For any business, a website has long been as essential as we used to think business cards were. Websites serve as our business’ 24/7/365 “open store.” No matter where you are on the planet, in any time zone (as long as you have internet access), you can find out quite a lot about any business with a public website. (And with the advent of social media; open review platforms like Yelp; and searches on Google; we now can find out much more about any business without picking up the phone to them at all.)

Websites brought about the ability to do online banking; buy books and music (Amazon); take classes at online universities; and so much more; that they have completely transformed our life in the 21st century. You may not need a website nearly as complex as the ones offered by your financial planner or a clearance house of retail products, but their existence has made it possible to do all kinds of business anywhere at any time.

Websites serve not only to process sales but also serve as the de facto marketing arm for many large and small companies. Websites reinforce companies’ branding efforts. They convey new service and product channels and serve to deliver companies’ key messages on their mission and goals. So where do you start to build one for your Sonoma business?

Why, with Michael Catanzaro of Catanzaro Creations, of course!

This past week on KSVY’s “Marcia’s Medleys” I interviewed Michael about his website business along with tips and recommendations he had for local business owners to ensure they are working with the right web developer for their business and get the best finished site produced. Learn:

  1. What are the key questions business owners should ask their web developer to ensure the project goes smoothly?
  2. What will make for a successful web design project?
  3. Why you should review your competitors’ websites very carefully.
  4. The importance of choosing the right domain name.
  5. Why WordPress is Michael’s platform of choice for web design/development?

Those are just a few of his recommendations for listeners. Tune in and hit the play button to hear about his many years of experience in programming and web development can help your business.

If you prefer to jump around the broadcast recording, here’s where you can find the key points:

Time Topic
3:30 Michael Catanzaro, Web Developer at Catanzaro Creations, Introduction
5:55 How important is having a website to a business owner?
6:20 Michael’s background in computer programming and coding
11:00 SONG: My Funny Valentine – Sting
17:13 SPONSOR: Rick Bolen Photography
18:32 SPONSOR: Law Office of Chip Allen
20:24 What are the key questions business owners should ask their web developer to ensure the project goes smoothly? What do clients most often want to know?
24:30 SONG: An Englishman in New York – Sting
30:25 What are the most important considerations for a business owner to make in collaboration with the website designer? What will make for a successful web design project?
31:50 Michael: Have an objective/goal; determine what you do and don’t like about competitors’ websites.
33:28 SPONSOR: Constance Sharpe Real Estate
34:20 WEBSITE TIP: Have a great domain name that includes your business name and type of business. Don’t use acronyms in your domain name.
35:07 SPONSOR: Hopmunk Tavern
37:48 Why is WordPress the platform of choice for web design/development?Michael: Ease of use, plug ‘n’ play capabilities, customers maintain complete ownership of site and can easily update it like a Word document
38:50 Michael: I try to demystify websites for clients; reasons to shop around your website services if you’re not happy with results.
39:30 What do you want your customers (visitors) to experience on landing at the site?
40:00 All about website banners, scrolling, above or below “the fold”
41:15 SONG: The Windmills of my Mind – Sting
46:40 How to reach Michael Catanzaro
47:00 Michael: How to optimize your website and ensure you’re getting the most out of it for your audience.
48:40 How do you decide what should go first on a home page and in the design?
49:46 The difference between a web developer and a web designer.
50:34 Are you trying to put yourself in the seat of the site visitor to anticipate what they would want to see on the webpage?
52:36 What do you see as some of the trends happening in website design?
53:34 So you’re not designing 3 separate websites for phone, tablet and desktop?
54:20 TIP: Michael: Things for website owners to ensure that they get from their web designer.
56:11 What do you advise your clients about secure certificates? (SSL)