Chances are your web site will be the first impression the potential client has of your business.  It is important that this site is something you are proud of and that it conveys the information about your business in a clear and concise manner.  The site should also be an extension of the personality of your business.  Think mortuary vs. toy merchant…

First off, if you can, do your site yourself.  Companies charge unbelievable rates for websites that can easily be done in a few days.  But your real savings will be maintaining the site.  Trust me, a fee of $75/hr is something you don’t want to have to pay to make simple updates.

OK, so you aren’t technical enough or have enough patience to create a website.  Your first option is use an online service such as Squarespace.com.  Or, if your site is more suited for blogging, wordpress.org and wordpress.com are pretty dynamic and powerful option.  Your other option is create a post on Craig’s List.  You’ll get tons of responses, aim for the college students.  If you are daring, post a feeler on a site in India or the Philippines.

No matter what your site is built in, make sure it is well organized, which is good for SEO and maintenance.  As much hype as SEO companies try to sell you, a well written, well organized, and frequently updated web site is all you need to get up in the ranks of Google.

Here is another key to your site…one site may not fit all…Our actual site is spread across three sites.  Our main site is a flash/html site, our portfolio is on smug mug, and our blog is on wordpress.  The main site links them all together.  There is a bit of a different look and feel, so they are not consistent, but the advantages far outweigh the look and feel factor.  I utilize smug mug a lot to transfer photos to the clients, so it is the perfect place for our portfolio and can be referenced directly.

Here is another tip.  AVOID FLASH!  OK, we have it on our site.  It is tough to maintain, heavy on the cpu, can’t be viewed via iphones/ipads, etc.  I’d tell you to be bold and try html5, but it isn’t friendly to folks with old PCs.  And please do not do intro pages or music.  If everyone has to sit through an intro page every time they visit your site, or listen to music while they open a new tab, your site will be closed quicker than the time it takes them to search for your competition.

You should plan on overhauling your web site every year.  Everyone hates an old website and technology is constantly changing, so keep up with the times.

Thanks for reading 😉