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    8 Replies Latest reply on Nov 22, 2008 2:08 PM by Billions

    How Can I Get a Simple Business Networking Site Started?

    Billions Wayfarer
      I would like to start a simple professional business networking website for the most affordable price. I would like this website to look authentic, simple, and professional. Where can I find the cheapest prices and what are the elements that drives the price up when making these kind of websites?
        • Re: How Can I Get a Simple Business Networking Site Started?
          intechspecial Ranger

          As familiar with web development I can point out a few key items that might interest you.

          Volunterer Developer: You can try and find a volunteer web developer. Volunteer web developers are usually students or newly formed companies, and although hard to come buy it will be even more difficult to find one that offers professional work since they are usually just breaking into the field.

          Utilize an Open Source Solution: An open source solution might be a positve resource for you as well, but you may need to learn about the paticular solution to have it work correctly. Some professionals take this work to a new level, and their is a member of this community that does as such. I find that all in this community agree his work is outstanding. His company user name goes by "Mongoose".

          Utilize an Online Website Package: Homestead is an example of this. Professionals in the industry look down on these offerings for two reasons. The first being that it takes away from potential business they might have incurred. The second is that it does usually have a "generic look" and the site itself does more to help the Search Engine Rankings of the host company and not your website.

          Final Suggestions: One thing to think about is that when you contact a web development company, you are requesting their services. Look at it in terms of buying a car. If you walk into a car lot stating "I want a fast luxury car, with a sunroof, power everything, mag wheels, 5 years of Onstar, a 30 year warranty, 2 years free gas, and 300 references to satisfied customers", you are not being realistic, and the costs will sky rocket. It is always best when working with a web development company to let them tell you what they offer and you can then decide. Walking onto the car lot stating "do you have anything that looks good and runs decent at a fair price?", is a much better question and will be taken at a better level from your sales person. You also need to make sure that you understand the technologies you will be utilizing. An ecommerce and or business networking site utilizes html, programming code that queries, reads, writes, and deletes content from a database. This will increase costs drastically. An html website only utilizes html, but is not able to support a simple business networking site.

          Good luck in your efforts, and welcome to the community!

          Mike

          • Re: How Can I Get a Simple Business Networking Site Started?
            My_Lan Adventurer
            For getting the basics of starting any webpage, you can read a simple FAQ here: http://www.my-lan.us/services/web_design/faq.php
            • Re: How Can I Get a Simple Business Networking Site Started?
              DomainDiva Ranger
              In order to control costs for web site development you need to do the following:

              Become a real company, wtih a corp, LLC or something. Have stock. Develop some corporate governance rules. Find some professional friends and ask them to be on your board of directors. These have to be the kind of friends that will slap you if you do something stupid. An accountant, attorney. Open a business account at a Bank thats NOT in trouoble (BofA, Chase)

              Next...the website:
              Define the purpose of the web site.
              Define the website content.
              Define the website structure, home page, links, how to submit information, upload docs etc.
              You will want to at least use Visio Standard to make the website diagrams and design the structure. You can purchase it at Best Buy.

              Find a website airchitect and work with them. CLOSELY.

              If this is your first venture into something like this and you do not have a 'team' (that is a key person that talked all of his/her freinds into drinking your kool-aid) try and find someone (designer/developer) local, you will be spending a lot of time with them. Take your visio and shop web designers and developers, if someone drinks your kool aid at a fair price then go for it. Also check references!!! A good developer/designer will want to show off their work and will gladly give you a tour of their websites and work. If your idea is GOOD ENOUGH, then players may also take stock options plus less cash.

              The most important thing I learned from my software architects/designer/developer is that the technical people will take a 3 click idea and turn it into a mouse over idea. Gio with it, and be willing to adopt design changes a developer/designer may suggest.

              You have to have some money. Don't expect Venture Capital money to come floating your way. (like I did, hahahahahaha on me).

              The biggest cost in any project are changes. (trust me)
              • Re: How Can I Get a Simple Business Networking Site Started?
                intechspecial Ranger
                A more simplified and cost effective way of doing things is to go to the different "Social Networking" sites and steal some of their traffic.

                Go to Facebook, Twitter, Yahoo Groups, SBOC, etc. Once there find different indivduals that you feel will meet your requirements to build a business network.

                Go to Blogspot, and set up a free blog. Once your site starts recieving decent traffic, put a few google adsense ads on the blog.

                Before you know it, you will have a full blown business network site, that competes with the best.

                The down side to this is unless it is private community, you will have to accept everyone into your site.