Tuesday, April 14, 2009

And you know you Have to have a website right??

You've heard it a million times and a million more. No matter your business you need a website of some sort. Even if you don't sell from there you absolutely must have one, there's no excuses anymore. Gone are the days of spending thousands of dollars on a flashy, hyper-designed website.

Nope today you can launch a website with e-commerce for FREE! Yeah no kiddin', and if you can get your hands on some backgrounds, or know how to play with photo editors you can really jazz things up.

So for this post we're gonna give you some Don't Chase Your Tail Action Points right away, because your website isn't going to launch itself, it clearly needs you to DO SOMETHING! Ok so let's go:

----> Big Cartel -- You can launch a Big Cartel website in literally a matter of minutes and be accepting new customers in a day or two (with the right launch anyway). I played around with Big Cartel and loved the ease of userbility and the fact that I don't have to know any html code whatsoever! Yeah none at all, so don't freak out over that. But I will tell you that knowing a little html like how to make a picture a link is pretty easy stuff and comes in handy later on *wink, wink*

---->Flying Cart -- Another easy to use and set-up alternative. I told you there were options out there when you wanna build and launch your site. I messed around with this one a bit too, and found it was easy to use and pretty fun to add in my stuff.

---->Wix -- Now this one I haven't tried just yet but I would be happy to just go in there and play around a bit. I kinda like that sorta thing. But the templates look top-notch and if you're really hooked on having some flash on your website looks as if you can have it here too. This one also features several cool add-ons like using your own domain name (ie www.yourname.com)

Here are a few other points to consider:

* When you've finally taken the plunge and you're going to design your site and lauch it, please do not make the mistake of keeping the http://www.yoursite.anothername.com/ moniker. It screams, I didn't want to spend $7 a year to buy my domain name. And we don't want that do we?

* Although time-consuming you probably shouldn't stop with just a website, a blog is also a great way to pull in traffic directly from big deals like Google, Yahoo etc. For some reason and I'm sure the SEO gurus can detail this for you, the search engines like to grab your blog and throw it high up on the search pages. So make a note, a blog is generally not a maybe option. -- if you want help with it there are people for that :)

* Transperancy is a great way to show your customers and visitors you're a real person and not some ghost vying for their attention or their wallets. Do so by adding an 'About us' page, 'Contact Us' page and how to best reach you. While some people will be against giving out your cell number or an address, I'm not. I think when people know that they can call me, it gives them piece of mind. So share, you can also opt for a prepaid cell phone too, if that makes you feel better :)

*Keep your site looking Professional, nothing says I don't know what I'm doing like a poorly designed website with elementary school colors and poorly done graphics. You know the kind the graphics look grainy or worse blurry! C'mon now seriously would You buy something from a site that looks like that? And the navigation menu is just a stream of categories running all the way down the page??? Please, please don't do this, it looks cheap and tacky and you don't need to stand for that. You can design a modern, professional site for next to nothing, you have no excuses!

---Need any advice or feedback on your design? Let me give you my.02! I like to do that :)

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