Building Up Your Home-based Business Web Presence
It is not easy to establish your presence on the web. Don't let anyboday tell you otherwise. Be prepared for long days and nights while you are building your Business on the internet because you have to cultivate relationships with your customers through a good reputation, and this doesn't happen in one day. If you have a satisfied customer, they usually will buy over and over again. It all starts with your website. There are several steps you must remember. First of all, start with a clean design and make your site as easy as possible to navigate. One method for doing this is to feature a Sitemap. Google even has a webmaster section on their site where they discuss the benefits of having a sitemap. Make it simple to move around your site from each individual page. Ease of navigation is key because if your customers get too confused they just won't buy from you, plain and simple. Also consider that when you are building your site to keep graphics to an absolute minimum so that your site loads as quickly as possible. Research studies show that visitors will not tolerate slow-loading websites. There is just too much competition out there for them to waste their valuable time. The slower loading the site is, the swifter the visitor is out the door. When you go to review your web statistics to see how long your visitors remained on your site you may be astonished to find out that they have hit the back button on their browser shortly after entering and left skid marks in the process.
You will also need to decide who you are going to trust to host your website. Reliabilty is a prime concern so I cannot recommend free hosting services but if you must go that route there are several things you should know. There are now many free web hosts, and each one appears to have a certain benefit and limitations. Some of the completely free hosts like Tripod and Geocities, for example, have banners or pop-up ads. You do not get any scripts or other database features such as site statistics but you can put a counter on the site from an outside source.
Normally I only recommend using free web hosting for personal webpages where you simply require a simple homepage. There are certain exceptions but for most home-based business websites you really do need a dedicated host who features enouph disk space, bandwidth and technical support. However, there are numerous free web hosts who are reasonably reliable. And I can recommend such sites for link pages and so forth. They are usually automated so you don't have to wait to be approved to have a site up and running. You just need a valid e-mail account, generally.
But a negative is that they put a lot of java-type scripts at the top of your html source (for their ads) and this can really screw up your site ranking on some search engines, I have noticed. For your first trial site they can be good because they have tutorials and a handy features such as color code programs.
If you are on a tight budget I suggest you try one of the many budget hosts that exist on the web. Just type in "budget web hosting" in you favorite search engine and you will get a myriad of results. But do not choose just anyone. Double check their customer service and uptime. Read through their FAQ section.
In the last few years hosting packages have gone down in price as competition has increased. So you may be able to get one hundred MB of space and two Gigs of transfer for as little as five dollars a month.
About the Author: Aaron Wilmont is a writer/researcher of home business issues. More information can be found at http://www.home-business-match.com
and home business articles at http://www.home-business-match.com/resources.html