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    2 Replies Latest reply on Jun 29, 2011 1:36 PM by Moderator_MoniE

    A business Website?

    mrmarvels Newbie

      WAIT, I didn't ask should I have a website! If you have a business you better have a website, websites are the business cards of the modern electronic age.

       

      The first real question should be "Do I have time to build a website?" Because it does take time. And don't believe otherwise. Add to that the fact that most of what you read about websites on the web is BS wrote by people who spend a lot more time writing about building business websites than actually building them and getting some long term stats and results.

       

      I have been working on the web since 1995, doing B2B Websites since 2000. And one thing I noticed is that small business owners seldom have the time and/or desire to be tweaking their websites all the time. They usually always lose interest because they soon figure out that their time is better spent selling to and working with their customers.

       

      The best option is to let someone else be your mechanic so you can drive the race car, focusing on your customers and sales (winning the race).

       

      And be sure to understand this! Professional Web Design and Marketing firms, at any price, are worth their weight in gold. No matter what level you start at they all work with hosting, domain names, name servers, Website design, navigation, copyrighting, scripts, forms, statistics, marketing and server issues every day, day in and day out. So they as a profession do things the way that will benefit your business and save you time and money. Something it can take you months or years to learn.

       

      First there is Website995.com (your branding only), they will do everything for you. If you website has only your products and only your name all over it, it looks much more valuable and instills confidence in the users mind that you are professional, sincere and reliable. Focused on fulfilling their needs.

       

      Then there are places on the web you can build a website free or for very low monthly fees. There again it is going to take some time, do you have the time? The most popular now is wix.com (their branding included), they have very pretty templates that you can login to and build your own. Remember this, do you want your website to do tricks or do business? Do you want your website to advertise your products or someone else’s. We all know once the user loses focus of what they are there for the chances of converting them to a buyer is lowered.

       

      Website users/customers want the information they are looking for and need, that’s all! They seldom sit and look at anything to do with the design of the website. The fancy designers are selling to the businesses not to the customers. That is not at all to discount site appeal, but buyers mean business and seldom evaluate site appeal.

       

      The seemingly ideal way of course is to spend about $3,000.00+ and have it done right the first time, hoping that the designer you choose will actually care about you and your business. The bad part about that way is many times the road the website leads you is far from the direction you start in. Meaning that you may have to spend considerably more money as things change, dictated by the market results. We all hope that what we are selling is what the public wants, many times though what we start with is off the mark, so better to start from a point where website developmental agility is included as part of your plans.

       

      Start Small, it is not difficult to get the search engines to notice you. That way you can decide what you want to add and maintain as you go along. Plus the road to adding anything you want is easy and can be at any speed you want, including very fast.

       

      Good Luck,
      Mr. Marvels

        • Re: A business Website?
          jojoes Adventurer

          Got it! Thx

          • Re: A business Website?
            Navigator

            As the only person in the business who is familiar enough with basic html, it was my task to design and execute our website. Because of my limited knowledge, you won't find any fancy flash applications or even a (much needed) shopping cart. It is time consuming and I have, unfortunately, neglected the upkeep. Fortunately, it doesn't require much daily maintenance but even finding the time to accomplish light maintenance such as updates is difficult. However, there is no way we could afford to budget for even the least expensive of "mechanics". We are just a small local business that barely breaks even each year. We primarily do what we do to protect the environment and the "making money" aspect is just a bonus. The site is pretty and informative, BUT, I didn't keep good enough templates to accommodate making new buttons etc at a later date so sometimes new facets stand out like the proverbial sore thumb.


             

            Eventually, I need to find the time to create all new graphics. I need to figure out the necessary coding to streamline images into a slideshow viewer with captions rather than endless scrolling pages of pictures. These are all things I would like to see happen but don't have the budget or skill set to effectively make it happen.


             

            I agree with your point that visitors want the information they seek to be readily available but I disagree that they don't sit and look at the design of the site. Unless I am the odd one out, I definitely base a portion of my decision on the execution and mechanics of a website. If it looks cheaply made or hastily put together, I am less apt to purchase their product or I put slightly less stock in the information they are providing.


             

            In my opinion, a website should be clean, easy to navigate, have precise information at the reader’s fingertips and not be cluttered with hosting or commercial advertisements not related to the content. And in this economy, rather than trying to bleed every cent they can out of someone who isn't in a position to afford it, they should offer more budget packages and options to increase sales.


             

            For example, a realtor friend of ours sells HUD homes, sometimes for $3-4K. I'm not talking gutted, unlivable homes needing $60-$100K worth of reno either. Nice homes needing very little work but that have some aspect of them that prevents a bank from giving financing to buyers. She actively contracts these homes to investors who do repair work and flip them for $15-20K. She moves more houses than anyone else, she has happy buyers who come back with their reno'd homes for her to re-sell and their profits to invest in even more of these homes creating more commissions for her, more profits for themselves and they are now providing good homes that banks will finance to those people in no position to afford $80-150K houses. Honestly, it's win/win/win all the way around. Now, if I could just find a web designer who doesn't want to bilk me out of thousands or even hundreds to make a couple of easy tweaks to my website, I'd be happy too!


             

            Thanks for your post! It was an interesting read and hopefully it will spark some more conversation soon!

             


             

            ~Moni