Guidelines for Developing a Website

Why do I need a website? 

Since the Internet has changed the way we do business, advertising on the Internet is becoming a necessity. Websites are not just for companies that have something to sell online. A website can provide you with better exposure than a brochure or a yellow pages ad. 

Most people today utilize the convenience of the Internet to search for local businesses and services and the Internet provides a safe method for individuals to seek out information prior to contact. If you have a website, prospective clients can check out your services, prices and you before calling your firm to set up an appointment. This can save you and your staff time and money. 

If you don't have a website, you may find that your client base is diminishing and you risk being left behind 

How to Develop Your Website 

Start by developing short and long term goals for your website. For example, determine the purpose for your website. Do you want your website to simply act as a electronic brochure, or is it going to outline your professional services? Is it going to contain a question and answer section, or is it going to host a series of legal updates that will be of interest to home buyers? Do you want a section that will display links to other appropriate websites that will be of interest and service to your clients? All of these questions should be answered before you go any further;

Next, you must think about how you want your Website to look. To do this, visit different websites. Many are very simple in their appearance and many are very detailed. Don't forget that the more complex your site is, the more it will cost to develop and the maintenance of information may be a time challenge;

Finally, decide on how much money you would like to spend to develop your website. A basic site may cost up to $1,000 and very elaborate sites can cost up to $10,000. It's probably best to start at the lower level of the scale. You can add as you go and grow. Also, your service provider may charge a fee to host your site, ranging from $10.00 - $150.00 per month;

Now that you have thought about these questions, you can start to create your website. Consider whether you want to: 

  1. create the site yourself, if you have the time and energy, 
  2. hire a website developer (an individual or a company), or 
  3. consider a combination of the above. If you complete an Internet search through one of many search engines, you will discover that there are companies that offer website development kits. The price of these kits varies, but usually range from $200.00 to $1,000.00. This approach is usually very successful: you can apply your own style while learning from the experts. 

So whether you develop your own website now or in the near future, it is something that you should consider. Your website is one of the best tools for remaining viable and well-known in your market place.