Do I Need A Website?
Neil Bromage has run his own small business and is a freelance business writer working on a range of newspapers including The Times, Sunday Times, Telegraph and Financial Mail on Sunday. This book is based on a wide range of columns and Q&As written and answered by Neil for Business Link over a number of years. He is based near Preston, Lancs.
One of the first things people think they need as soon as they set up in business is a website. But first you should decide whether it’s really a necessity and worth the financial investment, as not all businesses will need a presence on the Internet.
Once you have decided that a website will enhance your business there are a few points you should consider. Every week there is something new on the web, making it almost impossible to keep up. Restrain yourself from jumping on the bandwagon and looking for all those little novelties that you think make websites more interesting – the chances are you don’t need them yet.
The more bells and whistles there are on your site the more difficulty users are going to have in viewing it. That doesn’t mean you have to avoid new concepts in technology, but be aware that not everyone will be able to enjoy the benefits of these features. Avoid excessive graphics and frames, lots of background images and other graphic tricks as these will bog down your site and make it difficult to navigate.
The most important thing about a website is that it is simple and easy to access. Try to get to the point of what you arc saying on the first page, or at least give people some idea of what your site is about. If people have to go hunting they may just decide to move on.
Split your information into logical sections and make sure your starting page is attractive and well laid out. Keep a consistent theme throughout the site and use colours, styles and fonts that complement each other.
Ask yourself what people will be looking for and try to make those things accessible from the main page. Offer a way of searching your site and make sure visitors don’t have to wade through endless links to find what they want.