Tips for Starting a Successful Business Website

by Naveen Gehani on Friday 3 February 2012, 7:53 PM | Category: Launching a New Venture| View: 1644 views
 
 
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In this day and age, a business website is a prerequisite for even the most basic of services. It also serves as a valuable first impression to potential customers – sloppy website designs lead to negative assumptions about the professionalism of your business. Overly designed, memory-intensive flash websites filled with background music and tiny text frustrate visitors with haughty pompousness. How can you decide which approach is the best for your company? What are the steps necessary to establish a coherent, appropriate website?

http://www.businessdictionary.com/article/wp-content/uploads/2010/11/4437590512_d38fc8a1d63-300x264.jpg

Getting Started

In the late 1990s, most website design only required a simple knowledge of HTML andJavascript. Since then, websites have evolved greatly, and a working knowledge of Flash and HTML 5.0 are required for the most professional of websites. Most website designers use publishing software such as Adobe Dreamweaver to simplify tasks considerably. Fortunately, most publishing suites have simple templates for a basic site and may prove enough for most small businesses seeking a simple web presence. At the bare minimum, your website should consist of the following:

§  Contact information – your phone number, e-mail and address clearly visible on the first page.

§  For eCommerce sites:

§  A clearly designed product catalog, with your most current, news-worthy products on the first page. Promotions should also be clearly visible on the first page.

§  An online shopping cart system.

§  If pertinent to your products, you should add downloadable content – such as software or PDF manuals.

§  For corporate or events sites, a clear company calendar with upcoming events, which can also be synced to the iCal standard or Google Calendar.

There are also some common pitfalls to avoid.

§  Garish or common clip art – these make your website appear unprofessional and outdated. Use made from scratch graphic designs, if possible.

§  Tiny text in an attempt to create a minimalistic look. This can often be unreadable on some smaller displays.

§  Overly extravagant Flash introductions with background music. These often slow down older computers and frustrate customers who are only seeking basic information about the company. Create launch pages which give the user the option of selecting a HTML or Flash version of the site.

§  Poor frequency of updates. When a visitor to your site sees the last update occurring half a year ago, what does that say about your response time to customer issues?

Upgrading a Basic Website for the New Web

Now, with a basic foundation, your website should be spruced up further. Visitors these days expect a certain degree of interaction with the website. These are some things you can add to your website to enhance the user's experience.

 

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