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Building Your Own Small Business Website

Having someone build a small business website for you needn’t be expensive, it will still hit your bottom-line figure but the idea is that your new website will bring in more sales and pay for itself. The thought that you could build your own website may have crossed your mind but you may not be sure if it would be cost effective or not. Ask yourself these questions. Firstly, do you have the time to spend building a website? And secondly, what do you want your website to achieve for you?

Learning to design and build a basic business website isn’t the most difficult thing in the world. I by no means intend to suggest that web design isn’t an extremely in depth topic or that it doesn’t require a lot of study and skill but at a basic level and with a bit of applied learning you can achieve some pretty good results.

To be good at creating your own website you should be the kind of person who can pick things up fairly rapidly and also be adept at understanding new systems, these are often skills found in people that own and run their own business. There are several essential skills that need to be acquired before starting a website build, these encompass but are not limited to CSS, HTML and basic website design and layout.

We come to our first question and the root of it. Do you have the time to learn these skills?

Maybe you are wanting to create your own business, you have had enough of working for someone else and are glad to put in the hours necessary to learn the basics. Get yourself online, hit some tutorial sites, log in to Amazon and order the latest ‘Build Your Own Website’ book. There are plenty of avenues for learning and almost all of them will take you in the right direction.

You may however be considering this option from a completely different situation. You may already own or run a business and struggle to find the time to carry out your normal workload. Building your own business website in this situation is not going to do you, your business or your family life and favours and if you aren’t focused on what you are trying to achieve then the results aren’t going to do your business justice.

Second question to ask yourself. What do you want your website to achieve for you? As well as answering this have a think about where you fit in to your market and have a look at the websites owned by your direct competitors.

If you are a small business such as a plumber, a landscape gardener, an electrician, or anyone that just needs to set up a web presence so that people in your local area searching online for your type of services can find your contact details and give you a call then a very small site that appears in the search engine results may be enough for you. A basic website to fulfill this need is completely achievable.

Your type of business may fall in to what is deemed to be a more professional category such as accounting, law or finance. If this is the case then a basic looking site might not give an impression of your business that you want potential clients to see. Carry out a Google search for some search terms that you would like to have a website ranking well for. Check out your level of competition and look at the quality of their websites. If you feel that the standard is above what you can realistically achieve then employing a professional web designer may be the better option for your business.

To summarise all of the above; If you have the time to learn to build your website and you think that you can achieve a high enough standard then jump right in, if not then hire a professional.

One last thing to note is that building your website is just stage one, if no one can find it on Google then you have wasted your time. To be successful your website needs to be at the top of the search engine rankings above your competitors.

Bristol Web Design company Willow Tree Design has created many successful, high ranking websites for small and medium sized businesses. We can give you help and advice on setting up your new business website and offer SEO services to help you make your new site successful. Web Design Bristol.

day two | influences for stage backdrop for Purbeck Folk Festival
website design tutorial
Image by .FuturePresent.
another influence for the backdrop unit I0 are creating for the Purbeck Folk Festival 2012

unit I0 | design | graphic + illustration

sharpbang is a new website commissioned by The Centre for Excellence in Media Practice, Bournemouth University. The website will be created by students and will host student-led tutorials from BA interactive Media Production students on coding and media production.
FuturePresent @ unit I0 Commission | FuturePresent was commissioned as visual designer for the website, with a brief to integrate a quilting, collage and sketching aesthetic.
unit-0.net
purbeckfolk.co.uk

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The Top Ten Reasons Small Business Owners Should Build Their Own Website

If you own a small business or practice (selling your services, like an accountant, a therapist, a consultant) and don’t have a website yet, it is not too late. And it doesn’t have to be a big deal.

In this economy, the winners are going to be those who continue to market and promote. If you haven’t gotten around to putting a website up (enough business, referrals, just avoiding), do it now. You are conspicuous by your absence.

You have probably heard horror stories from colleagues about the web designer who flaked on them or paying thousands but getting nothing. Learn from the mistakes of your predecessors and when you do embark on the Internet adventure, seize control of it!

Don’t hire that web guy you met at a networking meeting or have your kid do it for you on college break. If you are serious about making your website an important part of your marketing, you must control it yourself.

There are content management systems (like Web Power Tools and others) that make a website as easy as typing a letter in Word.

Here are the top ten business reasons you should build and maintain your own professional website:

1. It’s Easy To Change – Your business will change. You’ll add a service, you’ll change your tag line. Something. If your web guy is the only one who can change your website holding it hostage (for a fee), you won’t keep it up to date. An out of date website can be worse than no website at all.

2. You’ll Cut Out The Middleman – You are responsible for the content anyway. Why not just do it yourself?

3. Investment – It’s a lot cheaper. Even if you get a freelance person to do it for the same price as a template, you’ll have to pay again and again when you want to touch your site.

4. It’s The Right Amount of Website – The reality of a business website is that it needs to be good enough to get the job done! Not over-the-top with music and animation. Your clients want the appropriate information presented clearly and you don’t need a designer to do that.

5. Speed – You can do it quickly. In just an hour or two. Start with just one or two pages and then as you develop more content, you can add it.

6. Getting Found – Search engines like sites with changing content. If you have to pay your web guy every time you want to add a new event or change a link to an upcoming teleclass, you won’t do it and then your search rankings will go down.

7. Test – If you control your website, you can use it to test new ideas and offerings. A summer special, a discount offer. Just put it up and see what happens.

8. Course-Correct As Needed – When you build your own website, you can easily track the traffic and statistics patterns, seeing where your visitors were referred from, what pages they visited, how long they stayed. This is meaty information you can really learn from.

9. Don’t Reinvent The Wheel – Working with a templated system gives you straightforward guidelines on best practices and what pages and content to develop so you don’t have to reinvent the wheel.

10. End Procrastination – You can finally cross “build a website” off your list!

The Internet is here to stay and your business needs to get on board. Control your web marketing yourself and see how effective it can be!

Deborah Gallant is an internet marketing trainer, author and business coach in Thousand Oaks, California.

Her company provides affordable website design & development tools for service professionals. Visit their website (http://www.WebPowerTools.com) for a free 30-day trial and a free copy of “Five Steps to Finally Getting Started with Internet Marketing”.

Dollmore Zaoll Luv, Painted by Robbin Atwell www.MadWifeInTheAttic.com
website design tutorial
Image by Robbin With 2 Bs
This is Zaoll Luv in normal resin. She is 52cm/21" tall so she is a bit small for an SD sized doll. She is designed by an accomplished Korean artist named Gu mi-jeong. Her dolls are marketed by Dollmore.net. Gu me-jeong has a unique style in the BJD world.

I used this doll as my model in a faceup removal tutorial on my website: madwifeintheattic.com/2013/05/22/tutorial-cleaning-a-resi…

Visit my website at MadWifeInTheAttic.com for more dolls and tutorials.