Thinking of having a website for free? Think again…

Thinking of having a website for free? Think again…

Hey! What comes to your mind when you heard or read the word “FREE”? Well, obviously it sounds good and it is even pleasant to read for those who want to save and invest their money. It may really be attractive for most of us, that’s why many of us are eluded and persuaded to avail of those products and services tagged for FREE.

Thinking of having a website for free? Think again…You have to be careful enough. Just remember that in our generation, there’s no such thing as “FREE”. Sounds good, yes! But you might fall into disappointment sooner or later. If you think it is an advantage think again, there will always be a disadvantage on grabbing that free service that could totally ruin the business that you have invested for many years.

You should better understand the disadvantages of grabbing “sugar quoted” promotions and advertisement for FREE websites.


Here are some of the disadvantages of the disadvantages:

    • Your visitors may doubt your credibility
    • Limited space for your web pages
    • Can’t add additional features (plugins, shopping carts, forums, chat rooms, etc.)
    • Search engines may not send as much traffic due to lack of trust
    • Ads may be all over your website
    • You are just renting your website. You DO NOT OWN IT.
    • No guarantees of site availability and longevity (because you don’t own it)
    • No branded emails addresses (you@yourdomain.com)
    • Poor help and support options (if any)
    • May not be free forever

The thing here is if you really are dead serious about your business you need to invest.  How would people take your business seriously if you could not even invest on a very basic and simple website that carries your business name online? Remember your website is your storefront online. It represents not only your products or services but also you as a businessman.

If you are serious about your business… Invest and have your own website. 


Thinking of having a website for free? Think again…

website_designingThinking of having a website for free? Think again… website_design_package

Web Hosting Tips to Manage your Server: What to do when hosting Fails…

Web Hosting Tips to Manage your Server

Web Hosting Tips to Manage your ServerWhen hosting fails, it can be scary and frustrating–don’t panic. Even the most non tech-savvy person can utilize a few tricks to keep things safe and (somewhat) moving. This is why it’s important to research server hosting options before making a decision. Some offer better customer support than others, some have 24/7 agents available and some have better reputations than others when it comes to failing on a regular basis. However, that doesn’t help someone much when they’re looking at a blank screen. If and when hosting fails, follow these 4 web hosting tips.


1. Keep Email Separated

  • Find a Web Host Provider who provide a shared cloud server so there will be a 100% Downtime Guarantee.Most people have an option of keeping email hosting and web hosting separate–and there’s a good reason to. When the site goes down, email will go down too if both are on the same server. Always have a backup email address and preferably use completely different hosting entities. That way, if the site goes down, at least email will still be functioning. This will make it simple to conduct some business and answer customer inquiries to reassure consumers and users.

2. Have a Different Domain Registrar

  • Just like separating email and web hosting, it’s equally important to have a different domain registrar. A good web hosting company understands the reasoning behind this and will manage a different domain registrar for no additional fees. Having different servers is crucial to keeping at least some parts of a business running no matter what happens. It’s a tiny bit of extra work in the beginning, but well worth it.

3. Check to See if It’s Temporary

  • Most of the time, server failures are temporary and might be caused by an issue on the server end or because a hacker tried to get into the website. If it’s from a hack, the company will notify the website owner. This is for the protection of everyone involved and is often fixed quickly. However, if it’s an internal error on the server’s side, that’s not acceptable. If it happens regularly, switch servers because it costs the website owner in the end–not the server.

4. 24/7 Call Customer Support

  • It should be possible to reach someone 24/7 in case of an emergency. Some sites are most active in the middle of the night, such as websites geared towards customers in Asia, and it’s important to keep things running as smoothly as possible. However, there’s no server that won’t go down at some point–hoping for that is unrealistic. Having solid customer support, on the other hand, should be a requisite.
  • If the site goes down, don’t panic. Make sure servers are diversified and that tech support is already programmed in the smartphone. Everything will be up and running again shortly.

