Choosing the purpose of your website is not always as straightforward as it may appear. There are so many options available that it is in your best interest to reflect on this question before acting. Ask yourself what you hope to achieve with your online presence. Do you want a personal website, online store, blog, or online journal? Or, if you’re an artist, photographer, or craftsperson, perhaps an online gallery would be the most effective way to promote yourself. Consider asking yourself these questions to help you decide.
Do you wish to sell tangible products? Books, toys, clothes, and other items that must be delivered by mail, such as books, toys, and electronics, are ideal for an ecommerce website. You have numerous options available for cataloging your items by entering them into a database. This appears more difficult than it actually is. The majority of e-commerce software has a user-friendly interface that allows you to enter products in intuitive categories, as well as add prices, sizes, and shipping costs. Each item’s add-to-cart button is generated automatically.
There are numerous companies that offer shop solutions for your website, but not all of them have the same features. As always, it pays to conduct research and find a solution that meets all of your needs. I recommend that you choose a company that offers a free trial, as the majority of businesses do.
The benefit of purchasing shopbuilding software to install on your computer is that it is a one-time purchase with no recurring monthly costs, other than web hosting. Alternatively, you may opt for a hosted shop. There are a multitude of companies offering this service. The fact that your hosting and website are integrated is advantageous. Everything is completed online, allowing you to update your store from any computer. These options are typically very user-friendly and have comprehensive help menus.
Want to sell downloadable products, such as software, music, and ebooks? Downloadable products are incredibly popular on the Internet. The reason is obvious, and everyone involved benefits. The buyer receives the item as soon as payment has cleared, and the seller has no inventory to purchase, store, or deliver. Examples of products include music, images, software, templates, and electronic books.
Ebooks are among the most widely downloaded products. They are very simple to create, and the majority of people can read them on their computer screens or print them out. How-to books are by far the most popular because they contain answers, solutions, and concepts. Many people use the internet as a research tool, actively searching for information and solutions to problems. If you can provide these on a niche topic that is popular enough, your ebook will likely be in demand.
There are numerous websites that allow you to sell downloadable products, including Clickbank and Payloadz. A quick Google search will provide you with additional options from which to choose the one that best meets your needs.
Are you a visual artist, photographer, or artisan? Ask yourself first what the purpose of your online presence will be. For instance, do you want to create an elegant online portfolio or an ecommerce store to promote the sale of your original artwork and prints? Can you create websites, or do you have the financial resources to hire someone to do so? Do you have the necessary I.T. skills to join one of the numerous online galleries that permit you to upload your work to your own gallery section on their website? Do you wish to be a part of a larger online gallery but require assistance with the technical aspects? There are currently a vast number of online galleries, but if you know what you’re looking for, you can significantly narrow your search results.
Do you have a physical storefront? Consider what you require your website to do in order to promote or add value to your business if it exists in the physical world. Do you want it to be a simple online information hub where people can learn more about your products or locate your business? If so, your local government may provide you with a free web page or mini-website on their main council site. If you desire something more unique, a simple website created with Frontpage or a website builder is likely your best option. If money is no object, you can hire a web designer to create a more sophisticated website.
Or you may wish to add something extra to your business, such as an online ordering system with home delivery that operates outside of business hours. Again, unless you can afford a custom-built website, one of the simple web-shop builders is likely your best option. Here are some excellent examples for your consideration.
Do you wish to market or sell a service? Are you a web designer, babysitter, photographer, plumber, tutor, dog walker, typist, financial adviser, mobile hairdresser, decorator, gardener, acupuncturist, or beautician, for instance? The list is exhaustive. If you offer a service, whether online or offline, you will want your website’s design and navigation to reflect your professionalism. If you can afford to have your website designed according to your specifications, this can be a good option because it frees up your time to focus on providing the service you offer.
This is a luxury that few can afford. Alternatively, you could create the website yourself. The benefits of this can truly justify the time invested. You can update your site whenever you like, ensuring that the content is always fresh and relevant. The necessary software is easily obtainable. Dreamweaver and Frontpage are among the most popular web design applications. Because it is so intuitive and simple to learn, I believe that the latter is the best option for a web design novice.
Having built your site yourself, the only ongoing expenses are the time you devote to it and your web hosting, for which there are excellent deals available today. If you feel uneasy around construction sites, do not despair. There are currently a number of excellent online website builders available. With this option, both your website and its hosting are included. Typically, you will be provided with a login area where you can select the template, i.e. the appearance of your website, and add images and content in a very straightforward, step-by-step manner. There is a great deal of competition among web hosts that provide this option, and for you, the consumer, this means that more and more extras are being added to these packages.
Want to create a community website? Websites that reflect the interests of a community or group’s membership do not need to be complex, but it is a good idea to make them interactive. The ability to post questions and opinions, vote on a member poll, and even post photographs will encourage members to participate more actively and can lead to the development of new ideas and a revitalization of the group’s enthusiasm. A one-page website linked to a forum could be an ideal solution. Some web hosts offer free websites and hosting to non-profit organizations; this is something you should investigate. A further suggestion is to create a community blog. Again, these allow group participation in posting, are simple to set up and manage, and are frequently free.