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What do I need to create a website?

If you are not sure what you need, or what questions to ask, this should help.

Website overview 
If you want to have a website, you need three things to get you started. You need a domain name (e.g. yourcompany.com), you need a website (the actual web pages that people will see), and you need that domain and website hosted (this is essentially hiring part of a computer to store your web pages to everyone can see them).

Hosting and domain purchasing 
We offer a full domain purchasing and hosting service. If you are not sure what domain you want, let us have a look to see what's available and then you can choose. We can then set up an appropriate website hosting package for you or your business. As part of the package, you can also see statistics about the visits to your website. For example, what websites people were on before they came to yours, what pages they looked at on your site, even things like what geographical location they were in and what sort of web-browser they were using!

Website design 
We offer a full website design and programming service.

Technology Overview 
The technologies used when creating websites can range from the very simple to the very complex. For example, a simple website (also known as a 'static' website) with text and pictures that has no user interaction will have very different technological requirements to a website requiring users to log in, search a database for results, display results in graphical formats and provide a more interactive and richer experience for the user.
A website requiring data to be captured, or results from a search to be displayed, or different text to be displayed based on a user's preferences is generally known as a 'database-driven' website. A database is simply a method of storing information on a computer that allows that information to be retrieved and updated quickly (think of an Excel spreadsheet, and you're heading down the right road...).

At Streamline, we tailor the technology we use to meet your requirements. If you don't need all the whistles and bells on your website (let's face it, sometimes too many whistles and bells confuse people and force them to move on to your competitor's website), we won't try & talk you into using them.
However, if you need a more interactive website that affords your customers greater freedom to search for and interact with your products or services, we have the technology.

Using the latest technologies (such as Microsoft .NET, SQL Server, PHP, MySQL) we can create a bespoke solution that will exactly match your requirements. If you want to discuss the technologies we use and why we use them, just ask and we'll explain exactly what we are doing. However, if you are happy have an overview and would rather not have all the techno-speak, we'll protect you from it and give you a plain English explanation.

Core modules 
Sometimes the functionality required in websites can be broken down into core modules. Examples of these are:
  • Logging in and then limiting the areas of the website visible depending on the user's level of authority
  • Searching for a product, person, place, service etc.
  • Showing more detailed information about a particular product or service from the search results
  • Allowing your Customers to participate in an online questionnaire, be it about the service you have given them, what they may want in future or a lifestyle-type questionnaire
  • E-Commerce functionality (basket processing, online payments etc)
  • Allowing you to take control of the content of your website (a Content Management System, or CMS for short). Here, you could upload new text/pictures for your pages, upload the latest products into your catalogue, change who is allowed to log in and what they can see in your website - the possibilities are endless.
  • Multi-language websites. If you have, or are hoping for, Customers from around the world, you can make your website display it's text in any language you want. s
  • Provide online reporting. You can view your company data online in a variety of formats, for example in tables like Excel, or coloured bar graphs.
Web-based applications 
If your website performs some of your business functions, helps with your business processes and stores some of your mission-critical business information, we like to call it a web-based application. You've put a lot of work into it, and it's no longer just a website to you or your company or perhaps even your customers. It is a software application that happens to be on the web, hence the name.

The World is your Office 
The beauty of a website (and especially a web-based application) is that you don't have to be sat at your desk in the office to access it. More and more people are now enjoying working at home days. Just think, you could access your latest sales figures, your latest customer orders, or the number of people who have completed your customer questionnaire from the comfort of your home. And that doesn't just apply to you. Your customers and clients can also use the web-based applications whenever they want.

Security 
Obviously, data security is a key issue at the moment, and we are acutely aware of people's concerns. To this end, we only use the most secure hosting and data management centres. Again, we will only employ these measures when they are necessary. If you have a simple static website that is only there to let people know you exist and to encourage them to pick up the phone to you, you don't need an ultra-secure website and database. However, if you are storing Customer details, sales details or any other sensitive information, you will.

The Google Question! 
Google is part of our culture now. People want information, and they want it now, and an awful lot of them are using the Google websites to find it. As well as providing links to information, people use Google to find products and services. If you want people to find you on the web, you need to be listed on Google. If you want to be listed on Google, you need a professional to design your website so it gets 'noticed' by Google. There are many, many things you can do to a website to ensure it is ranked highly by Google (this whole concept is called Search Engine Optimisation, or SEO). At Streamline, we stick to what we are good at. We are not experts in the field or SEO, but we know people who are.



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