Monday, July 20, 2009

I Started My Own Business and I Need a Website

I am seeing more and more people these days starting their own businesses. I suppose it’s due in part to the current state of the US economy. The folks who have been recently put out of work are stepping out and trying their hand as entrepreneurs. I love that spirit in the people I meet and their willingness to take risks. The question I am asked very often of late by acquaintances who know my line of business is "Hey Bill, I'm thinking about starting my own business; do you think I need a website?"

Do you want my professional response to this question? Of course you do, -and you should rush right over to our web design and hosting page and purchase a small business web design package (gratuitous plug) today! But seriously, yes, if you are considering a business venture, whether you're a business development professional, a garage mechanic or selling lemonade in front of your home with a cardboard sign; I firmly believe that your business needs a website and you should get at least 3 quotes for web design from 3 local web design companies. It is at about this time that most people who ask that initial question get that glazed look of trepidation in their eyes. Then the floodgate of questions opens up and I do my best to assess their business needs right there in the produce section of Whole Foods or wherever our encounter occurs!

More web hosting questions like...

Do you think I should host my site with ABC Company? They have a hosting package for $1.99 per month and they give me my domain name for free! Two thoughts immediately come to mind for me with this question. First "you get what you pay for" and second, "nothing is free in this world and what you do not pay for in unforeseen service charges you will pay for in frustration." That said, this is what I recommend to my clients. Choose a service provider that you either know and trust personally or will have the opportunity to develop a working relationship with at some form of personal level. When you have trouble with your website, and you will, you want to speak with someone who understands your needs. My reasoning is that nothing is more important to you than your business; it’s like having a child. You want someone who will respond to you and look after your website as if it were their own. I personally have been looking after websites for years and have developed real friendships with many of my clients.

I do not recommend that you register your domain name (www.yourcompany.com) through your web hosting company even if it is free for life! You should always make sure that you register your company website in your own name through Network Solutions. The reason for this is that if you become unhappy with your web hosting company, it can be extremely difficult to get them to release your domain name back to you. With some hosts it can become a very painstaking and bureaucratic process. You will most likely pay more through Network Solutions, I believe they're about $39.95 per year now, but you'll sleep a lot better too.

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