Your business on the World Wide Web
Creating a website for your business
As I said earlier, before you go any further and even attempt to build your own site or commission someone to do it for you make sure that you have clearly identified your objective in having your own website. This is absolutely crucial to your future success. For example, my businesses include a gardening business, cycle shop and boat hire. The objectives for each of my sites differs considerably.
The site’s primary objective is to get people to contact us as opposed to selling them anything. Therefore the success of the site can be gauged in how many enquiries we get through it. The process of turning those inquiries into actual orders is done offline when I go and visit prospective clients.
Build your own website or employ someone?
When it comes to creating your own website you’ll have to decide whether or not you want to create your own site or have someone build it for you. Personally I prefer to build my own websites for the simple reason that I can update them whenever I like without having to pay fees to a web designer.
There is an ever-growing number of companies offering these ready-made templates for your business, but you need to be careful as the quality of the templates can range from absolutely garbage to excellent. Most sites offer a free trial where you can sign up for 24 hours and try out the templates before committing yourself. It’s well worth doing this.
Have a page on an online directory
This is where you buy a page on another website’s directory. I can see absolutely no advantage in doing this. The success of your site will depend on factors outside your direct control. You will have no control over the marketing of the parent directory site or have any influence over the direction it goes.
Designing your website
Always try to make your site interesting and unique, but remember your design should be appealing to visitors and search engines. With an ever-increasing and bewildering amount of websites available in any particular area your site will have to be good enough to encourage visitors to come in and spend some time.
It’s amazing how website owners think that visitors to their site want to be bombarded by music or other silly gimmicks like annoying things flying around the screen and getting in the way of seeing what the site has to offer.
Music and over-reliance on pop-up ads, gaudy color schemes and poorly structured pages, will drive visitors away from your site in seconds. Once they’re gone, that’s it.
Employing a web designer
As I’ve said earlier, I personally prefer to build my own sites either using templates or website software such as Microsoft FrontPage. However there are certain businesses where the investment in hiring a company to design your website is well worth it. If part or all of your business is going to involve taking online bookings, then you’d certainly benefit from a website where visitors can check availability and make and pay for their bookings online.
By far the best way of finding a website designer for your business is to find a number of sites that you like the look of. Usually somewhere at the end of the home page will be a little logo or message saying who built the site. If there isn’t one, send an email to the company saying how much you like their website and would they please let you have the details of the company who designed it.