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The days of being able to operate a small business without a professional website are over. These days you not only need a website that looks good and connects with your customers but you need one that also delivers leads to your business.

It needs to be responsive. Responsive basically means that your website will resize to work across different devices. It will not only look good on a desktop or laptop but will look good on a mobile or tablet. With the number of new internet devices around it is vital for your site to be responsive.

Getting your website up and running is only the first part of the story. Once your site is live you will need to work on your site to drive traffic to your site and to generate leads. You will also need to allocate a budget for ongoing internet marketing.

So What Do I Need To Do?

 

Here are our thoughts in terms of things you should think about when commissioning a new website.

  • You must go responsive. If you don't go responsive with your new website then you are putting yourself at a disadvantage from the outset. Google recently changed it's algorithm so that sites that were not mobile friendly would be pushed down the rankings.
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  • Use stock images. Websites are a visual media. You need to give your visitors the best possible experience when coming to your site and one way of doing this is to have really impressive images. Stock images are not overly expensive and can make a huge impact.
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  • Pay a copywriter. If you are not writing on a daily basis then the likelihood is that you will not create the greatest web content. It really is a false economy to try to do your writing yourself. Get someone who is experienced at creating compelling content.
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  • Think about SEO from the outset. You should create an SEO plan from the outset. If you don't know a lot about SEO then read Google's guidelines and talk to someone who does know SEO. SEO is vital to driving traffic and leads to your website.
  • Buy an SSL certificate. SSL certificates add security for your visitors. They are particularly important if you are operating an online shop. Google also gives a small SEO benefit to sites that have SSL.
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  • Pay for support. If you are not an online expert then it is advisable to pay for support. You can get a lot of free information online however it could take you months or years to weed through that information to find the truly important bits.
 

Once you have your site up and running you also need to allocate some time to online marketing and keeping your site current. Depending on the industry that you are operating in this could be anything from hundreds of dollars a month to thousands.

How much should I pay for a website?

 

It all depends on the extent of the website and the functionality involved. If you have an online shop then you will probably pay around $3k plus while a simple static site may only set you back $1k.

 

What about hosting?

There is a lot of cheap hosting around however much of it is a false economy. For a decent website that receives a reasonable amount of traffic you will need at least 250MB of RAM and around 10GB of disk space and bandwidth.

 

What should I be doing about online advertising?

We would suggest initially looking at Google adwords. Adwords is a great way to test the water to get an idea of how much it is going to cost you and how many people are looking for your goods or services.

 

What else besides hosting do I need for my website?

You will also need to buy yourself a domain name for your site and organise DNS hosting. You should also make sure that you or your provider keeps regular backups of your site.

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