Small Business Web Site Design

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The Essential Things Your Business Website Must Include

If you are a business looking to set up your first website, here’s some things you should consider.


It is vital that the website has a clear, effective design. On no account attempt to design your site yourself, unless you have a clear aptitude for design. I have seen so many small businesses attempt to design and build their own website, and very few are able to do it well. The amount of customers you will lose with a poor design is huge. Make sure the design is not overcrowded – too many companies like to cram in every single piece of information about their company which just overloads the visitor. At the end of the day the function of the website is to get them to contact you. And remember a website is not for life – design tastes change, new functionalities are invented, and in general we see customers completely overhauling and redesigning their websites every three years or so.

What do you want your website to doc

To generate leadsc If you are in a service orientated business it is probable that you may want your website to generate leads ie get the visitors interested so they contact you direct and you are then in a position to turn them into a client. One suggestion as to how you can do this is by offering free downloadable reports in PDF format in exchange for their details. Then you could follow up with a phone call or letter to them.

Be an information resource for your customersc It could be that you want your website to be a source of information to your existing customers, including all relevant technical data, online catalogues, product reviews etc.

Be an online ordering sitec It maybe that you want your customers to migrate to online ordering as this undoubtedly saves in personnel costs.

There are many different things that a website can do and you need to think about it thoroughly in the planning stage rather than trying to be all things to all people.

Do you want search engine trafficc

You may want to generate new customers through search engines and if this is the case then there are many factors you need to pay attention to. First and foremost, you need to be aware which keywords your site will target. To do this you need to do your keyword research; there are many sites which can help your with this such as,, and Google’s Adwords site . This will help you get create an image of what people are searching for in your market and the search volumes, so that you can create a short list.

On page optimisation: using the information you gained from the keyword research it will then be necessary to optimise the website for these phrases, which a web designer will be more than capable of doing.

Incoming links: The other critical factor in getting good search engine ranking is the building of incoming links to your website. This should be an ongoing process and you should set aside time each month or delegate it to be someone’s responsibility to obtain links to the website.

Website functionality.

Your website should be functional in the following:

Navigation: This must be clear, intuitive and easy to use. Visitors must be able to know how to quickly gain access to the different parts of your website.

Browser compatibility: Your website must work efficiently in all popular browsers, which include Internet Explorer, Safari and Firefox.

Clear design and branding: The overall layout design of your site should be a clear, clean design and incorporate your company branding.

Balance: Include in your website the right balance of text – break text up using pictures, as people dislike reading large blocks of text online.

Communicate clear benefits: Your website must communicate the benefits of using your company – your unique selling proposition. Lots of businesses make the error of telling the visitor all about themselves instead of advising them as to how they can help solve their problems.

Testimonials and client lists: Frequently, I have seen many customers bury their gleaming testimonials and client lists away in a corner of their website. If you have good testimonials and impressive client lists then you should use them throughout your site. Disperse testimonials throughout the main pages as they to tend to create an impression, yet no one particularly goes looking for a websites testimonials section.

Do you have an interesting story to tellc If you have a story of interest to tell about your company – maybe how it was born, or interesting case studies where you have helped a client, then tell the story. People enjoy stories – they delight and captivate and can be used as successful examples as to how your business can help them.

If you consider the above pointers, then you should have a clear plan as to how your website should look and function. You can then hand this information on to your web designer, who will then be more able to produce a finished website that you are pleased with and that does what you want of it. Which is ultimately to increase your business.

About the Author:
Robin Porter is CEO of kent web designcompany Arpey Internet, which specialises in small business web site design and helping small businesses get more business online. Click here to get your own unique version of this article.


10 thoughts on “Small Business Web Site Design”

  1. This one is for small business owners. Not web design firms please. How much would you pay for a web site?
    How much would you be willing to pay for a website that is more than just basic. I know you can set up a free website or design your own and host it for about 10 bucks a month. But are there small business owners who would like to have a professional website (that can handle a shopping cart and credit cards, provide search functionality, let users register on the site, etc.) but are put off since it is more complicated than what they can do on Front Page and more expensive than what they can afford to have a web design company do?

  2. How do I start up a small-business in web design?
    I’m turning 18 soon and I want to start a small business designing and building websites for local small businesses. I have designed sites for friends and church. How do I start this small business? If anyone has done this, I’d greatly appreciate it. How do I host the site and domain names? I’ve looked into GoDaddy but wanted your opinion. Thanks everyone. 🙂

  3. Hard to say, because I would love to know this as well.

    I could not afford $1,200 for just the design, but there are aspects that I would like.

    I would like it if a company could augment what I already have and charge per item. To explain a little better, I can do the backgrounds, the titles, the links, the content, I can even provide pictures, but I would want someone who could help do more with the pictures than just rollovers.
    For this, I might pay $50 to $75 – There is no design work and it is a one time fee, unless I change the pictures.

