Reality Check

Cyber-Savings

If you've put off launching a Web site because you're worried about the cost, relax. "There isn't always a correlation between a site's cost and its quality," asserts award-winning site designer Don Fass. "You shouldn't have to spend more than $2,000 for a professionally designed site that generates sales and enhances your company image."

To keep costs low, Fass advises starting small: a one- to five-page site that describes your business and allows users to contact you. Be sure to let people know what's new or special about your products or services.

More than other forms of advertising, Fass says, a Web site should offer value-added material. "A tire shop could feature a primer on the benefits of different types of tires. This value-added information keeps people coming back to the Web site [and reminds them] to patronize the business."

In addition to setup charges, be prepared for additional expenses, such as hosting fees ($25 to $100 per month), the registration fee for the domain name ($50 annually) and updating to keep your site current ($200 to $500 annually). Also factor in the costs of promoting and publicizing your Web site, which can run anywhere from $50 to $500 per month.

Contact Sources

Don Fass, c/o Metro Interactive, 267 Lester Ave., #104, Oakland, CA 94606

Fishman Public Relations, 1141 Lake Cook Rd., Ste. C-1, Deerfield, IL 60015, (847) 945-1300

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