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Just because you are a small business with an even smaller website design budget, does not mean that you cannot have a professional looking website and presence on the web. All it means is you will have to do some of the work yourself instead of paying some design firm to do it for you. Amazingly enough, self designed pages from small business owners who did their research frequently end up being better and more focused than professionally designed pages. Conider the following suggestion when designing your own website.
Suggestion #1 - URL
First of all, your URL is very important and since it is the address to your website and what everyone will use to find your place on the web you need to put some careful consideration and thought into it. You don't want to come up with a URL that already exists as a .com and register it as a .tv. If you do this, you will just lose customers to the com. Likewise, you don't want to register a URL that has nothing to do with your website or content either. Be thoughtful and register a URL that pertains to your services or products, is as short as possible, and is spelled easily.
Suggestion #2 - Host
The next thing you must do is find a web host. Since you are on a shoestring budget you will be tempted to save money and go with a free host. Do not do this. Do anything you have to do to convince yourself that free is not always better because in this case it is not. Frequently the free sites don't get indexed by the search engines, they don't provide much space or bandwidth, and since they are free you can't do too much about it when the site is down or you went over your visitor limit. Instead, find an affordable host and there are many for under $10 per month, offer decent bandwidth, storage space, e-mail services, as well as other tools you need.
Suggestion #3 - Professional Templates
When it comes to designing your site, many hosts have tutorials and wizards that will help you do so. However, you will want your site to be as professional as possible so keep this in mind when choosing colors and the like. Also, use professional templates that you can buy or download for free online. They will give you the professional appearance you want for free.
Suggestion #4 - Text
When it comes to loading text on your website make sure you break it up into small chunks, use bold words, bullets, numbers, and anything else that you can think of to make it more readable. Avoid small fonts, light colors, or strange texts. Also, remember that the search engines use keywords in your text to return results, so be sure to include keywords in your text as well.
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