    Web Hosting Tips to Manage your Server

Elements of a Good Website

necessary_elements_of_a_great_website

Elements of a Good Website

Yes! Finally you have decided to go and have a website for your business….but what to do next? You may really be confused on what to do next after deciding to finally have a website. But before really getting hands on with the design and development there are things you need to consider, elements that you want your website to have to make all your effort worthwhile. Here are some of the key elements for your dream website:

Appearance your site should look visually appealing and look professional to your audience just like how you want to look like in person. It should gain positive impression and opinion from your audience. Your website should catch the attention of your visitors so they would have the urge to explore more.

Content together with the visual appearance of your site it should run together with what we call the “bread and butter” or the information you are going to include in your site. The information you put in there should be informative and relevant to your audience.

Functionality – the component of your website should go quickly and correctly in correspondence with the audience concerns, in order for them not to draw back to the other website and let your site left behind. It should function as expected, including hyperlinks, contact forms, site search, activity page, event registration, and so on.

Website Usability the most important and crucial part when determining a good website is its usage. Are the content and reliable and dependable? Could the viewers really get something out of what you have in the website?


 

Web Hosting I-Map Websolutions - Elements of a good website

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Choosing a Web Host

Things to Consider when choosing a Web Host

Best Web HostingAre you getting ready to launch your new website or wanting to transfer on a new host? Choosing the best web hosting provider may really be difficult and tricky most of the times for the reason that you have so many options to choose from and there are even companies who offer hosting for free. While it’s really tempting to just sign up for free, there are so many things to consider before you go for free or settle for paid hosting. Here are some of the factors you should consider when choosing a hosting provider. Just always keep in mind the word CARESS…


C-ost Money to invest will always be one of the deciding factors when choosing a web host . You should carefully compare packages that each provider offers versus the cost of the package. Be careful on cheap hosting packages that would give you limited bandwidth and storage, even support may be compromised. Always think about value for money.

A-dministrative Function. The owner of the website should have the capacity to control his domain and not letting his web host to be the master of his own website, for he constitutes his own business and make a wise decision if ever he wants to make changes to his website.

R-eport. Having an access to the other server logs and other report activities of the website is important for it can help you recognize as to where the traffic in the social media comes from and you can also determine as to where the web pages is most visited by your audience.

E-mail Capabilities. One of the factors that we do not really pay much attention is the email account. But we do not realize the importance of this bundled with our web hosting account. Having more email accounts means n=more possibilities of your business being reached by customers and potential ones and having our own email address would reflect a more professional look for the business, creating brand for you.

S-peed. Make sure that your website can load abruptly for the reason that our audience may get impatient in waiting to open your website. So that before you have your web hosting plan try to ask first your web host about what is their internet connection is using just to ensure it is high-speed connection.

S-upport. Technical support should be one of the considerations in choosing a web host. Some of the technical support can be direct or person-to-person, by phone or through e-mail request but there are some company who do not offer technical support. It is really essential if you are going to have a web host, it should be part of your criteria before choosing a web host.

Website Security – StopTheHacker

Protect your website from hackers today


stop-the-hacker-easy-activation

One click activation

StopTheHacker is a fully hosted service that can be activated in seconds from your hosting control panel. You don’t need to add code to your website or worry about installing and managing software, so StopTheHacker has no impact on your site’s speed. Once activated, StopTheHacker scans your website daily for thousands of virus and malware threats, automatically notifying you via email if there’s anything suspicious.


stop-the-hacker-full-controlFull control

View your website security and reports at a glance and configure your alert settings with your intuitive StopTheHacker dashboard. It includes graphs and stats for your own use or for you to share with customers if you manage their websites.


stop-the-hacker-scanning-reports_140x140In-depth scanning & analysis

You’ll automatically be alerted to any malware found during a scan and given the option of restoring your website back to a clean version or receiving a detailed report designed to help you clean any infection. In addition to checking HTML files on a daily basis, StopTheHacker also scans your .htaccess, CSS, and any PDFs and SWF adverts for threats.


stop-the-hacker-black-list-checks_140x140

Blacklisting checks

StopTheHacker compares your site to a wide range of spam, malware, DNS, and search engine blacklists to ensure you haven’t been banned or blocked. It’s a great way to ensure your traffic isn’t impacted and your reputation remains safe.


