Feeling adventurous? Are your creative juices flowing like floodwater? Do you enjoy learning new skills and sopping up new knowledge? Do you, as a user, know your way around the Web and have clear likes and dislikes about sites you visit?
Then you’re probably ready to take on much of the work of building yourself a Web site. Depending on how much functionality you need, you can even do it in a day, start to finish – your business, live on the Web!
But if you find basic word processor functions a challenge, have never uploaded an image from a digital camera to your computer or bought anything from a retail Web site, if you still haven’t set up that e-mail account you’ve been meaning to get to, it would be a very good idea to seek professional help. Web-building help, that is.
In this step, we’ll fill you in on:
- DIY Web Site Packages
- Choosing a Web Design Professional
- SEO and Red Flags
Some people think of this step at best as BBI – boring but important. But don’t be tempted to skip ahead to the fun parts. You’ll regret it later, or maybe sooner.
DIY Web Site Packages
Before you decide to build your own business Web site, be brutally honest in judging your own creative abilities or potential. This is tricky, because a lot of it is a matter of taste, and facing certain realities.
- When creating anything, do you have the ability to do it in a fresh or novel way?
- Do you have a sense not only of what appeals to you, visually and functionally, but to a wide audience?
- Are you color blind? (Many people don’t know the answer.)
- When involved in a creative task, are you persistent enough to work through the rough spots until you get it right?
If the answers to these questions add up to limited creative abilities, many DIY Web site packages, including site-builder software, will fill in the gaps for you.
Most include customizable templates – fill-in-the-blanks Web page designs that provide the visual look and feel of your site and have basic functions built in.
Some DIY packages include your choice of domain name, hosting, add-ons for more functionality, search-engine optimization (SEO) to boost your site’s visibility on the Web, and other basic but vital elements.
Before you choose:
- Be sure it includes 24/7 customer support. If one thing is certain in building and maintaining your own Web site, there will be bugs and you’ll have questions.
- Even with assurances of around-the-clock support, choose a provider in your own time zone. If they’re asleep while you’re awake, you can easily end up waiting 24 hours for the answer to even a simple question.
- Try it out. Most reputable DIY Web site providers now offer the option of downloading and trying their software free for a limited time.
That said, here’s a short list to get you going: