Here is a list of a few useful posts on website design that are good to get you thinking about your own new website, or website revamp.
My two personal maxims or tips about small business websites are
- Make sure you own your domain name. It can be tedious to walk through that website to buy a domain name, and working with your designer can ease that process. They can do it with you, at the same time you purchase website hosting (where your files are stored on the internet); they can tell you what “upsells” might be worth it – like domain privacy – but don’t get ripped off. Make sure you buy it in your own name. Too many small business owners put this task off on their web designers, and they in turn, register YOUR DOMAIN NAME in their own name. They may say to make it easy on you. Guess what – if it’s in their name – then THEY legally own it. I have heard, both first hand and second hand from small business owners and from tech guys at website domain and hosting companies…that this happens all too often. Some designers then go as far as to withhold the domain name if there is a payment dispute. I always offer to walk through this with the client on the phone.
- Keep track of the various customer numbers, email addresses, passwords and PIN numbers that come with your new website. Or if you’re doing a site revamp, gather that info together and keep it up to date. Less often than the problem above, but still too frequently, a small business loses access to their domain name and or hosting account because they filed to keep track of this items, and/or forgot to pay. Put the payment date on your calendar a month early. If your email address changes, or your office administrator leaves the job, and the email address was theirs, make sure you update the info. Without the customer number, email password and/or PIN – you could be locked out of your business website account.
- I’ll get off my soap box now. See the tips below for more interesting stuff about designing your own simple small business website
This is a guest post on Michael Hyatt’s small business blog by by Brian Casel. He is web designer and author of Design for Conversions.
This blog post lists the dos and don’ts for artist’s websites, but most of the maxim’s here are appropriate to most small businesses. Some of my web design clients are artists, so this is especially of interest for them.