Monday, February 4, 2008

Building Your Own Business Website

If you’ve just started your own business, you may not have the budget to hire a design firm and you might be considering building your website yourself. I do believe that each and every business should have a website. I don’t recommend that you build it yourself unless you have some sort of design sense and good command of your language, including grammar and spelling.

However, if you are limited by budget, it’s better to have something bare bones, rather than nothing at all. With today’s technology, most clients compare company’s pricing/offerings online before buying. You probably do it yourself before buying something. Perhaps you go online to see who is offering a better price before venturing out to the mall. It’s also helpful to do a Google search on the person’s name and company to find out what people are saying about that business before purchasing services or goods.

Some former colleagues of mine hired an advertising firm based on the portfolio (showing big name clients) that the agency brought into the meeting. After hiring the firm and giving them the deposit, a few weeks later they did a Google search on the company and came up with nothing. The agency was supposed to have been in business for over 10 years and designed for major companies, yet they were completely “off the map” on the Internet. Now if they had been a different type of business that would be acceptable, but an ad agency? I don’t think so. The lesson here is “DUE DILLIGENCE”!

Another factor to take into consideration is your email. If you’re doing business under, your clients aren’t going to have the same confidence they would have in you if you were to have

If you can't hire a professional and want to venture out on your own, find a web host that has a site builder. Put up your logo, business address and contact information at the very least. Your host should also provide you with email services to use with your domain name.

If you decide that you want to forge ahead with building the site on your own, take into consideration the following:

1. Don’t use “cutesy” animated gifs that you found on the Internet. (It will give off the impression that you are unprofessional.)
2. Don’t use graphics for text that you created in Photoshop or Paintshop. (It isn’t readable by the crawlers and it slows down your page load time.)
3. Don’t use a tiled wallpaper background. (It’s so “1998”)
4. Make sure that if you use colors, that your text is readable. (High contrast)
5. If you do use images, make sure that you have sized them for web browsing so that the client isn’t waiting for your images to load. (Will depend on the image type and file format)

Above all, when building your own business website, DO make sure to have your content checked for spelling errors, and DO use the free trials before committing to buying. Our sister company has a flash site builder you can try out at, just click on the green “test drive now!” button. But of course...I’d rather you called me if you need a website ;)


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