Incredible Choices to Launch Traditional Website
Most work at home online business startups want a traditional website. Even business owners who’ve been online with a website for years — maintain a traditional website.
What is a Traditional Website
There’s a long and a short explanation that describes a traditional website. The short version is that for most small businesses, it’s a website built using HTML.
According to Wikipedia, HyperText Markup Language (HTML) is the main markup language for creating web pages and other information that can be displayed in a web browser. That’s the purpose of a browser. It reads HTML documents and composes them into visible or audible web pages. HTML elements form the building blocks of all websites.
PHP and MySQL
PHP is an open-source server-side scripting language designed for Web development to produce dynamic Web pages. Wikipedia explains that server-side scripting is a technique used in website design which involves embedding scripts in an HTML source code. PHP does not execute on the viewers PC but is used as one of a number of available methods to deliver HTML. In other words, whatever ever the server side programming language a site uses, the end result is that you deliver HTML regardless of whether a page ends with .html or .php.
HTML vs PHP
Depending on what kind of website you want to publish and maintain, if you want to add lots of content to your website on a regular basis, you want to use PHP. For example, bloggers who post every day rely on PHP.
HTML is primarily for a static website. That’s what a small work at home business wants. It’s the traditional choice.
There are two main differences. One is the cost. The other involves the process of adding, modifying or changing content.
A. A custom PHP site can cost upwards of $10,000 and more, depending on the business requirements.
When it comes to PHP, you can also find a template that’s free. For example, a home business startup can download and install Joomla or Drupal files on their domain — or even use as is on a hosted service.
Even with a free, open source content management system, such as Joomla or Drupal, the less techy site owner most likely needs help with installation. Many need help making some modifications after installation. Many home business startups are able to make these updates. Others need to engage a professional. Some costs could include graphics as well as layout changes.
The downside is what the site ends up looking like. It’s no different than a do-it-yourself scenario. You want a professional appearing site. Some will need help and that help costs money out of your pocket.
Also, a PHP site is dynamic. This means that the content is not really on the site, it’s in the database. Search engines can’t find it in a database.
Google does NOT care what the language is a site is built on. So long as Google can crawl it and read it (html/xhtml content) – then Google is happy. What this means is that a dynamic site, such as one built with PHP, needs to be sure to publish clean URLs for search engines to find the content, index and give it a page rank.
There has been some controversy over dynamic URLS vs static URLs. If you carefully review Google’s webmaster guidelines, you can conclude that clean URLs rewritten as static URLs have a disadvantage. But if you don’t publish clean URLs, the viewing public may not click the link.
B. A custom HTML website design and development can also get up into the high thousands, depending on what’s needed. But most traditional websites built for a work at home business cost quite a bit less. Many web designers offer a flat-fee for a semi-custom site with 8 pages and some nice features for less than $800.
There are hundreds of HTML templates. Some free. Some sell for from $20 up. These HTML templates modifications to generic graphic elements, sometimes a change in the color scheme, and of course page names and navigation. So, there is generally an added cost for a professional web designer to help with this. There’s no way to know exactly what the cost might be, but we’ve done a few for less than $300.
Future changes on an HTML site do need to be done manually. But for most uses, the objective is to create a static site and make few changes, mostly to the text or images. So the cost is generally minimum after launch.
Where a website can get expensive is when ecommerce enters the picture. Software can be purchased an added to a traditional website. Again, some modifications need to be made to the ecommerce add-on, mainly to match the main website design. An added cost is the SSL security and credit card processing fees for sellers with a shopping cart, as well as more storage and bandwidth. These sites definitely want to choose a business web host, ecommerce is a monster subject for another time.
Who Wants to Launch Traditional Website
With all the confusion about the types of site to rely on, the best idea may be to go with both. Launch a traditional website with 5 to 8 content rich, keyword HTML static pages, as well as a WordPress blog that uses dynamic content. This seems to be the best of both worlds. It may serve the home business well for a minor cost — when the goal is to begin the business with a solid foundation for web traffic, site conversions and page ranking.
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