Gig Harbor Design / Websites and Graphic Design Services - 5315B Point Fosdick Dr. NW - Gig Harbor, WA 98335 - (253) 313-5665
Gig Harbor Design - Your Website Design Solution
Starting A Web Site?

Below are the basic things you need to do before you begin design of you new online venture. All the steps are very important and skipping steps will just slow you down in the end. (Before you begin - PLEASE see the "Do's and Don'ts page and read it ALL.)

1. Pick out a URL - ie: for example. Can be a .com, .info, or .whatever. Try to make it something easy to remember that has to do with what your website is about – not the name of the company. Sometimes, it is a good idea to have more than one URL pointing to the same site. We have a number of them that point to our sites.

2. Purchase the URL.
(URL: Universal Resource Locator. An Internet World Wide Web Address.) We buy our URL's at, but you can choose to purchase from whoever you want. They charge $10.16 per year with a very user friendly interface for changing name servers, url forwarding, whois hiding, etc. They are ranked number 1 by registrar reviewers of price, services and customer service. Click logo below to purchase your URL.


3. Sign up for a Paypal Account ( Skip this step if you are not selling online. This is FREE! You get a free shopping cart and merchant account. You also a Mastercard ATM card and it is easy to transfer money to your regular bank and vise versa. Their cart is also quite customizable if you search the internet for tricks, etc. This gets you up and running quickly. You can think about a more complicated shopping cart once your site is up and you are doing a lot of sales.

We have had some especially good experiences with Paypal lately. First story: someone got a hold of a colleagues paypal info and tried to charge a $900 camera on ebay. Paypal immediately contact the account holder and wanted to verify the charge. It was fraudulent! The money was immediately returned to the account. And even more recently, we had a someone make a purchase on one of our websites. It was an instant payment. The next day we shipped the product, entered the tracking info into Paypal and assumed the transaction was successfully completed. Two days later, the funds were put on HOLD. We contacted Paypal to find out what had happened. The purchaser had frauded their bank and the bank took the money back. Paypal granted us our "Sellers Rights Guarantee" and the money was refunded to our account. KUDOS TO PAYPAL!


4. Next, you need some one to host your site. That means to store your site on their server and make it accessable to the Internet. It can be by the month, every six months or every year. Up to you. This is usually someone separate from who you purchase the url from (which we recommend). We choose and recommend hosting with . The price is as good as anywhere at about $125 a year. You get UNLIMITED space, unlimited bandwidth and unlimited URL's. Please don't choose a server (host) based on Frontpage extensions. You don't want to use Microsoft Frontpage anyway. Looks cheap. Do research before you decide. This is a very important part of your new online venture. Don't forget to get your FTP (file transfer protocol) information from your host when you sign up. You will need this to upload completed pages to your website server. They consist of login, password, address and sometimes a specific port. Depending on the software you choose to create your webpage, you may also need an FTP client (uploading software).


4a. Gig Harbor Design now offers hosting to our customers. When dealing with all the technicalities of hosting are more than you wish to deal with - we will handle it for you. Host your website with us for $71.40 a year.

5. Now you have to go back to whoever you purchased your website / URL from ( or whoever) and change the dns server to point at the server ( or whoever) you have decided to host your site on. If you are not sure, ask your tech support how to change your dns name servers. It is quite simple.

6. Once this is all done, you can start building your web site. Before you start, look around the internet at sites that are similar to yours. Also, other sites that you just like the look and colors of. It will save a lot of design time in the beginning. Never choose a flash page. They are annoying and require a download just to be viewed. Keep in mind when you are in the design stage, you want a page that is as easy to navigate for the computer wiz next door as it is for your grandma. Also, continuity is very important! Don't get creative and make every page of your site look different. People will get confused. Keep colors the same and keep navigation the same and in the same place.

Basic Pages to get you started:

1. A template page. It is the basic design of your website. All the rest of your pages are based on this page. Some sites have more than one for different sections of the website. This page makes updating design and menu changes super easy.

2. Welcome or Home Page: Intro to what your site is about, contains the menu, usually a photo, brief intro, whatever. This page is usually named index.htm or html or whatever extension you are using.

3. Items or Services Offered Page: What you are selling or offering and how much, etc. You will need pictures (2 sizes) for each item, prices, sizes, colors, options, etc. for what you are selling.

3. About Us Page: A page about you or your company, years in business, expertise, etc. Photo also is good.

4. Links Page: A page to exchange links with similar sites or any links that would make sense for you.

5. Contact Us Page: How to get a hold of you. Name, address, phone, email, whatever you choose.

6. & 7. Two other basic pages you may need are "thank for purchasing with us" and "your transaction has been sucessfully canceled" (if you have a Paypal shopping cart). These pages are optional.


Website Design by : Gig Harbor Design