Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Successful Websites - How To Get Started!

Starting a website can seem like a huge task if you are not sure where to begin. Creating a successful website is an even more herculean task, even if you know what you're doing. Luckily, there are some handy hints available that will help you get started on the right track!

Before you start getting ahead of yourself, there are 4 points that you should consider. These points will determine the proper course of action for you to take in order to get the most out of your new website. These are - purpose, content, useability and design. Without properly defining your intentions in each of these areas, your site will be doomed to failure before it has even been created.


The purpose of your site needs to be the first thing you consider when starting a new website. Is the site for a business or is it personal? What are you trying to achieve by creating a website? Is it to create more leads and/or sales? Is it to showcase your services/products? Is it just so you have somewhere to direct prospects to in order for them to gain more information about you or your service? The more clarity you gain on the purpose of your site, the easier it will be for you to create content that is relevant and will drive the right traffic to your site.


The actual content (both written, and visual) on your site will determine whether you gain a client or not, so it is of utmost important that it appeals to the right target market. The home page of your site is often the hardest to write content for, as you have about 10 seconds to convince the potential client to visit the rest of your site or risk losing them completely. You should never use your home page as a place to brag about your company or write copious amounts of information about your products. Remember, when marketing your business online or offline, it's all about the customer and their wants and needs. You should also take SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) into consideration as you write your content. If you want to gain traffic through search engine hits, you will need to include relevant keywords and phrases into your content.

For more information on creating content for web, stay tuned for my 'Writing for the Web' article.


Useability references a number of key issues that must be considered when creating your site:

Ease of use

Quick loading times

User interaction

If your site has numerous menus and confusing, twisted paths to get to each page, then chances are your viewers will give up trying to navigate fairly quickly and you won't be able to communicate everything you want to before they leave. It is generally agreed that you should be able to access any page on your website in just 3 clicks or less, otherwise your site navigation needs to be changed and simplified. Your site also needs to load quickly, so limiting your image file size by optimising them for web whilst saving is important.


Your site design needs to be attractive and modern, not only to yourself but to your target market. If the design looks as if it was made by the son of a friend of a friend, then it isn't going to look professional, and it won't sell your product or service. Your site design should stay up to date with current trends, and when in doubt, always trust your designer. Designers spend most of their time researching the competition and current trends in design to ensure that your site will communicate the right message and will appeal to the right people. Interfering with this process can cause more harm than good. However if you do decide to design it yourself, remember the following:

Keep it clean. If there's too much going on it will look messy and will be hard to digest any information.

Ensure your copy is on a light coloured background, and is not reversed (light on dark) as this makes it harder to read.

Keep plenty of white space around your sections of text for ease of reading.

Don't use too many different colours and fonts, this looks unprofessional and does not help to reinforce your company branding.

Once you are clear on each of these four aspects, decide on how you are going to have your site made. Are you going to approach a website developer or a freelance web designer? Are you going to try build it yourself? What is your budget and what are your specific goals pertaining to your website? Whilst it may sometimes be true to say that it's better to have a bad website than no website at all, think about the damage that you could be doing with a bad website. How many people have visited your website thinking that because of the unprofessional image portrayed by the site, the rest of the company would be the same? If it is not in your budget currently to get a professional site, consider web developers who offer monthly contracts with no upfront fees, or perhaps utilise free and low-cost online directories, template websites and social media strategies.

Remember that a professional web design can cost anywhere from several hundred dollars to thousands, depending on your requirements and level of interactivity you want. You also need to commit to constantly updating your site in order to achieve success online. However, if done correctly, a good online presence is well worth the time and effort. So take time to plan, and reap the benefits!

Small business online marketing

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/6437253

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