stop-the-hacker-artificial-intelligence_140x140Artificial intelligence engine

StopTheHacker features an advanced AI engine which detects new malware that’s never been seen before. Most solutions catch known malware and viruses already identified in signature databases; unfortunately, hackers also know these databases. As modern web technologies allow hackers to generate dynamic malware, more advanced methods like StopTheHacker’s intelligence engine are needed.



stopthehacker best choice

Typical anti-virus (AV) software is slow to identify new threats, and this delay allows malicious content to stay undetected for longer. AV engines tend to only focus on analysing traditional malware such as .exe, .msi, and .scr files. This analysis is completely different to analysing malware written in dynamic languages like PHP, Ruby, HTML, JavaScript and so on.

StopTheHacker profiles web-malware code to understand features of a piece of code, including how many arrays and variables are used, how they are used, who is using them and how frequently. All these factors provide tell-tale signs of whether this is legitimate usage or malware-like behaviour.

Why Website Presence is Important?

20 Reasons Why an Organization Needs an Effective Website Presence

1. Be Open For Business 24 Hours a Day 
Your business is open to the world 24 hours a day, 7days a week with no labor costs to watch it.  An online store never closes. And a website faces no time zone barriers.

2. Reach New Markets With a Global Audience
Internet is the most cost effective way to trade nationally and internationally.  A website will broaden your base of customers, members, distributors or suppliers. You can generate more and more clients for your business without doing additional marketing. 
 Today, more and more customers are making purchases through the Internet. Why should you limit your business to your immediate locale when the whole world may be your potential market?  Thanks to the Internet, it is as easy to sell halfway across the world as it is to sell across the street.

3. Nerve Center for the Global Economy
The Internet has become the nerve center for the global economy.  Many world leaders are realizing that those organizations will thrive in this global Internet economy who will grasp its importance before their competitors do.  A well-designed website is not only an Internet identity for your organization, it is an essential part of the success and future of your company in the 21st Century.

4. Present a Professional and Credible Image
Your organization must make the leap into the 21st century if it is to be perceived as professional in today’s marketplace. Today, customers, employees, and suppliers expect to be able to find and communicate with a business online. It is very much like being listed in the Yellow Pages, if you do not have a listing, potential customers will not be able to find you and trust you? Organizations that still do not have a Web presence are inadvertently making a statement about their ability to embrace technology and adapt to change in today’s dynamic environment.  For a small business, a well-designed website is a great way of creating credibility and looking bigger than you actually are.  
You can look like one of the big corporations at a very small cost. When one compares the cost of establishing a website to what it costs to promote a business on the traditional media (newspaper, radio, television), it is evident that a website is the cheapest form of marketing ever created.

5. Improved Customer Service
You can provide 24 hours customer services without hiring any additional employees. Your customers are better served when they can access information about your product or services immediately via your website rather than waiting for a mailed brochure or a return telephone call.  In today’s fast-paced market, how quickly and conveniently customers can access the information or purchase the product is frequently the factor that determines who will win the sale. Provide answers to frequently asked questions on your website.  Information requests can be processed immediately via online forms and autoresponders whether someone is in the office or not.

6. Save Money on Printing and Distribution Costs
A website is your online brochure or catalog that can be changed or updated at anytime at a much cheaper and faster rate than print material.  It saves you money on printing and distribution costs.

7. Create A Product Or Service Showcase
Provide photos and detailed descriptions of your products or services. Explain why your products or services are superior to your competitors. Show them how your products or services can help them in their personal or professional lives. 

8. Automation, Productivity, and Profitability
Through Internet automation you can increase productivity and profitability.  Online automation can reduce costs for advertising, sales personnel, and other support staff. A website increases your company’s productivity because less time is spent explaining product or service details to customers since such  information would be available 24 hours a day on your website.  A website saves costs by allowing users to download invoices, proposals, and other important documents. Your website can also allow the customers, employees, and suppliers to have their email address added to your mailing list. Sending an email to your entire email list can be done at virtually no cost.

9. Sell Your Products and Services Online
Selling through your website is much cheaper and a great way to supplement your offline business.  Providing secure online ordering is very affordable today.  That explains why 
the worldwide online commerce has reached $6.8 trillion by 2004.

