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Small Business Website on a Shoe String Budget

By: Joshua Unseth-- 2010-05-31 7:00 am --

More people every day are turning to the web for shopping. Sooner or later every small business entrepreneur will hear the question: "Do you have a website?" and a yes answer is becoming a real necessity. This situation has a variety of problems.

  1. Mom and Pop have always done business by word of mouth, have no idea how to get started on the web, and aren't even sure it's necessary.
  2. All the jargon is complicated and can be really scary for the novice.
  3. Traditional do-it-yourself websites require computer skills and expensive software.
  4. The alternative of hiring a professional designer is even more expensive.

For Joe's Shoe Repair, the situation can be overwhelming. He doesn't want to promote his service on the global market. He doesn't intend to sell online at all. His only requirement is to extend his word of mouth advertising onto the web for his town. Joe's Shoe Repair just needs a web presence, so that when people in his local community search online for a place to get a heel repaired, they will find him.

If you fall into Joe's category, there are solutions to the problems. There are many reasonably priced hosting companies that provide online software for building a website yourself as part of the package. Companies such as GoDaddy have packages starting at less than $5 per month. Most of them also have customer support teams to help with setup.

However, the quickest, most straight forward way to get a website is to register with a blogging service. You don't have to have any software except your browser. Several organizations provide free space if you are willing to include their name in your web address. There is a slight learning curve to get things operational, but anyone who is capable of running a business can learn to use a blogging dashboard.

Take your time, no one but you has to know it is there until you have it fixed the way you want. The software for most blogs is very user friendly and they all have good help pages. Wordpress, the most widely used blogging tool, even lets you set up a static homepage and turn off comments so that you can leave it alone until you need to let your customers know about new developments. Then you simply sign in to access the dashboard and make changes.

<b>Do you have a website? Where do you host it? Who built it?</b>