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A web site is a web site is a web site... right?

From a user perspective, when you go from one web site to another, they all begin to look and feel pretty much alike. But from a designer or developer's perspective, for several reasons they are all very different. I won't bore you with the details regarding the differences in coding or how the languages work together, but suffice it to say, there are a lot of tools available to developers that allow for flexibility in meeting a vast array of customer requirements.

As the site owner, it's important for you to understand some of the differences and what the implications are for your business before you dive into a decision. Will your site choice require maintenance staff on an ongoing basis or to monitor security? Will you require SSL (Secure Socket Layer for sites that allow credit card purchases or require encryption)? Do you just want a site that provides information about your company and allows visitors to contact you? Do you require a site that allows you to update and/or maintain a member's list to send newsletters?

All of these questions need to be asked before you sit down with your developer of choice. Without a clear understanding of how this technology works, it's easy for developers to over-sell you on a web design. Before you know it, you could be in for tens of thousands of dollars while being stuck with a web site that delivers more than you need and not what you want.

I encourage you to read about some of the different types of sites available to you in the web design section of this site. I have personally explored many of the options listed and perhaps my trial and error can help you avoid making a choice you may regret later.

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