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Websites & Online Marketing - What questions should I ask?

My name is Leanne Chapman from Redcow Marketing. If you are planning on getting a new website, changing the one you already have or want to look at online marketing I have put together this guide to help you be better informed and know the questions to ask.

1 What Do You Want Your Website To Do For You? So often, noone asks this question but please have a think and get clear on what you want your website to do for you today (e.g sell the two products) and what you want in the future (e.g sell 50 products). Then you can clearly articulate this and ensure the site structure will be built to enable growth. Your website should be your best salesperson (it should be you, online!) so make sure the company knows and understands who you are and what you are selling – this is vital to make sure you are represented well online – otherwise, how can they help you grow online? 2

What Does A Website Cost? This varies but will really depend on the design and the functionality on your site rather than the number of pages. Shopping carts and searches will cost more than just text and images. A template site (which uses strict guides for layout and design) will be cheaper than one that is designed to meet your exact look and feel. It is an investment, but one that should add value and give you a return.


What Platform Will My Site Use? If your site is built on a platform owned by the website company, find

out if things like the shopping cart, blogs etc can be moved to another host or company. If they can’t, it can be costly to move companies if you needed to. You can easily move an open source platform such as Wordpress or Drupal.


What Does It Cost To Make Changes Once The Website Is Live? Find this out before agreeing to anything. Is there a minimum fee? What will you be able to make changes to yourself? The hourly rate can vary from $50ph up to around $150ph. Please also remember that cheaper does not mean better, it could take that person twice the time to do the job so also ask for a time estimate before getting work done! What Are The Essential Ongoing Costs? Your domain name costs around $24 per year – some companies mark this up quite a lot so do ask. You should also make sure that you are the registered owner of the domain name so there are no ownership issues in the future. Hosting – this can vary by a huge amount, I have heard of people paying more than $150 per month for a basic site (we charge $10). Charges will depend on the amount of storage and the amount of data used, so a site like redcowmarketing. com should only be around $10 but a site like the Venus Network requires a lot more storage and data so will cost more (all our profiles are stored on there and there are hundreds of people logging in).

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What Other Costs Are There? Online Marketing is the next step to enhancing your online presence. Once your website goes live, this is just the beginning, you now need customers (traffic) coming to your site. There are a few options such as search engine optimisation (the free results in Google) and Google Adwords (the paid results on the top and right in Google). There doesn’t seem to be an industry standard on the cost of this, however I would strongly suggest asking what you get for your investments. A huge part of our service is the ongoing analysis, reporting and advice we offer – traffic is great, but what happens once they get there? What do they do, where do they go? How can we make more people contact/buy from you? What is the return on your investment? I would ask for sample reports, case studies and testimonials in this area. Also determine if they are interested in helping you to grow your business!



What If I Need To Add Functions Down The Track? This should not be a problem, however treat this as a brand new project and go through the same process above. Make sure before you start that the site design can handle the growth, if not, it is best to get this addressed before you grow even more so you don’t end up with an unstable platform, or a site that is too busy to use. I really could fill the whole magazine with tips so if you have a question, please feel free to drop me a line at We really do have a No Bull approach at Redcow Marketing so I am happy to give you clarity!

Venus magazine issue four  
Venus magazine issue four  

A magazine for New Zealand women in business