10. Stability
You may move your place of business, change your phone number, or even change your hours, but your website address never changes, and your website is always open.

11. Your Own Internet Identity
Your own domain name (www.yourcompany.com) establishes a strong online brand identity, and allows you to set up email addresses specific to your own company.  Today, email is the most common way to communicate efficiently and professionally with the rest of the world.

12. Promote Your Services
Lawyers, doctors, financial consultants, entertainers, realtors and all service oriented businesses should take advantage of the massive reach of the Internet. Millions of users are logging on to the  Web to compare various specialists and practitioners before they purchase a specialized service.

13. Customer Feedback
You can gather information about your existing and potential customers by using online forms and surveys. Provide a feedback form to make it easy for your customers to send their input. Conduct surveys to find out how you can improve your products and services. 
 Your site statistics can also help you understand how your visitors and customers use your site.

14. Worldwide Exposure
There are numerous ways you can promote your website to enhance prominence, drive targeted traffic, and get worldwide exposure for your business. You can register your site with various search engines and directories that reach more than 800 million Internet users around the world.  Most of the search engines and directories allow free registration of websites.  Leverage the massive reach of the Internet and the precision targeting of the search engines and directories. You can send press releases to news media about your website that features unique aspects of your organization.  You can also promote your site through free banner advertising on various link exchange networks.

15. Many Money From Your Site
You can also earn revenue for sales, leads, and traffic driven from merchant links and ads placed on your site. Take advantage of free access to various affiliate networks on the Internet.

16. Great Recruiting Tool
You can post job opportunities with your company on your 
website.  Your website is a great recruiting tool for building your business.

17. Transfer Information to Branches and Affiliates
Transfer of documents through your website is cheaper and faster than by UPS, FedEx, etc.  You can password protect your files if security is needed.

18. Viral Marketing Without a Marketing Cost
You can have your satisfied customers refer you to their friends and relatives through an online form on your website.

19. Improve Your Advertising Effectiveness
Your website address on all of your promotions will give your company a cutting edge corporate image and it will encourage the viewers to check your site for additional information. The addition of your website address on your ad increases your exposure without adding any cost.

20. Educate Your Customers
Your 
website can offer free advice about your services and products including ideas and suggestions for maximizing the benefit of your products. 


Why a Professional Needs a Website

All types of professionals and freelancers can achieve the same above-mentioned benefits from a web presence.  Lawyers, doctors, financial consultants, entertainers, realtors, and all service oriented professionals and freelancers should take advantage of the massive reach of the Internet.


10 Reasons Why an Individual
Needs a Website

For an individual, a website and a personal domain name can be useful in many ways.

1. Permanent Identity
A domain name is your personal and unique identity on the Internet. You can set up a personal or family website that may feature your family history, resumes of family members, family photos, travel photos, etc. 

2. Personalized Email Address
You can have a personalized email address such as Greg@MartinFamily.net.  Your personalized email is lifelong as long as you keep your domain name and website. You never have to worry about updating friends and family with a new email address when you change your job or Internet service provider. 

3. Make Contact/Keep in Touch With Family
Your website can help you establish and maintain contact with others and network with your peers. Many families are spread across the country and around the world.  Family members often miss out on precious moments such as new babies, first steps, graduations, birthdays, weddings, etc.  If you have a website, you can post pictures and videos of your family on your site so that everyone can keep up to date.

4. Showcase for Your Hobby or Craft
Set up a website around your hobby, sport or craft.  You can feature your work or collections.  It may even be the beginning of a home-based business.

5. Club or Community Organization
Set up a website around a community organization or a club you started.

6. Children’s Website
Give your children a head start in the information revolution by giving them their very own website.

7. Domain Name as an Investment
You may keep your personal domain names as an investment.  Many common personal domain names will become scarce and valuable assets that are likely to increase in value. The personal domain name registration rush has begun.  Most of the common first and last names in the world have already been registered.  You may still be able to get some variations of your name or your family name for your domain. Act now before it’s too late.

8. Share Information
On your website, you may post information that would be helpful or interesting to others around the world.

