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Creating A Business Website From The Ground Up

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(Photo credit: Thinkstock)

(Photo credit: Thinkstock)

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In today’s web-based world, it is a must for every business to have an online presence. The heart of this presence is your business’s website, where customers or clients will look first to find out information about your company. Setting up a website doesn’t have to be time consuming or costly.

Finding A Host

Large companies often choose to host their websites on their own servers, but for small to mid-sized businesses, using a third party is usually advisable. You can opt for a free website host, such as Webs.com (which also offers personalized domains for a fee) or purchase a domain for a small recurring fee from full-service hosts like Go Daddy or Bluehost. Hosting your website for free means a longer URL (yourcompany.webs.com as opposed to yourcompany.com, for instance), so most businesses opt to pay for a personalized domain name. Your first step in setting up a website should be to evaluate several different hosts and decide what fits your needs and budget.

Design & Development

If you are design-savvy, this step will be easier and cheaper to get done by designing your website yourself. There are plenty of free website templates that can be found with a simple Google search, as well as many free resources, such as HTML.net, which teaches you the basics of web design. If you don’t feel comfortable handling the design yourself, hire someone or purchase an online resource. Many hosts offer web design and upkeep services that can take all of the hassle out of the process, though you will first have to determine if this is in the budget.

Optimization

You can optimize your site to make sure that it shows up on search engines by adding popular related keywords and terms to your content. To keep track of the health of your site, it’s important to keep track of analytics like web traffic. You can monitor this yourself with tools such as Google Analytics, which is simple and free to use.

Upkeep

Making sure your website will attract traffic and drive sales requires some initial work and ongoing maintenance. Keep your content fresh and relevant by updating it regularly. Optimize your website for ease of use by making business information easily accessible and navigation simple. Keep in mind that many people are going online via mobile devices, so your website will do best if it is optimized to work well on smart phones and tablets.

Emma Sledge is a freelance writer. Her work can be found on Examiner.com.

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