Over years, internet has grown into a marvelous avenue to promote your business. In my last article, "Why Your Business Needs to Have an Internet Presence" (http://www.jvmediadesign.com/info37.html), I discussed 5 valid reasons why your business needs a website. In this article, I discuss some things to avoid and how a custom, professional website can help your business succeed.
Professional is key. Remember, internet has a global reach. Some of your new potential clientele may be learning of your business for first time by visiting your website and old cliché, "you never get a second chance to make a first impression", still rings true.
When a business makes decision to gain an internet presence, whether they are largest corporation or smallest home business, they may be tempted to take what appears to be "easy way" to get company website up and running fast. The three major potential pitfalls here are:
1)Some hosting comes with "do it yourself" capabilities and pre-made templates. Although this is a great way to upload photos of your summer vacation for your family and friends to see, this is not a good way to make that great first impression for your business. In short, these "solutions" really do not present a professional image, and often use very minimal templates and overall poor layout and design.
2)Many companies now sell website "templates" for low cost, making it easy for you to get up and running quickly. While this is true (you can get up and running quickly and many of these companies do sell more professional designs), you run risk of other businesses using that SAME design. And to buy a "unique" copy of template cost is often just as, or more expensive, than if you were to hire a professional company to create a custom design for you.
3)Complete websites for $100! This may be a bit of an exaggeration, but I have actually seen advertisements for complete websites for very low prices. You must remember that you are investing in your business when you decide to have a custom website developed, and you really do get what you pay for. A professional design firm creates original designs, from scratch, tailor-made for each individual client - and prices for that work can vary a lot, but do expect to pay a reasonable amount for services.
These three potential pitfalls aside, process of getting your business onto World Wide Web does not have to be a confusing, time-consuming, and costly affair. Below is a succinct outline of process.
1)First, you need to design on your domain name for your website. Avoid names with "-" in them and very long names. Try to be as succinct as possible. It is easiest for your visitors to remember a URL that is your company name, or at very least, keywords that describe your company. For instance, if your business is ABC Accounting, you could consider abcaccounting.com or something such as accountingservice.com. You may find that your first (and second!) choice for a domain name may already be taken, so you may have to get creative. Just remember that a domain name that reflects your business is key.