Launching and promoting a successful website is no easy task. There are thousands of books, articles and web sites with advice on how to design your site. In order to help you with basics I compiled a list of "musts" that pertain to all websites no matter how small or how large. Following these steps will keep you ahead of competition. 1. Buy your own domain name instead of using a free web site.
Free websites look cheap even if they are well designed and anything that is given away free can disappear without notice at any time. Domain names are relatively cheap and some web site hosts include domain name fee in their package.
2. Find a reliable web site host.
Ask for recommendations from friends and family. Look for a host with an established customer base that can provide references to you. Make sure to find out what equipment they use and what backup they use.
All but newest of newbies will want to know what you are planning to do with information you collect when they visit your website. This information is especially important if you require visitors to sign-up to access part of your site or to receive an e-mail newsletter.
4. Less flash, no splash. Do not, I repeat, do not use a flash or splash page on your web site. But they're so pretty you say? They may be pretty but they turn off majority of visitors who use a dial up connection to access internet. Okay, you can put an "Exit" option for those with slow connections but don't forget that search engines and web crawlers cannot index flash pages so you may have trouble getting your website indexed.
5. Visible contact information.
Do not make your visitors search for your contact information. This will drive away visitors faster than you can say "contact me." A lack of contact information may seem that your organization is not legitimate.