    For a complete package like you are talking about – with shopping cart, I guess, a 20+ page site around $50 a page.

    I personally, still could not afford it with how small my business is. It would take me moving to the next level with an actual location and a small business loan to think about it.

    What you talk about is great and I am interested – visit, but like I said – my payout would be limited right now.

  4. How Can Contact Yahoo Small Business Web Site Design???
    I lost my URL for building my Yahoo Small Business Web Site; How canIcontact Yahoo re this??? Desperate

    By clicking the above link u will find the address and phone number of Yahoo!;_ylt=AtIm_bsErIQUGgCx0HYqK.Xsy6IX?show=AA10030221
    By clicking the above link u can contact Yahoo! Answers team directly.
    Yahoo! has different customer care centres for different facilities like messenger customer care, 360 customer care, mail customer care etc. Which customer care u want to contact?
    Please click the above link to select customer care of ur choice.

  6. I’m thinking of starting a small web design business, and tips or ideas?
    I’m thinking of starting a small web design business.
    I was laid off at work and need to do something. I would love to work from home and have to use what I have for hardware and software to start.

    I have FrontPage, digital camera, scanner, fast connection, and understand the basics. I have put up a few basic sites but nothing for money to this point.

    I have no real design skills, as far as page content and layout. I don’t really like the templates in FP but know that what I have done can be a lot better.

    Also, any marketing ideas for this type business on a very short shoestring?

    I’m going to use the few examples I have, put together some marketing materials, and hit the street.

    A few of my thoughts and ideas are to:

    since I am small I will focus on small and micro businesses that do not have sites

    I am going to focus on target markets – used car lots, auto repair, carpenters, masons, etc. Get a feel for there needs and go one market to next as I use up leads

  7. No, don’t go with GoDaddy. A lot of negative reviews about it.

    I, myself, use TLS Hosting ( ). If I’m not mistaken, I read it in their blog that they have an affiliation with church. So, hosting with them will help God’s work as well 😉 That’s one of the reasons why I host with them.

    Their service is really good as well. I monitored my sites using service, they have 99.99% server uptime. Really deliver what is guaranteed. Customer support is top notch as well. They attend to my tickets in under 45 minutes every time, even on weekends.

    They have unlimited plans as well, should you want it. It’s here

  8. You are entering one of the most competitive fields in Internet services. There are hundreds of thousands of people offering their web design services. If you go to and use the googlesmackdown tool you can see how many web sites are currently offering a web designer (666,000 as I write this). And the number of web sites advertising as a web design business, 34,200. You will absolutely need to develop a very specialized skill set and it would be to your extreme benefit to have many thousands of personal contacts to help spread — word-of-mouth advertising.

    My business contracts with web designers, web developers, and web programmers almost daily. There are very few who actually know how to design a web site that provides customer loyalty, sells a product, provides search engine compliance and marketability, provides Internet directory compliance and marketability, and promotes brand awareness. All of which are absolute musts for an online business.

    Hope that helps stimulate your business ideas.

  9. Where can I find an affordable small business web design company?
    The key here is affordable. I want a web design company that wont charge me for every little thing and if I could have some control over the site and making changes every now and again that would be perfect. My buddy got a site built for his company,it cost him a ton of money and he doesn’t even own his domain name.

  10. There are 3 ways to build a website.

    1. Use a Sitebuilder. If you get a good web host, a Sitebuilder is provided for free. For instant, Hostgator comes with over 4000 designs to choose from. You can choose this option in the beginning to save cost and to build your website quickly. You can still get a designer to improve your website at a later time. For more info and to view the templates, go to

    Pros: Free (with hosting account). Get your website up quickly in less than 1 hour.
    Cons: They may not produce be the best looking design or you may not get what you are looking for

    Use coupon code SERVERHOSTING to get 25% discount from Host Gator.

    2. Get a web designer to help you plan and prepare your website. You can get a local web designer, but we suggest you hire a somebody online. You can post your project online at CrowdSpring or and hundreds of designers will present their ideas for you to choose.

    For a more serious or more complicated web development project, you can use Elance or Odesk. Elance is great to find developers for fixed-price projects while Odesk is most suitable for hourly assignments and for virtual-assistance type of work. See the link in resource box below for more info.

    Pros: You will be able to create a very unique website, if that is really your requirement.
    Cons: This option can be expensive depending on your requirements and it will take some time for the designer to produce the website design.

    3. Build the website yourself. It may not be for you but it can be very satisfying and you get to learn a lot too. You can use a simple WYSIWYG HTML editor such as Coffee Cup. If you want to be a designer yourself, you must have the software used by Web designers, which is Adobe Dreamweaver.

    Pros: You can learn. Maybe can become a designer too.
    Cons: Not for everyone. Time consuming.

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