9. Worldwide Exposure
There are numerous ways you can promote your site to get worldwide exposure. You can register your site with various search engines and directories that reach more than 800 million Internet users around the world.  Most of the search engines and directories allow free registration of websites.  You can send press releases to news media about your website that features unique aspects of your club or hobby.  You can also promote your site through free banner advertising on various link exchange networks.

10. Make Money From Your Site
You can also earn revenue for sales, leads, and traffic driven from merchant links and ads placed on your site. Take advantage of free access to various affiliate networks on the Internet. 

Website Development I-Map Websolutions

5 Reasons Why Live Chat is Important for Your Business Website

Here are 5 reasons why live chat software is beneficial for a business today:

1. Real Time Convenience to Customers

First of all advantages, that live chat has to offer is its convenience for customers. A Forrester research found the following:

44 % of online consumers say that having questions answered by a live agent while in the middle of an online purchase is one of the most important features a website can offer.

There are two types of customers who need help and use live chat to get it. The first are potential buyers, and these are the most common situations in which potential online customers use live chat:

  • Want to know more about product specifications
  • Having trouble finding specific item on a given website
  • Want to compare products

These scenarios enormously influence purchase decisions. In fact, more than 38% of online customers took their purchase decision due to live chat session. Remember, that chat agents play a huge role and if they are properly trained, they can easily generate more sales.

The second group of live chat users are your current customers. The most common reasons why they use live chat are:

  • Want to know the status of their order
  • Want to ask about „Return policies“
  • Want to report bugs or suggest improvements in your service

Another nice perk of livechat is that you can get nearly instant feedback or notifications when there’s a wide-scale customer-facing problem. For instance, if you run a SaaS business, and anything goes wrong, live chat gives you an immediate view of the issue from your customers‘ perspective.

2. Live Chat Saves Money

Live Chat is cost efficient because of these 3 main reasons:

  • It increases efficiency by allowing live chat agents handle multiple chats simultaneously, thus you don’t need to hire more agents. Intelligent live chat software such as LiveAgent allows multiple options for chat distribution and utilization.
  • It increases the average order value, since customers get realtime advice and answers to any questions they might have. It saves „product return“ expenses as a live chat representative can help you pick the right product or service, which suits the customer best, thus he or she will be satisfied with it and won’t need to return it back.
  • It reduces overall helpdesk center costs by lowering the waiting queue time when compared to a call center.

The implementation of livechat service is a few minutes of work. LiveAgent Live Chat has a bunch of integrations ready for the most widely used ecommerce and content management systems, thus you don’t even need any HTML skills to implement live chat on your website. Additionaly, LiveAgent provides full integration service to its customers, free of cost.

3. Get Competitive Advantage

It’s never been more important to stand out among your competitors as nowadays. The amount of business rivals is tremendous and is increasing every day. Not only small and medium-sized businesses are recognizing the importance of providing real time customer service, but also corporates like Apple, SKY, Virgin Airlines, and many more are using live chat to be one step ahead of competition.

4. Increase Conversions and Sales

Having a real person walk you through a purchase adds confidence and customers tend to spend more than the ones who don’t use live chat. A positive experience leads to a higher average order value, thus your sales are directly affected by live chat.

Multiple studies have proven that livechat can bring a 20%+ increase in conversion rates.

After implementing Live Chat on our website, Post Affiliate Pro’s conversion rate’s increased by 23%– Viktor Zeman, CEO of QualityUnit

Other success story of a company which implemented LiveChat feature is Wells Fargo. They were pioneers in real time customer support and started their first live chat in 2002. This attempt was unsuccessful, however they relaunched their online chat support in 2008 and experienced a double-digit increase in conversions.

The key to success in conversion increase(with livechat) is having your representatives properly trained. Provide them with insightful knowledge about your products, so they can recommend additional purchases that may be the perfect fit for that particular customer. Equip them with discount coupons, which they can offer to customers who are still hesitating before purchase.

5. Build long-term relationships

Satisfied, long-term customers are statistically less likely to switch. As an added bonus, they tend to be less price-sensitive. Experts say that customers who feel taken care of are less concerned about what they are paying.

