- Internet & the Web
Affordable Web Design Service
Digital marketing basically means marketing over the Internet.
Small Businesses Need Affordable Web Design Services
Every small business needs an Internet presence these days as more and more potential customers reach, not for Yellow Pages but their lap tops or even more likely - mobile devices.
Services like Google Pages, Yelp and Yahoo Business Directory are becoming the first port of call for many wanting to know where to get hold of a plumber, electrician, financial adviser, retail outlet, a jewellers or an affordable website designer. Even 'Yellow Pages' has gone on the Internet.
Once they have found the business they are looking for, the next expectation is that they will be able to click through to their website and check that the business offers the services, products or information they need. So having a website significantly increases your chances of being returned in search results. It is possible to register on Google local businesses without a website, but this is not making the most effective use of the service. Google expect you to have a website and try their hardest to match an enquiry with the most appropriate result. Clearly if you have a website, they can analyse it to see if you provide the services or products being searched for and the more likely it is that your business will be presented to potential customers.
What are the barriers to small businesses getting themselves a website:
- Don't know how to register a domain??
- Unsure how to set up hosting for a website
- Think a website will cost a fortune
- Haven't got time to make the arrangements
- Been told there is too much competition on the Internet
These are all valid concerns and there are probably more but, if you haven't already, you need to take the time to find out how to knock all these barriers down and step into the 21st century. Because if you are a small business and you haven't got an Internet presence then there is a very good chance you will be losing customers and ultimately that could cost you your business.
You shouldn't forget about offline marketing but you should re-enforce offline marketing with online marketing and for that you really do need a website.
Online Web Design Services
Domain registration is a relatively straightforward process and there are many online services that will search to see if your chosen name is available and then offer to register it for you if it is available.
The choice of a domain name depends on a lot of factors , it could be an existing brand name, a completely new brand starting from scratch, a company trading name, a trademark or perhaps a generic service being provided. But whatever is selected it must be unique and they are only issued on a first come first served basis.
You can use hyphens, numbers or underscores to make the name unique but generally if you can avoid these options that is considered better although if it works for you, you like it and people will remember it then there shouldn't be a problem.
The best way to find a name is probably just by sitting down and brainstorming a list of about 20 names for yourself which ideally would be no more than 7 characters long. This will be more difficult than you think but is a worthwhile exercise.
You can Search for your domain name on one of the domain name providers' websites and usually get a list of all taken and available options for your search. Certainly with the option provided here that is what will happen, and then you can go on to register the domain name you choose.
Social media is very important for online promotion of a business, but you can't use it as a means of pitching sales. It needs to be much more sophisticated that that.
Website Hosting - Web hosting has become very affordable
There are certain features you are probably going to need and which you really should be provided with when you start to use a hosting package for the first time.
You not only need to consider your current requirements but also your future requirements, whether you want a content management system as an option. Perhaps you might like to introduce a blog at some time as a subdomain of your actual domain or be sure that search engines value the RSS feed you introduced.
Most decent hosting packages also come with bespoke email included, that means you can present a professional image using an email address that says 'email@example.com' and not 'firstname.lastname@example.org'.
But above all else is the reliability factor, a hosting service that is off line even 5% of the time is a hosting service you do not want to be using. All the top hosting services guarantee 99.9% up time and that should be your minimum requirement.
Specifying an Affordable Website Design - Navigation and Style, that's what counts
Getting the specification for your website correct is extremely important both from a functional viewpoint and from a cost viewpoint. So it is worth spending time at the start to ensure the specification is clearly defined and is exactly what is required.
Sitemaps and Story Boards
Using a sitemap in the form of a flowchart is a great way to sort out how you want to navigate the site i.e. what categories and subcategories you would like to include and how they connect to one another.
That assumes of course that the website is complex enough to warrant multiple pages, but not every business needs multiple pages and the simpler the design can be the less it is likely to cost.
Another consideration is to think about whether you are happy to use an existing template to keep costs low. A website that is properly configured using external style sheets can easily be adapted for different fonts and colours. So by using your own content and images a template can give the appearance of a custom designed website fairly easily.
A further available option is to utilise the Wordpress platform as a content management system. This basically means that, once the website is set up and published, ongoing updates and changes can either be made by the owner or further support can be provided as required.
Website Design Guide for Private and Business Users - Introductory Concepts and Techniques Demystified For Beginners
Ever wondered how websites are put together? Or whether your present website is working as well for you as it should? In this ebook reference gem, Brian Stephens, a website designer and ebook publisher, lifts the lid on the concepts and techniques that can make all the difference to a website's success.
The information demystifies this jargon-riddled business and will help you brief web designers and hold them to account if the site is not doing its job properly. And for the already computer-savvy, the author highlights ways for them to create their own website, making use of the latest facilities freely available on the internet.
Subjects covered include choosing a name for your website; what you need from a hosting service, setting a budget; ensuring you can add content to your website without paying a designer or webmaster to do it. Then, once it's up and running, you are shown how to actively promote your website.
All existing and future website owners will find this up-to-the-minute guide an excellent point of reference for managing a nowadays powerful business and personal tool. Creating your own website need no longer be the preserve of big business and the most technically gifted computer technicians.
This is a great introduction to website design that dispenses with all the jargon and explains in layman's terms exactly what anyone looking to publish a website or blog needs to know.
Working With a Professional Web Designer
There are a number of benefits associated with working with a professional web designer.
- He should understand how to achieve what you want technically
- He should be able to optimize your design for SEO
- Search engines like properly constructed fast loading websites
- He should advise you on how to promote your business on line successfully
- Domain registration and hosting will become a formality
- Formatting of text, static graphics and dynamic graphics will be routine
- Ongoing support will be provided as part of the design package
- Adding email, CMS and supporting blogs can all be part of the requirements
So if you are concerned that setting up an affordable web design is going to soak up too much time and not be visible in the search results then make sure you commission a designer that can take care of your requirements and guide you to take the correct course of action. Web designs are much more affordable and a website with your name on it, or that of your company, can be yours in hours, and placed on the Internet for the world to examine. It really needn’t be as complicated as some make out.
Also if you already have a website but feel it isn’t doing its job properly, costs far too much, or needs a serious make-over, that, too can be looked at for you – keeping what you like and amending what needs improving.
Costs really have tumbled in recent years and it is possible to keep within a tight budget, and tune your website so that it meets your objectives
Web Design Tools
Websites for Small Businesses
Do you need a website for your business?
Website Marketing for Beginners - A Simple Guide to SEO
The basics of SEO and Web Marketing are relatively straightforward and fairly easily implemented. This guide talks you through the latest and most up to date SEO strategies that are considered to be white hat techniques and identifies practices that are no longer relevant and may actually get you penalised by the search engines.
Even a basic SEO campaign is better than no campaign at all.