Businesses related to the Internet have not stopped developing. In the early days of the Internet (and it has only been around for approximately fifteen years), there was much more specialism in the field of web site design. In essence, there were graphic designers; web site promoters or marketers and the database specialists. These days, these areas of expertise have blurred and most people who operate on the Internet will take on all three roles.
This is partially because the systems that are available to the DIY builders of web sites are so much more effective and because SEO (search engine optimization) techniques are more widely understood. Some of the best web site creation software will not only advise you on SEO techniques as you are building your web site, but it will also let you program in several languages, without you even having to be conscious of the fact that you are programming in PHP or ASP instead of HTML (which is the language that most web sites are written in).
This simplicity of web site creation and SEO permits owners of micro businesses to concentrate more on sales than teaching themselves programming languages and it also permits professional web site builders to develop high-quality web sites more quickly therefore more cheaply.
I think that it is preferable to spend, say $250, on good web site creation software than it is to pay someone $250 for a good web site. Web sites need maintenance and they have to be modified and up-dated to keep them looking fresh and vibrant. You cannot keep going back to the programmers every week for tiny $5 up-dates. They will not be amused unless they work for you in-house, in which case you would probably not be reading this article.
You have to be able to make these changes yourself and you will want to make them quickly, so you might as well get good HTML editing software in the first place. If you do that, then you may as well build your own web site too.
When you are designing your first website, try not to over complicate things. The best HTML editors have a range of templates for you to choose from. Pick one of these and just modify the colours, if you decide to. The HTML editor that I use has about a hundred built in templates and they are all fully modifiable by a few clicks of the mouse.
Your web site should be pleasant on the eye, of course, but it should not take more than a number of seconds to load. You may have 32 MBps, but most of the world is still down around the 256 kbps mark. Keep that in mind when you are adding lavish graphics, music or video links. People will not wait more than a couple of seconds for your site to load, particularly if it starts playing your favourite music at them too.
So, when you are building your web site, remember the goal of the web site. Be clear on that and stay focused. You do not need bells, whistles, music, video and Flash graphics, if you are trying to sell cheap nylons, but you may have to have them if you are trying to advertise your expertise as a web site designer.
Do not have any diversions from your main objective. For example, on my first web site, I thought it would be good to keep people amused while they were thinking of buying, so I had sudoku, hangman, crosswords and the like there. People played the games and then clicked through to the sudoku website to play more games. Sales plummeted. Keep your hard-earned visitors on your web site by not giving them any links to click away on except Google Adsense, for which you will get paid anyway.
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