Choosing the best domain name for your website is a daunting task. Actually thinking of a great domain name is not hard, finding a great name, or even a good-enough name, that’s not taken is the hard part.
Choose .com instead of .net, .co, .biz, etc., (.other)
never use a .net domain as your primary business domain”
The most important criteria when choosing a domain is to select a .com domain if possible. The reason a company considers a .other domain is often because someone else is already using the .com version of the domain. Usability studies have proven that when someone hears or reads a domain name, by the time they type it in their web browser they’re most likely going to type .com anyway. If you do choose to go with a .other be aware that a signfiant portion of the cost and effort you put into your website will benefit the .com version, not yours.
Sometimes people see that their .com is not currently developed and assume that since there is no site on the .com the .other is a viable option. In these cases it’s even more important not to choose the .other. A domain squatter dreams about a company investing a ton of money into developing and marketing a .other website for which the squatter owns the .com. It raises the value of the .com significantly and it’s very easy to squeeze the .other domain holder into paying an exorbitant price for the .com when the squatter puts up a porn site.
This means that even if the perfect domain name is not available (such as mycompanyname.net or myexactkeywords.net) you’ll be far better off to select a .com even if it’s not as desirable of phrase.
A note about .org domains. If your organization is a nonprofit it’s generally best practice to have your primary website on a .org domain. However, never do so unless you can also buy the .com for the same reasons mentioned above. It’s easy to set your .com version to redirect to your .org website.
.Com Provides Credibility to your Organization
The .com domain extension is the preeminent domain extension of the internet. It is the most recognizable of any domain extension and it is used by almost all Fortune 500 companies. It’s the Cadillac of domain extensions and it’s human nature to give more credibility so someone driving a Cadillac than a Geo Metro.
It is more effective to build a brand using a .com domain. Studies have shown that people remember .com domains better than others (even .org and .gov). A .com domain is going to give you more bang for your marketing buck.
It may seem strange for a Web development company to provide guidelines for how its customers can spend less with us, but really it’s not from our perspective. We believe applying the golden rule not only benefits our customers but also us in the long run. We might make less money in the short term, but we gain the more valuable benefits of building trust with our clients and playing a small part to ensure their long-term success. Such clients will spend more with us over time and become invaluable sources of quality referrals which is how a vast majority of our new business come to us.
So, with that preamble, here are a couple easy ways to reduce your Web development, technical service and graphic design costs:
Maximize the value of each change request
Like almost all Web development and design firms, we have a minimum charge for any task of one hour . This is due to the fact that to switch to a new client’s project, for even a small amount of work, compromises the efficiency of our day’s work flow and imposes an opportunity cost. We have to transition from another project, retool, login to appropriate accounts, backup data before changes, post changes, often test the changes (for example in different browsers) then communicate back to the client regarding the work.
The key for clients to realize is that once we have initiated a change request, the incremental cost is much lower for us doing other small changes while we’re already working within a client’s account. For example take a client who sends over three Website content change requests during a week. Each change may take 10 minutes of actual coding, but if they send those requests at three different times they would get billed 3 hours. If they save those requests and send them all at once they would only get billed for 1 hour or 66% less.
This strategy of course has the most dramatic effect for small changes that are not extremely urgent, and can most commonly be applied for changes for Website content. So if you find yourself with numerous small changes throughout the month, simply try holding them in an Outlook folder or whatever and sending them in groups.
Save 15% by prepaying
We offer prepaid hours with a 15% discount off our standard rates. There is no minimum quantity, you can use them immediately, they never expire and unused hours are 100% refundable. You can also track your prepaid balance real-time through our online client portal.
Save up to 40% through our retainer plans
For any client who regularly gets at least twenty hours of service from us a month you will save a significant amount of money through our flat-rate retainer. Not only do you receive a substantial discount on the number of hours in your plan, you are also entitled to a discount on additional hours each month if you should need them. Flat-rate retainers are paid in advance of each month. Additional hours are billed at a discounted rate of your hourly retainer rate + 20% and payable net 15. Unused hours in flat rate plans are not refundable nor carried over to the next month. Retainers automatically renew but can be canceled at any time. If you have any questions or would like us to personally review your ongoing service needs and provide recommendations please feel free to contact us by phone at 208.475.3192 or through our online contact form.
I want to point out a great post that Seth Godin made a couple years ago. It’s one of my favorite short articles to reference before starting a branding or design project —The inevitable decline due to clutter.
As is his gift, he does a great job of articulating minimalism; a principle of design and communication that has become critical for success in this age of massive information overload.
I’m having a hard time not quoting his whole post because it’s so good, but in the spirit of minimalism here are the best parts:
“As digital marketers seek to increase profits, they almost always make the same mistake. They continue to add more clutter, messaging and offers, because, hey, it’s free.”
“Once you overload the user, you train them not to pay attention.“
“More is not always better. In fact, more is almost never better.“
This presentation from Colin Robertson at TED is one of the best demonstrations of concise and effective communication that I’ve ever seen. It has great object lessons that can be applied to Web design and marketing communication in general.
Here are the main takeaways I got from the presentation:
He uses very few words, but the words he does use are the key messages of his presentation. So much of Web and print design would be much more effective with fewer but better chosen words.
It’s out of the ordinary (way out of the ordinary) and creates a unique memorable experience. How long will you remember this presentation? How long would you have remembered it if he would of taken up the three minutes talking?
The nonverbal communication which comprised 99% of the message is “quality” in the sense that it’s professionally orchestrated. The effect would not of been nearly as powerful or long lasting if that level of effort wasn’t put into the production. It’s the cumulative effect of many small details being done correctly. Same applies to Web design, overall quality is achieved by paying attention to many details which result in the cumulative effect of providing credibility to the message.
I think this is a very important point–a significant portion of the content was provided with collaboration from the audience.