like firstname.lastname@example.org tells them you’re a serious business person with an online domain (yourcompany.com.au) where they can find you. The words that come after the @ sign make an important statement about your business and how your customers see you.
What is Hosting?
Hosting (also known as Web site hosting or Web hosting) is the business of housing, serving, and maintaining files for one or more websites. More important than the computer space that is provided for website files is the fast connection to the Internet. Most hosting services offer connections on T1 lines. Typically, an individual business hosting its own site would require a similar connection and it would be very expensive. By using a hosting service most companies share the cost of a fast Internet connection for serving files.
What is a Domain name?
A domain name is the name you enter into the address bar of a browser (such as Internet Explorer or Firefox) to get to a site on the web. For example: lastsolutions.com.au, google.com.au, yahoo.com.au are all domain names.FAQ
It is preferable the domain name is short (1 to 3 words), easy to remember, and representative of your business.