63% of customers who‘ve used live chat tend to come back rather than the ones who don’t. Studies show that regular customers tend to buy more often and they are less expensive to maintain because of their familiarity with your business and the processes behind it.

When customers feel their voice is heard and they chat with a person behind the company, it’s more likely that they’ll have a stronger connection to your business and share their positive experience.

Here are some useful tips when starting to use live chat:

  • Make sure you have at least one operator that will be available for the majority of the working day. (If your live chat is more offline than online, it might have a negative influence.)
  • Train your team. Make sure that your chat agents have enough knowledge to answer customers‘ queries. Equip them with sales skills – it will boost your conversion rates and increase sells.
  • Play the human card – the whole point of having live chat is bringing human help to customer’s shopping experience. Providing robotic responses can kill the effectiveness of live chat.
  • Learn from your customers – analyze and track the most common issues which customers face
  • Track the performance of your agents – LiveAgent easily analyzes performance of your customer service representatives. Advanced features allow you to directly track whether a purchase was made after or while chatting with a rep., how many chats did the rep answer during work hours and many more.
  • Engage customers to start chatting with you via chat invitations.

Five Reasons eCommerce should be Important to your Business

Five reasons eCommerce should be important to your business

From small businesses to that consummate eCommerce giant Amazon, many companies can benefit from having their own eCommerce site. As well as selling a physical product, eCommerce can be used to sell digital products, consultations or appointments, or intangibles, making it a flexible solution for all kinds of businesses.

So how can eCommerce boost your business? Read on for five ways it can do so, and to see how other businesses have had success with eCommerce.


 

eCommerce Influences Purchase Decisions

When customers are deciding on a purchase, they start by looking online.

Your website is your showroom, where customers can research your product and see all the reasons it is right for them.

Now imagine that same product was just a couple of clicks away from being theirs. A well-designed eCommerce site can influence purchase decisions by showcasing your product at its best, and making it as easy as pie to take action and make a purchase.

Staples’ customer-friendly online shop has been such a success that they have scaled back their bricks and mortar stores in favor of it. Their secret?

A searchable and convenient catalog that makes purchasing easy, with plenty of product reviews to encourage that sale. 


 

eCommerce Taps into Social Media

It’s a social world out there, with customers turning to social media such as Facebook and Twitter to research potential purchases.

For a smart business, an engaging social media presence can raise their company profile and encourage traffic and sales. A well thought out social media strategy marries well with a good eCommerce site, forging connections with buyers. Offers, competitions and other shareable content can be used to grab attention and encourage visits to your eCommerce store.

Walmart takes its social media presence seriously, with a YouTube channel filled with useful videos, and a Facebook page that’s regularly updated with shareable feel-good pictures of their food.

It’s a seemingly simple strategy but it connects emotionally, garnering them a lot of likes – and custom.


 

eCommerce Is Convenient

Whether they’re just getting through the door after a 10-hour work day, or getting the shopping done at the crack of dawn before the kids get up, customers appreciate the convenience of online shopping.

People’s lives are hectic; getting to a bricks and mortar store means taking a sizeable chunk out of their day for a detour. eCommerce means you can fit into your customer’s busy lives, offering the products they want, when they want them.

Amazon is a prime example of the convenience of online shopping, with a vast online store of products available anytime, day or night. This convenience combined with a quick checkout process, order tracking and quick shipping is a winning combination.


 

eCommerce Can Broaden Your Brand

eCommerce can be used in ways a traditional bricks and mortar store couldn’t, whether that is by offering intangible products, providing some kind of web search, or giving customers the ability to order a product to their exact specifications.

eCommerce can be used to broaden your range of products for sale, bringing you more custom and diversifying your sales.

When Apple first started ITunes, it was viewed as an IPod marketing tactic rather than a serious online store.

With billions of sales, ITunes is now a vital part of the global Apple brand, demonstrating how eCommerce can be used to broaden what a brand offers, diversifying and increasing sales.


 

eCommerce Offers a Personalized Experience

There are many ways in which eCommerce can be used to forge a more personal connection with customers.

