Websites work. No matter what your business or profession, a website can generate business, promote goodwill among customers and prospects, and deliver strong marketing messages - whether your business is small, large or in-between, well-established or brand-new. People use the Web in greater and greater numbers, more and more every day.
Even if you are a completely local small business, service, contractor or consultant, odds are people have used search engines to look for your web site - and if you don't have a web site... well, you get the picture. Your business Web page delivers that picture to your customers and prospects, and does it 24/7/365.
Perhaps the most common misconception about business websites is that they must offer products for purchase, accept credit cards and process financial transactions, and so on. Nothing could be farther from the truth.
While e-commerce websites are increasingly popular, the vast majority of business websites are still information and communication rather than purchase-oriented. If your business offers products and services appropriate for retail sale over the Internet, then by all means you should consider an e-commerce website.
But if, like most businesses, your products and services aren't intended for Internet sales, you still need a Web page of your own. And you can get one quickly and economically.
The first thing you will need is a Web hosting service - that's the address of your business Web page, and the company that actually stores your business's website on its computers and makes it available to Web users. Many Web hosting companies offer both domain and hosting services. Here are some things to consider as you build a website for your business:
Choosing a Domain Name
Ideally the address of your website will match the name of your business, such as ABC.com; in reality, many addresses are already taken. If that's the case for you, give some thought to an original Web page address/name that reflects your business: ABCmytownname.com, perhaps, or something similar. Remember: your Web page address should deliver your business's name as closely as possible, as well as being memorable and distinctive. Your website's address is a marketing tool too.
Hiring a Web Hosting Service
Look for a Web hosting service that's well-established and has a reputable history. Compare fees and determine what services and features are provided for that fee. Also, don't forget the future - you will find that your business Web site can easily be expanded, updated, grown. Make sure your Web hosting service can accommodate changes and additions, quickly and economically.
Finally, choosing a full-featured service is smart. Does the Web hosting company also offer website creation and website software? What other features, services and products are available or included?
Creating a Website Design
Creating a website is simpler than you might think. Website creation and website software make building a website for your business almost as easy as creating and sending an email. Using website templates, website software lets you accomplish building a website quickly, efficiently, and for a very small price.
Custom website design costs more than making your own Web page, so you'll want to be sure that both your goals for your business website and the capabilities of your Web designer justify the cost of having a custom website.