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Small Business Web Design

The possible options out there for building a website for your small business can appear mind boggling.  It doesn't seem to make sense how some sites can offer a small business web design package for £85, whereas others are asking thousands.  This article will attempt to explain what you get for your money when buying a small business website.

The first type of package on offer are the free DIY web design packages, such as that offered by Google sites.  These are literally free - there is no catch!  The downside is that you will have to host it as a sub domain of their server so it's address will be something like http://sites.google.com/site/YourSiteNameHere.  This doesn't look very professional, and is bad for ranking on search engines.  The other problem with these sites is that the amount of functionality is very limited.  If all you want is to write some text and upload some images, then they will do the job, but more than that and you will have to look elsewhere.

Another option is to build your own website using a tool like Serif Webplus X4.  This is a great tool for non technical people, and very cheap.  It allows you to drag and drop images, text areas, forms ect to make a website.  it can take a while to master this tool though, and no matter how good you get the sites will never look as good as a professionally made site.  The code producted by the tool is also bloated, making your site load more slowly which is bad for site visitors and bad for search engine optimisation.

The next step up is to find a cheap web design company.  This can be a great choice for a small business website, as these companies will outsource your work to a developing country (normally India), which allows them to keep their web design costs very low.  The benefit of this approach is that it saves the hassle of building the site yourself, and the results are normally fairly presentable for amazingly cheap price.  The downside is that absolute minimum effort will be put into the "under the hood" aspects of the design.  Cheap web design companies generally rely on Google for their trade, rather than repeat business via referrals. This means that they will not care much if your site still isn't ranking in Google after 6 months, or if it breaks when browsers get upgraded.

By far the best way to find a quality web designer is via referrals.  This can be easier said than done, but one tactic is to look at a website's own portfolio and testimonials.  Send some emails to their previous customers and you still soon get an idea of the quality of the web design company!