For example, an eCommerce site could include personal recommendations, order tracking, quick customer service, or personalized rewards, allowing your business to offer the same kind of personal service online that you would offer face to face.

Shopittome has built an entire business, and reputation, around offering shoppers a personalized experience. Busy browsers can enter their brand preferences and size, and receive regular personalized newsletters full of bargains to suit them.

eCommerce offers businesses a vital opportunity to offer their customers round-the-clock convenience.

A good eCommerce strategy that adds excellent customer service and a dynamic social media presence into the mix can spell higher traffic and better sales for your business.

Amazing Email Hosting Plans - 1GB and 10GB Mail Storage per Account

Why A Good Website Matters To Your Business

Why A Good Website Matters To Your BusinessWhy A Good Website Matters To Your Business

 
For most businesses, a web site is one of the most important investments you can make. Entrepreneurs are either overspending or underspending on their websites, and many have no idea what they’re doing or why. So today I’m going to talk about why a good, solid web site really matters to your business, and in the next two weeks, I’ll follow up with articles on the core components your web site needs to work well for you, and how to hire a solid web firm to build your site affordably.

1. Your web site reflects you as a business owner and professional.

If your web site looks professional, your potential clients will think you’re a professional who has enough clients and enough income to have a site built for you. If potential clients visit your web site and it looks half-assed and home-built that’s how they’ll perceive you.

If you’re a web developer, by all means, build your own site, as that will reflect your capabilities. Everyone else, hire a solid company that can do a good job, not just in building your web site, but in getting it seen and in building it wisely to maximize the traffic you’ll get.

2. Your web site can mean extra local business.

Even if you’re primarily brick and mortar, having a solid web site can mean extra business. Local clientele often perform seaches online and find your web site, encouraging them to walk into your store. If they find your competitors and they look more reputable or solid than you (or if they have a web site and you don’t), you’ll lose business, just because of your web site. And, when you’re mentioned in the media or on review sites like Angie’s List, you’ll need a web site to help people find you.

3. Your web site can mean global business.

Did you ever think about getting orders from Australia or Malaysia? Launching a fantastic web site means you’ll instantly become a global business, allowing you to expand your clientele to a much larger audience. Your web site is visible in almost every country around the globe, and that means you expand your potential client base by millions. You’ll still want to keep your target market in mind, but an international audience may still find you appealing.

4. Your web site can generate media interest.

If a journalist is looking for an expert in your field to quote for an article, s/he is more likely to choose the business owner whose web site looks professional and clean than someone who looks like they don’t really know what they’re doing. And as most of you know, a mention in the media can be powerful for your business!

Don’t do your business a disservice by putting up a shoddy web site. Take care and invest wisely in your business web site by hiring someone who knows what they’re doing. Next week I’ll talk about what components you need in your web, and in two weeks, I’ll cover how to hire a web company.

 

Importance of Having a Website

Importance of Having a Website

These days, almost any small business should have a website. With costs being extremely low at the entry level, it’s becoming difficult to imagine a reason for any company of any size not to have a website. Many user-friendly, free and open-source content-management systems are available to assist with Web design, so it is even possible to build a basic small business website without a professional Web designer.


Low-Cost Advertising

The Web has a far wider reach than any other form of advertising. While it takes time to build up enough traffic to your website to make a worthwhile impact on your company’s marketing campaign, it costs next to nothing to do so. Your website will be the center of your company’s online presence; through it, you advertise your business around the Web on social networking sites, forums and through pay-per-click advertising programs.


Visibility

Increasing visibility is one major factor that makes having a website important. Even if people have heard about your company, they may want to carry out research online first, before leaving the house. Provide a map and directions to your company’s shops or offices on your website so that visitors are less likely to have trouble finding the place.


Accessibility

A website is online and accessible 24 hours a day, every day of the year. Because of this, your customers and potential customers can visit your site for support or information about new and upcoming products and services whenever it is convenient for them. Your website will act as an invaluable and always-available resource for information which would otherwise only be accessible during your company’s business hours.


Sales

Your website can sell products at any time. Potential customers are not restricted to business hours. Instead, they can go online and purchase products whenever they want. A website with an online shop can provide a dramatic boost in sales.