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    Home : Net Life : Creating A Web Presence : Strategic Considerations 
Strategic Considerations
The Basics
Creating a Web Presence
Strategic Considerations
Content Considerations
Web Server and Internet Access Considerations
Design Considerations
Using Vendors
Evaluating Web Sites and Designers
Planning For The Future
Resource Locator
Electronic Communications
Electronic Publishing
Electronic Commerce
Online Marketing
As so many organizations are discovering, a Web site can become an integral part of their communications programs.

These and many other uses point to a clear and critical first question when planning a Web site: What do you or your organization hope to gain? Remember that if you don't know where you're going, you'll probably end up somewhere else. Before undertaking the project, ask: What tangible benefits do you expect or require from your Web site? How will you assess its success once it's available on the Internet? What audience would you most like to reach and what will be the goal of your Web presentation? What will you offer on the site that will attract people to it and encourage their return?

Examine your current information and communications flows. Don't just look at the Web as another place to advertise or a different way to distribute product brochures. Ask instead how you can improve communication inside and outside your group or organization to all of the people you interact with including customers, potential customers, press, partners, stakeholders and employees.

Communication Flows

Who will be using your Web site and why? Is it an online marketing tool? Will you also conduct electronic commerce? Is your site a vehicle for electronic publishing, or are you planning to cover a broad range of communications? In an area as fast-paced as telecommunications, are you planning for the future?

In addition to answering these questions, you must be sure to accurately assess:

  • the skills and knowledge present in your organization.
  • the total costs involved: server, access provider, software, phone company, technical support, equipment upgrades and training.
  • the true cost in time it will take to regularly update and maintain your site.
  • how it will coordinate and integrate with your other communications vehicles, such as advertising and public relations.
  • the flexibility and preparedness of your organization for new communication patterns that Internet access or a Web site may bring, both positive and negative.

A good Web site depends a lot upon individual goals. Content considerations, server and access considerations, design considerations and use of vendors will all grow out of your strategic goals and your limitations on budget and available resources. For an organization contemplating a sophisticated Web site, these can be complicated issues. The following sources can help:

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