Setting up a web site is essential for an online business but it doesn't have to cost you a leg or an arm. The template and graphics for this site cost me about 40 USD. I made the pages myself based on the web templates i bought.
The key thing for a performing site is to keep it simple.
Many think they need lot's of graphics and flash to make a site attractive but it's in reality the opposite.
People that surf on the internet want quick information and they don't have time to wait for a flash movie to download. A simple text based web site is often what is selling best because it provides fast and accessible information.
Another great thing with a simple text based web site is that the search engines like it tremendously as well. The search engines can not make any sense of graphics and flash but perfectly well understands text.
Your chance to rank high on the search engines are much greater if you have a text based web site.
I'm not against graphic heavy or flash sites but i just state the fact that a text based site usually performs much better.
In some cases is graphic heavy sites necessary such as for example when artists and photographers display their work on the internet.
But keep it simple and don't overdo it.
Web hosting is very important and you should select a web host that can guarantee at least 99.7% uptime and quick support if the site is down.
Imagine you spend money on a PPC campaign and your site is down when the visitors you pay dearly for arrive to your site.
I mostly use Host Gator now because they are both cheap and reliable. They also have the "CPanel" control panel with "Fantastico" which is Fantastic because you can install blogs and many other features with a click of a button.
A unique domain name of you own if you are serious to start an online business. It's so cheap that you should not even consider using a shared/free domain name.
Register a domain name at Go Daddy or some other domain registrar over the internet and pay with your credit card. Within minutes you have your own domain name.
The most difficult with domain names is to find a good name that's not taken already.
You can create content in many ways:
- Write it yourself
- Hire a ghostwriter to write your content
- Find content from the "public domain" which is free to use
- Find content from article directories
I mostly write the content myself because i want control over the content and to keep it unified all over the site.
I recommend the following book for those of you who write your own content.
Make your content PREsell by Ken Evoy
This is a wonderful book for affiliate marketing on how to write content that PREsell. Affiliate sites should not sell, they should PREsell so the visitor is "warmed up" before he comes to the merchant site. I slightly dislike parts of the layout with the book but it's a favorite i read over-and-over again.
You can buy "Make your content PREsel"l for instant download from here.
Build the web pages
I usually buy templates and logos from the following sites
I did the mistake to make the web design myself in the beginning and it's quite embarrasing to see them when i look back. My "site stickiness" was horrible because the site look so bad but at that time i didn't realize how bad it was.
Why spend hours to make a bad web design yourself when you can buy a nice design for a few bucks and get it working within minutes.
I use Macromedia dreamweaver to update the templates with content.
You can of course outsource the whole work as well if you have the money.
Whatever you do i suggest you learn some basic HTML skills. You don't need to become a wizard and basic HTML is not difficult to understand.
Maintain the web pages
External links often become "dead links" so you continously need to maintain your site to keep it in shape. Nothing hurt your credibility more than a poorly maintained site. People will think it's dead and will not buy from it.
WEB CEO is not only good for Search Engine Optimization but also good for web maintenance. You can easily upload the file through the "uploader" functionality and can check through the whole site for "dead links" and many other problems with a click of a button.