A Web Site for Your Small Business: How to Set Up a Website
Your web site will be your window to the world. Even if you are not selling any product online still you need your customers to access you 24 hours a day 365 days in a year and you can pass important information to them by hosting frequently asked pages, product descriptions, product improvements etc. Your web site will be your office or interface to the world even when you are away in weekends, sleeping at nights or in an important assignment for your next business expansion. Then how to go about it? We will discuss some basic points here.
Your domain name:
This will be your first step in this direction. Go to www.namecheap.com or www.godaddy.com to book a domain name. Names are not that easy to get so try to get a combination of names best saying about your business or your brand name. If you have a brand name then it is a good idea to book other extensions like .net, .org and other extensions. This way you can prevent cyber squatters from using your brand names.
Your hosting Plan:
To host your website you need some web space. Market is crowed with hosting companies offering you different packages. The price is paid per month basis and rate varies with service and requirements. If you are not comfortable with all the technical terms like bandwidth, GB space, email etc then contact your web designer or the web programmer to handle the issue. Or go for the lowest one and based on the requirements you can ask for extra facility. Any time you can change your hosting provider if you are not happy with them. To start with you can spend less than $5 per month for hosting. If you have plan to store your customer details, newsletter management, member login etc then you will require database support.
Designing your site:
Engage a designer or web developer for your web site. Design of your site will depend on type of business you are. Avoid using graphics heavy animations or images in your site. Keep good content relevant to your business for getting good traffic from search engines. Search engines and particularly google loves good content so content with matching keywords of your business will drive more traffic and customers to your website. Keep a plan to improve or update your web site periodically.
Promote your Site:
Once your site is ready try for both online and offline promotions. Give a good press release; post your sites for review in popular web developer forums, submit your site to directory relevant to your area of business. Try to get some content specific keyword rich back links from different websites by contributing articles, participating in discussion boards etc. Better to have email address like firstname.lastname@example.org than having email@example.com. This way you will be promoting your site brand name and inviting others to explore your site. You can print your site name in your visiting card, your letter pad and in other promotion materials like caps, T shirts etc. Finally this is not an one time job so keep an improvement or expansion plan for your website based on your business needs. There is no single magic formula to have one successful website but it is not difficult with good content integrated with your business plan and with user-friendly features.
Author is part of a team of web designers and programmers. The team works on web site maintenance, development, programming and search engine optimizations. Visit http://www.plus2net.com for programming tutorials, free downloads and articles on PHP, SQL and web design. Participate in forum to discuss all issues of web site development and promotion including site optimizations for search engines.
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