I was wondering if anybody out there know the basics of starting a business website involving selling a product, especially if it’s “information” oriented such as your own how-to instructions. Also, a site where you sell a basic product.
I have read the “40hr. workweek” and have checked out some "internet how-to books. Basically, the only information I get is more of a motivational type info like “use words that sell!” etc. But no one tells you how to build it nuts&bolts from the ground up. They will also say to join an affiliate program to get free “click” revenue.
Where do you go, what do you do? Do you simply hire a web design company and tell them in broad strokes what you want?
Also, what kind of start-up and ongoing prices would I be looking at?
Look at 1and1.com
They have packages that can set you up.
XHTML is easy to learn but it can get harder as you get more complex. The hardest part is simply getting your website to work in different browsers. You have IE, Mozilla based (Firefox, K-Meleon), Opera, Google etc etc…
Not only will your site look different in different browswers it will vary from one version of the browser to the next.
Making money of the Internet is very hard. Amazon the most successful company has between a 25% - 30% click through rate. In other words around 3/4 of the people that click into Amazon don’t buy. Most commerical sites success is measured in TENTHS of ONE percent.
Check 1and1.com. They have cheap packages for WYSIWYG editors to simple packages
Do you have a business plan? Have you ever run a business? Do you have a product or service that you can sell right now? If you haven’t looked into the basics of running a simple business, your “web” business will fail in no time.
I suggest you visit nolo.com and check out these links before you do anything else:
Start Your Own Business - 50 Things You Need To Do
Starting And Running A Business
If you read the 4hr Workweek as you say, you’ll know that rentacoder will get your site done for cheap.
In this case, you do NOT want to paint in “broad strokes.” A high-quality, highly-paid website company may fill the details in for you, but with the cheaper guys you should think of it like you’re doing the work yourself but have this magical computer program that makes the job easier. Be very concrete with what you want, draw pictures, and get it done in pieces. The more work you put in, the better the result.
Most important thing is communicate. You’ll learn a lot talking to the people in rentacoder as they’re bidding on your project or doing it. Of course, you’ll also be able to mitigate future problems.
Also, given the prices, try to get a couple people to do each thing. There’ll be twice as good a chance for good results and you’ll learn twice as quickly.