f you are looking into starting your own Internet business, you should know that you do not need to be a computer expert. You can inexpensively outsource virtually the entire technical side of your business. Even if someone else is designing your company’s webpage, however, learn what you can about good webpage design. Keeping in mind a few tried-and-true principles will attract customers and move your product.
Many of the same companies that offer a good, cheap web hosting solution also offer webpage templates. These are easy to use and already incorporate many basic principles of good site design. They do have their limitations, though.
For example, their templates almost invariably include their brand name prominently displayed somewhere. After all, they are trying to build a customer base, too! They want people who admire your website to know that they built it.
This is not a big deal, as long as their branding does not overshadow yours. Their logo or their company name discretely placed in a corner of your webpage is just par for the course. However, if their company image displays all over your site, it may compromise your brand integrity.
This is true of your URL as well. Your hosting company should provide you with a URL of your choosing (“www.myawesomebusiness.com”) without including their own brand in it (“www.secondratewebhost.com/myawesomebusiness”).
If you are building your website from your hosting company’s templates, loo for variety. There should be enough templates, and enough possibility for variation to ensure that your website does not look like everyone else’s website. You need a website that is distinctly your own.
Inexpensive and reliable web hosting companies are plentiful. If the one you are looking at does not meet these criteria, keep searching.
A good webpage design should also include a number of ways for your customers to contact you and, in turn, for you to keep in touch with them. These tools include things like Twitter and RSS feeds, the ability to sign up for email newsletters that include discounts and special offers, and more. In the name of keeping in touch with your customers, you should, without fail, buy auto responder software and link it to your website.
Any quick Internet search will bring up many, many results about best practices for web pages. Many of these are little more than ads for books or other products, but many others are from great, reliable sources.
If you are designing your own webpage, you should keep learning about effective design practices and update your page periodically. If you are using a template, or are paying someone else to design your website, you should familiarize yourself with at least some of the basic principles. That way, you can be a better judge of whether you are getting your money’s worth.
If you are like most small business owners, you are probably not that interested in going it alone, investing in servers, learning a programming language, and everything else involved in hosting your own website. You certainly do not have to. After all, the best answer to the “how to host website” question is to outsource. The question for you, then, becomes “am I getting what I pay for?”
If you know a little something about good website design, that question should be easy to answer.