Final Thoughts On Hosting & Design

 

 

Selecting the bits and pieces you need to launch a successful online small business is just one part of the puzzle. Don't get so distracted with these details that you forget what you are trying to do (which is likely some form of 'selling stuff'). Stick to your message. Craft one that will resonate with your customers. Build your online efforts around this central message.

 

The Website Layout

Even if you don't have a website yet, you can still think about the overall layout of your site content. Think of your customers & organize the site in a way that makes sense to them. Unlike some department stores that force busy customers to walk through the entire store to get to the checkout, you really can't (shouldn't) do that with your website. If you fail to solve or address your customers' problem(s) in a timely manner they will likely leave.

On the other hand a well designed site can actually help you complete the sale. Did you know that the demonstrations made by the expensive door to door vacuum cleaners were designed to end at the kitchen table so you could write a cheque? I wonder if they found out by accident? If they ended the demonstration at the front door it would be pretty easy to just say thank you and show them the door.

Think about customer problems you are going to help solve and design your content around those solutions. In its simplest form identify the problem, prove your solution & request action. This is the AIDA (Attention, Interest, Desire, Action) formula at work. (More on AIDA in the next section.)

 

Your Website Content

The two most important elements to your website are going to be the content and the layout. The template of website design is a distant 3rd. To put it another way, it's more important what you say and how you say it than how you look saying it.

It should be immediately obvious that the plainest, simplest looking website with a good message is going to outperform a fantastic looking but confusing/unfocused/less-then-helpful website every day of the week.

Some may disagree with this statement and to some extent the disagreement may be valid, depending on the customers you are trying to attract. But to illustrate our point consider the following two website snapshots taken in February of 1999. One site, which happened to be the newcomer, concentrated on their core reason for existence with a laser focus, the other site was already well established but tried to be everything to everyone and we all know how this turned out.

http:// web.archive.org/web/ 19990208021547

http:// web.archive.org/web/ 19990221160537

And the cool thing about templates is that a plain simple looking website with a killer message can be transformed into a world class website as easy as putting on an expensive suit. Did we mention we custom make those suits to your specifications?

NEXT: Your Main Message

 

 

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Websites 4 Small Business, designs, builds and hosts websites. We specialize in small business websites.

When it's possible, practical and cost effective, we use Open Source off the shelf software to get your site up and running fast. Our philosophy is simple:

Why reinvent the 'technology wheel' at your expense?Cave Man creating wheel

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