Websites for your home business

A lot of people leap into website development as part of their business start up – that is understandable, but unless you understand your business and what you actually want your website to do for you and your clients – you could end up wasting a lot of time and money on redevelopment or lost business as your website may not be client or customer friendly.

Take the time to plan out who you want to use your website and for what purpose. What should they know about you? What level of contact with you should they be able to achieve through your website? Are you going to sell things through your website or will they be able to submit requests for quotes? All of these factors need to be considered in the planning stages of your website.

Website hosting costs vary from ‘free’ to an annual cost of less than US$400. When you choose your website host you should make sure you know all of the incurred costs both at the start up and ongoing. Take your time to make comparisons and check for reviews – these could give you a great insight into the reliability of the provider.

When you are choosing your domain name – try for a search engine and visually friendly name that connects people with the type of business you are in. This is also worth taking the time to plan, as your Internet advertising will depend on the ease with which you can attract clients and have them remember your site for the future. It is also worth considering buying the other popular extensions for your domain name, for example .net, .org, .biz – depending on how much competition you think you will face. Whilst most people like to go for .com – these are becoming scarce in user and visually friendly names – take a few days and think about your name from a customers point of view – what searches would you perform on the web to find the kind of service you are offering. You can either choose to develop your website yourself or have someone develop it for you. Expect to pay anywhere from US$500 to US$3500 for website development depending on your requirements. Make sure you plan out your concept first as this makes it easier to select the right professional for the job. Also make sure that you can check and verify other similar websites they have created and that they are prepared to sign a non-disclosure agreement in regard to your concept.