No matter what kind of work-at-home opportunity you choose, you will need some type of web presence in order to properly market yourself or your products online. Whether you are involved in Network Marketing, developing Affiliate Sites, promoting your own products, or marketing your service-based business - the first question when starting out is:
How do I create my website?
There are so many options that it can be overwhelming to figure out where to start. Should I hire a web designer? What would I expect to pay? How do I know who to hire? What will the website do for me?
A good web designer will sit down with you and develop both a website and marketing plan, based on your most general thoughts and questions. They will know what you should be asking, and will outline all of the details that you might not have even considered.
Unfortunately, since you dont know these details upfront, you have no way of knowing if you are working with a professional... or someone who just has basic knowledge of website design and "a package" to sell you.
Note: GOOD web designers know that they can earn far more developing their own websites (monetizing them with advertising or affiliate programs) than they can by charging you for their service. This leaves you weeding out those who love to make money upfront regardless of the results... from the designers who truly love design work. Your best bet is to work with web designers that are personally recommended to you, and to get quotes and information from several developers or companies.
Should I design my own website?
This is certainly an option that you should seriously consider. It's much easier than you think, and you will benefit in the long run from having the basic knowledge and experience. Being involved in the development of your website, and in your marketing plan, means that you have more control over the results.
If you want to make a change, you'll know how to do that. If you decide to add a new page to your site, no problem. While you can always outsource these tasks, or any specific piece of your web development project, it is nice to be able to go in and make simple changes or additions when necessary.
Where do I start?
The absolute easiest and least expensive way to develop your own website is to use a template. You can get very nice templates at www.BasicTemplates.com for around $12. For that price you will get the graphics and the web page, and you can use this template to create each page of your website.
Since you probably dont 'know code', you will need an HTML Editor to edit the template and add your own content to each page. You can download NVU (a free editor) at www.NVU.com. If you can use Word, or create fancy emails, then you can use the NVU program - it's just as simple .
A popular solution to creating optimized websites easily is XSitePro. This program is affordable, easy to use, and gets highly positive reviews from newbies and seasoned professionals alike. Click here for more information...
I made a website... Now what?
Your next step is to put your new website on the web so that other people can see it. You will need a domain name (www dot something dot com), which will be the "address" of your website. You can register a domain name for $8.95 at www.GoDaddy.com. You want to choose something that describes your website or business, and that is easy to say and spell. It may take you awhile to find a domain name that is not already taken, but dont give up - get creative!
Once your domain is registered, you will need a hosting account. This is where you upload your files (your website and your images) and where your online business will be 'hosted'. I use and recommend HostGator, simply because they have tons of great features at a very low price - under $10.
With your HostGator account, you will get access to features such as: shopping carts, email accounts, blogs, forums, guestbooks, traffic statistics and much more. They even allow you to host multiple websites and domains on the one account, all for the same price.
Once you sign up with HostGator, simply log in and read through the information that they offer. They will show you how to upload your files to your new account, how to set up your email addresses, and anything else that you need to know.
If you have any questions along the way, whether it is about hiring a web designer or creating your own website, join us at the Discussion Forum. You can ask the most basic questions, get your new website reviewed by professionals, or learn the best internet marketing techniques. Its free and easy to register at the forum, and the members are very friendly and resourceful. I'll see you there!