Posted inWeb Development
Are you thinking of hosting your own website? Before taking the plunge do pause to do your homework. As easy as it sounds, having an website that generates business can only be possible if you have already looked into the following important issues –
Any venture must essentially have a goal or a purpose. Is the primary purpose of your website sales or information? Who is your target audience? Who will be the people that will visit your site? Who will be the majority of your visitors?
Once you arrive at answers to these questions you can then decide on the theme of your website. Your choice of theme can be made easier by jotting down a list of things you are well versed in or are interested about. Next, some research will tell you if your theme is in high demand. Having done all this you need to either develop a product or service that fits the theme of your site or find a product or service to sell that fits within the theme of your site.
Next you need to decide on what kind of material your site could provide to meet your goals and attract your target audience? You could offer some kind of freebie or a kind of opt-in list for marketing purposes, an e-book or even a special report. The idea is to obtain the email addresses of your visitors who will gradually become your “warm market” of people that you can market your offers to, from time to time.
To make your site operational you need a domain name. Your domain name must be registered in your personal name or your business name. To ensure that your site is optimally viewed you need Search Engine Optimization for your site. A shopping cart could increase the convenience of your viewers if you are an online seller of goods and services and of course you would need email configuration.
Once all that is done get down to a search of hosting companies who will host your site. If you are serious about your business you should graduate to being a paid host. Many customers perceive free web space to be unprofessional and if you are bent on good business why tarnish your image in the first place?
Your page layout should be user-friendly and incorporating a search form on each page can be a useful navigational tool for those visitors who know exactly what they want to find. A word of caution needs to be mentioned however about the use of latest technologies. If you are using latest technologies on the first page of your site then you are automatically excluding those users who cannot or will not upgrade their systems. If you warn them of plug-ins and special requirements early on you give them the option to decide if it is worthwhile for them to download your site. As far as browser choice is concerned it would be wise to check out the look of your site on Internet Explorer, Netscape or Mozilla FireFox. It would be foolish to assume that your users will switch to your preferred browser of choice. Moreover, if you design your website for a 1024 x 768 screen resolution while your users have monitors with smaller screen resolutions they will have to scroll to see your website in its entirety. Thus, the best option for you would be to check your site in as many screen resolutions that you can possibly have access to. You could go a step further to do some research on more commonly used screen sizes.
Having taken so much of trouble wouldn’t you like to promote your site? Go ahead, write free articles for reprint on various websites, buy advertising on various websites, trade links with other relevant websites and your site may soon become the most talked about in Internet circles.
Finally, remember that the customer is king. So what is it that will keep them coming back to your site? Your site could soon have a motley fan following because you take the trouble of listening to your customers and also go a step further to make changes to your site based on their valuable suggestions.
Host your own website and see it make a difference to your business.