There was a time when having a Web site was something reserved for big business, but that is not the case anymore. Whether you are just starting out or have been around a while, you may want to consider expanding your business by creating your own Web site.
Once you have decided you need a Web site, you can either make it yourself or hire someone to do it for you. Creating your own Web site isn't as difficult as you might think. All you need are basic computer skills, a personal computer, Internet access, an HTML editor (a free Web page construction tool) and someplace on the Web to publish your page.
You will need a domain name for your Web site (that's your name and address all in one). It should describe your business and be memorable at the same time. Coming up with one not already in use could be tricky so be prepared with a backup name in case the one you want is already taken. To find out if a domain name is taken, there are a number of Web sites you can check for name availability that will let you register yours right away for a fee.
In order to keep all your software components in one place, it is a good idea to create a directory on your hard drive and store everything in it.
When designing your site, there are a few things you should make sure you have. These include:
When looking for a Web site host, you can choose from a shared server, which hosts several people's Web sites, or a dedicated server, which hosts only your Web site and is the more expensive option of the two. Avoid low-cost or free hosting services as they may be unreliable or require you to display ads on your site. Look for a reliable host with guaranteed server uptime, a fast connection speed and enough server space and bandwidth for you. The host should also provide you with e-mail accounts, a free Web statistics program and technical support by phone and e-mail.
Once you have your Web site up and running, you will want it listed on the major search engines and directories. There are some differences between the two. With a search engine, people put together a description of your site using keywords and phrases. Users then use the search engine to find sites and pages on the Web based on the information they contain.
You may submit your Web site yourself to one of the major search engines or tie your link to a related link connected to the major search engines or directories. Once your site has been listed on one of the major search engines, it will appear on the others.
Having a Web site is no guarantee your small business will thrive, but it will give you a broader customer base. Every small business owner could use more customers, right?