Website Design Tips for Beginners

Building Your Own Small Business Website

In days gone by, if you took a look through the small business services directory of your local newspaper you probably saw very few local businesses and service providers promoting their website. It wasn’t hard to understand why…expense, hassle and simply not knowing who to turn to prevented many local business owners from going online. Many others invested in ineffective websites that contributed little to the bottom line.

That situation is changing with many more local businesses managing to find their way online…but sadly many of those websites remain ineffective and expensive.

Most small and local business owners have been conditioned to believe that the only way to get their business online was to pay a web designer or developer a lot of money and then entrust the whole process to them. If you understand all the lingo and jargon and were lucky enough to deal with a professional who understood online BUSINESS, not just how to create a website, then you stood a chance of success.

Unfortunately that was often not the case, and you were left with a site that was probably a joy to behold, but had no traffic, low conversions (visitors to sales) and generated little or no income. It was just another “business expense”.

What Does Website Design Cost?

If you’re considering submitting a proposal to a professional web development company you can expect to get a quote for anything up to $10,000 and well beyond. I know this because I’ve worked for one of those companies. That might be fine for big businesses with big budgets. But for the little guy? Forget it! Your local accountant, gardener or mechanic does not need a site that requires hundreds of hours to create…and they do not need to be burdened with expensive design, development, SEO and hosting fees. Nor do they need a site that’s loaded down with high-tech gizmos that achieve little other than allow the designer to charge them high prices for features and options they don’t actually need. What they really need is inexpensive DIY solutions that work!

What Are Your Business Objectives?

A web “presence” isn’t necessarily a web business. There are many online sitebuilders and software solutions out there. Some are very easy to use. Others require a higher level of technical skill. But whatever tools or services you use, at the end of the day what you’ll finish up with is…a website. NOT, necessarily a web business! You might be proud to show it to your friends, but is it adding value?

The Fundamentals

If your goal is to build a web business then your site must be able to attract targeted visitors and convert them into customers. Many site building solutions ignore these vital elements of building a web business, as do many website designers or developers. They figure that their job is to deliver you a nice looking website to add to their portfolio. To “put up a site”. What do they care if your online business fails? Their job is done.

Is it any wonder that websites built to this formula wither and die, with the owners convinced that the Web simply doesn’t work for small and local business?

Brochure Style Websites

We’ve all seen “brochure” style websites. They usually have an introduction something like this…

“Welcome to our website. We have been in the web design business for many years. Our company was founded by Frederick Derps in 1956 and today employs hundreds of people. Feel free to browse our site…… blah blah blah”

How do you react to these sites? Exactly. Yawn…click…away.

Don’t create an online brochure. Give your visitors solutions to their problems! Give them the information they are searching for. Provide useful and helpful content. Build trust. The sales will follow.

The resources, tools, ideas, reviews and tutorials on this site will help you research, plan and find the inspiration you need to construct a quality site that will be an asset to your business, not just an expense.

What About Google My Business?

If you have a local presence then yes…you absolutely must set up your Google My Business page. But don’t think for a minute that a GMB page is ALL you need to be effective online. Your own website will give you FAR more control and opportunities to generate leads and convert visitors into customers.

Tip: Make sure your business name, address and phone number on GMB match exactly with the details on your website. This is important. Google will also give you the option to verify your website and link it with your GMB page.

Build it Yourself with a DIY Solution

Do you really need a website designer? Most web professionals would argue “Yes, of course you do. You don’t build your own house, so why would you try to build your own website?” If your needs are complex or you require specific functionality or custom software design…and you have the funds to invest in a professionally designed website (expect anything from $5,000 to 6 figures)…then that’s probably true.

If you plan on building the next Facebook or YouTube then your needs are probably better met elsewhere. Good luck with that…

But what if you’re a small or local service provider e.g. driving instructor, auto electrician, gardener etc. or an e business online entrepreneur and you just want to generate targeted leads? Do YOU need to hire a professional or is it really possible to do it yourself?

What if you don’t know HTML (or even what that stands for) and have no idea about how to market your business on the Web?

What about SEO (Search Engine Optimization), WordPress hosting, software lists, local marketing tools etc.?

And what if you have no existing business but would like to “monitize” your passion? That is, create an online business around your hobbies or skills.

Website design tips for beginners

Are there Real, Workable, Affordable, DIY Solutions?

The good news is yes, there are. But there are also pitfalls. There are products which appear to be quick and easy, but in the end leave you short-changed.

The primary objective of Web Business Solutions is to help you find inexpensive, workable Do It Yourself solutions, tools and ideas for your small, local or fledgling online business.

Let’s get started…

Custom Web Design & Development

DIY not for you? I can understand that. You have a business to run after all. If you need a custom designed and built site or specific web development needs it makes sense to use professional services.

If your business is based in the US I recommend Plato Web Design. These guys create engaging websites that are bang up to date in design trends. They also know their stuff when it comes to SEO.

More info on Plato custom web design and development here.

In Australia, I recommend Crazy Domains. Perhaps better known for their domain registration services Crazy Domains also offer custom web design services. There are a number of packages available depending on your needs. All include Search Engine Optmisation and a page editor so you can make minor content updates yourself.

More info on Crazy Domains custom made websites here.

Of course both of those providers offer services to businesses around the world.

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Building Your Own Small Business Website
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Building Your Own Small Business Website
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Searching for an affordable small business website designer? Discover DIY solutions that allow you to make your own effective, inexpensive web site online.
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