Q. Where do I start for building my website?

Step One - Think about what you want to accomplish with your site. What information is most frequently requested from your organization? What content do you want to provide in a cost-effective manner e.g. specials, news/events, new products, etc?

Step Two - Gather any/all materials that you think might be relevant: logos, pictures, graphics, text, brochures, your scribbles/doodles, etc. More is better.

Step Two and a Half (recommended but not critical) - Research other sites. Start with sites in your field, but also consider sites that you have really liked/disliked for any particular reason. Look for content and features you like as well as designs/layouts.

Step Three - Contact us for a free initial consultation.

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Q. How much do you charge for building a Website that is fully functional and professional in appearance?

With our Complete Web Site Design Packages starting from only $199.99, it has never been easier to get your business or personal online presence.

However, each project is different and some sites are more involved than others. We price jobs on a project basis, not an hourly rate. After an initial free consultation we will provide you with an estimate of the cost to develop your site. Then we will work with you to develop your site within that budget and we will keep you posted on additional costs that may be involved.

One way to reduce the cost of your site is to provide text (and graphics such as logos) in digital format. If you are not proficient at scanning, let us take care of this step for you, however an additional charge accrues.

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Q. What should I consider for an online store?

You must obtain a merchant account through a bank or financial institution (if you already accept credit cards just contact your financial institution and tell them you intend to accept online orders as well)

Decide whether you want offline order processing (swipe, phone or computer entry of credit card orders at your place of business) or real-time order processing (all automatic - you are sent confirmation to fill the order - no order entry on your part). Both methods involve per transaction fees - real time order processing is much more expensive.

Hosting charges will almost always be higher for online shopping sites.

Decide on shipping and return policies up front.

Determine whether you want order integration with a back-end database or accounting package.

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Q. What is domain name? How do I get one?

Our domain name is www.macrostone.com. It's our unique internet address. On the web a domain name is like a unique phone number or street address.

Choosing a domain name for your Web site is one of the most important things you can do for it. Not only should the name you choose be descriptive of what your site entails but it should also be easy for visitors to remember, so they can come back to it easily.

If possible, choose a name that will also serve as a keyword for your site so it will show up higher in search engines when people are looking for sites like yours. For example, if your site is about tennis then tennis.com is probably your best bet for a domain name, but if that one is taken you might want to try allabouttennis.com, tennis_tennis.com or something like that.

We will help you register a unique domain name for your site or you can do it yourself by using registration system, such as Verisign, 2000 Domain.net, etc. Domain names must be less than 67 characters in length (excluding the .com, .org, .net, .biz, .info or .us pieces). You may want to search to see if the domain that you are considering is available first.

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Q. What is hosting? Do I need to have my own server for my online store?

The host is the computer or server that "houses" your Web site. It could be in your back office, at an Internet Service Provider in your town, or it could be hosted in another city. Physical location is not important but the reliability, capabilities and support of the hosting company are very important. For the vast majority of sites, bandwidth and storage are far less important than features, support and reliability. You want your site to be available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and you want a host that will meet your current and growing needs.

Macrostone offers on-site hosting or you can choose your own hosting. We would be happy to guide you through the setup process.

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