It took me two more years of books, courses and investigation as well as a fight with the designers for my domain name and files to finally realize that my site, though beautiful to behold and very much there on the Internet, was a write-off in terms of function. I began again, by myself.
This time I had the expertise and assistance of thousands of individual designers creating open source (free) software and authors offering in-depth marketing insights. There was a backlash to those who would take advantage. This is the distillation of that education.
A simple shift in perspective of how the internet works will put you nose to nose with your web designer or internet marketing team to confidently pose the questions to get the answers you want and a website that is not only cost effective and scaleable but your most trusted 24 hour employee.
The Internet ≠ WWW
This is one of the most critical distinctions to understand before proceeding. The World Wide Web is a database of information. It contains every bit of text, image and video from bombs to porn to scientific discoveries that has ever been input. It is a filing cabinet, a reference repository. It is pure content. It is the brain.
The Internet on the other hand is the mind. It is the way we retrieve, use and disseminate that vast amount of information. It is the context. The function of your website has to interface with the way the Internet functions. I make this distinction because many web designers know how to build a website to hold and display your information, but that does not necessarily mean they know how to put your website into play to its best advantage on the Internet. The question becomes: “Can the same guy who changes the oil in your car fix your GPS system?” Ask.
You might be dazzled by a beautiful site with a flash intro and all kinds of bells and whistles only to find after you have a hefty development bill that the whole site is invisible to the search engines. You see the site. It is there on the Internet, but only the people who are sent there can get there. The Google algorithm reads text only and unless your site is backed up by text behind the video or images or captured in a site map (see SEO - Search Engine Optimization), you are invisible.