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Tech Tips for Small Businesses: Start a Website

In order to compete with large companies, small business owners should consider setting up a website for their company.

One of the things that makes Galloway a great place to live is the wide variety of small businesses found here. Establishments like and offer products and services that just can’t be found anywhere else.

Competing with large companies is just one of the many challenges small businesses face. Local businesses may have smaller advertising budgets than their nationwide counterparts, but by spending that budget on the right things, they can still draw plenty of customers away from those large companies.

The world’s a different place than it was just 10 years ago. Today, most people search the internet for a company’s phone number before they ever think of opening the phone book. In other words, your customers are on the internet, and you should be there too.

Your company needs a website in order to stay competitive in today’s economy. That’s the bad news; the good news is that getting a website up and running isn’t as tough or expensive as you think it is.

There are two basic methods you can use to get a website up and running. You can either have a member of your staff take care of it, or you can outsource the project to a contractor, or a company.

Before deciding which method is right for you, think about the features you want your website to have. For example, if you plan to sell products on your company’s website, you might want to hire someone on to handle the set up, and maintenance of the site.

If, on the other hand, your site isn’t going to change very often, it’s probably best to outsource the project. If you shop around, you’ll probably be able to find a company or a contractor that fits your budget.

When you’re looking to hire someone to take care of your website, check out sites like Elance and Odesk. These sites have a feedback system in place so you can see what other customers thought of a web designer you’re thinking of hiring.

We can’t cover all the ins and outs of getting a website set up in this article, but we can give you a basic breakdown of what you’re going to need. Aside from someone to design the site, you’re going to need a domain name, and a hosting plan.

Your domain name is your address on the internet. Each time one of your customers wants to browse directly to your website, they’ll have to type your domain name into their browser so it’s important to pick a name that’s both easy to remember and descriptive of your business.

So, if you own a business called Bill’s Pancake Shack, http://billspancakeshack.com would be a great domain name for your company’s website.

Domain names cost between $10 and $20 depending on who you buy it from. You can get a domain name from a registrar like Go Daddy, or you can get one from the company that handles your hosting.

Hosting is the service that houses all of the files that make up your website. There are two types of hosting – dedicated, and shared. Shared hosting costs significantly less than dedicated hosting, and for most businesses, shared hosting will meet your needs.

There are a lot of hosting companies out there, and it can be tough to choose the one that’s right for you. The best thing you can do is ask friends and family members that own websites who they’re using, and whether they’re happy with the service.  

Beyond that, search the internet for reviews of any service you’re considering.

There’s a lot to know about getting a website up and running, but these basic steps should be enough to point you in the right direction.

Bill August 06, 2011 at 11:48 PM
One more tip Do Not hire Any Illegal aliens or their Kids !!
Jennifer Auer August 07, 2011 at 02:33 AM
Also, business owners need to keep in mind that in today's economy, you can't just set up a website and then ignore it. Customers want to see websites that are maintained with current information not outdated coupons, promotions, or prices. Websites need to list contact information. Yes, there is a chance you'll be spammed, but to leave that out leaves customers without a way to contact you. If you list an email address make sure it is one that you are actively using. Too many companies list their email addresses and then never respond to a customer's inquiries. It's better to leave out the email than to list it and ignore it. Jennifer Auer Galloway Patch Writer and owner of Jersey Family Fun

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