How_To_Choose_The_Right_Website_For_You

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					How To Choose The Right Website For You

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1335

Summary:
Choosing what you want your website to be isn't always as obvious as it
might seem. There are so many options available to you that it really
pays to take time out to think about this question before jumping in. Ask
yourself what you are actually aiming for in having an online presence?
Do you want a personal website, an online shop, a blog or diary style
presence? Or do you want to run a forum related to your product or
interest, perhaps an ezine with a back-issue website or...


Keywords:
choosing a website, gallery, shop builders, selling online


Article Body:
Choosing what you want your website to be isn't always as obvious as it
might seem. There are so many options available to you that it really
pays to take time out to think about this question before jumping in. Ask
yourself what you are actually aiming for in having an online presence?
Do you want a personal website, an online shop, a blog or diary style
presence? Or do you want to run a forum related to your product or
interest, perhaps an ezine with a back-issue website or if you are an
artist, photographer or craftworker, maybe an online gallery would best
promote you? To help you decide, try asking yourself these questions.

Do you want to sell physical goods? Items that have to be delivered by
post, such as books, toys, clothes, electrical goods etc are ideal for an
ecommerce website. There are many options open to you whereby you can
catalogue your items by entering them into a database. This sounds more
complicated than it actually is. Most shop building software has a simple
interface whereby you can enter items in obvious categories, add prices,
sizes etc and postage costs. The add to basket buttons are generated for
you for each item.

There's a huge number of companies offering you shop solutions for your
website but they don't all have the same facilities. As ever, it pays to
research and find one that does everything you want it to. Most companies
will offer you a free trial and I recommend that you select a company
that does.

You can choose to buy shopbuilding software to install on your computer,
the benefit being that this is a one-off purchase and no recurring
monthly payments, apart from your web hosting. Alternatively you can go
for the hosted shop option. There are an enormous number of companies
offering this. Advantages are that your hosting and website are integral.
Everything is done online so you can even update your shop from any
computer wherever you may be. These options are usually very simple to
use and have good help menus.
Do You want to sell downloadable goods, eg. software, music, ebooks?
Downloadable products are very hot selling items on the internet. The
reason is obvious and it benefits everyone involved. The buyer receives
his/ her purchase immediately payment has cleared and the seller has no
stock to buy, keep or deliver. Some product examples are music, images,
software, templates and ebooks.

Ebooks are one of the most popular downloadable products. They are very
easy to produce and most people have the ability to read them from their
computer screen or even print them out. "How to" books are the most
popular by far as they provide answers, solutions and ideas. The internet
is used by many as a research tool and people are actively looking for
information and solutions to problems. If you can provide these on a
popular enough niche topic, your ebook is likely to be in demand.

There are several websites which offer you the facility to sell
downloadable products, such as Clickbank and Payloadz. A quick google
search will give you more options to explore to find the most suitable
for your particular needs.

Are you an artist or photographer or craftworker? Firstly, ask yourself
what your purpose of having an online presence will be. For example, are
you looking to have a classy online portfolio or do you want to set up an
ecommerce shop where you promote the sale of your original work and
prints? Can you design websites or do you have the financial means to ask
someone to build one for you? Do you have sufficient I.T. skills to join
one of the many online galleries that allow you to upload your work to
your own gallery area on their website? Do you like the idea of being
part of a larger online gallery but need someone to do all the techy
things for you?There are an enormous number of online galleries now but
knowing what you want to achieve will help you narrow your search
significantly.

Do you have a bricks and mortar shop? If your business is in the real
world, think about what it is you require your website to do in order to
promote or give added value to your business. Do you wish it to be simply
an online information post so that people can find more about what you
offer or find their way to your premises? If so, you may if that your
local government will offer you a free web page or mini website on their
main council site. If you want something more individual, then a simple
site built with Frontpage or a webuilder is probably your best option. If
money is no object, then you can hire a webdesigner and achieve something
more sophisticated.

Or perhaps you wish to add something extra to your business such as an
online, out of hours, ordering system with home delivery. Again, unless
you can pay for your site to be custom built, one of the easy web-shop
builders is probably your best option. Here are some excellent ones for
you to review.

Do you want to sell or promote a service? For example, are you a
webdesigner, childminder, photographer, plumber, tutor, dogwalker,
typist, financial adviser, mobile hairdresser, decorator, gardener,
acupuncturist or beautician? The list is endless. If you offer a service
whether online or off you will want to reflect your professionalism in a
well designed and easy to navigate website. If you are able to afford to
have your website designed for you to your own specifications, then this
can be a good choice as it frees up your time to get on with actually
providing the service you are involved in.

This is in option which many cannot afford. An alternative would be to
build the website yourself. The advantages to this can really repay the
time you put in. To start with, you can update your site whenever you
wish, so keeping the content fresh and relevant. Software to help you do
this is easily obtained. Dreamweaver and Frontpage are amongst the most
popular. I find that the latter is an excellent choice for someone new to
web design as it is so intuitive and easy to learn.

Having built your site yourself, the only ongoing costs are the time you
decide to spend on it plus your webhosting and there are some excellent
deals to be had these days. If you feel uncomfortable with building
sites, don't despair. There are some fabulous online website builders on
offer these days. with this option, your website and hosting are all
inclusive. Typically, you will be given a login area where you can select
the template, ie. look and feel of your website and add images and
information in a very simple step by step way. There is considerable
competition amongst web hosts offering this option and for you, the
consumer, this means that more added value is being tagged onto these
packages all the time.

Do you want to build a community website? Websites reflecting the
interests of a community or group membership don't need to be
sophisticated but it is an excellent idea to have one that is
interactive. Being able to post questions and opinions, vote on a member
poll or even post photographs will encourage members to participate more
fully and can lead to new ideas and renewed enthusiasm within the group.
An ideal solution might be a one page website linked to a forum. Some web
hosts will offer free websites and hosting for not-for-profit groups and
this is well worth looking into. Another idea is to have a community
Blog. Again, these are something that permit group participation in
posting plus are easy to set up and manage and many are free.

Good luck with your endeavours whatever your aims! The internet is a
great place to have your own voice.

				
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posted:5/8/2010
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