Let’s say you have a little painting business and the time has come for you to buck up, get with the times, and get yourself a website. You have some things to consider.
Are you going to do it yourself or have someone else do it?
Don’t spoil the fun, do it yourself! In this day and age there are plenty of tools and plenty of help to get it done yourself. Of course, if you think blinking fonts are cool and you want your cursor to change into a pooping reindeer, you’ll probably want to hire a professional.
What is your budget?
If it’s $0.00, you can certainly still put up a site, but you aren’t going to get the professionalism of having www.yourbusiness.com. A rough estimate for registering a domain name and paying for a year of hosting is $100.
What kind of website do you want?
For your little painting business, a homepage with some information about you and maybe a few extras like a contact page and a history page might be enough. But there are lots of different kinds of websites (I’m sure you know, I’ll spare the explanations). If you want a blog, there are lots of free options. Perhaps a Wiki? Forum? a Store?
Now let’s say you’ve made your decision. You don’t want to spend any money, you are going to do it yourself, and a simple informational page is what you need. Weebly is a good choice. Using their simple drag and drop interface, you can create your website right in your browser, and they host it for free! (For now). Google has a similar service, although the pages tend to be a little uglier. Doodlekit is also similar, and produces some pretty beautiful sites.
If you want detailed information about the traffic you are getting, Google has a free solution.
Once you’re up and running, make sure you keep an eye on how you are doing.
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