Building an online business is not as simple as it may seem.
We hear a lot about the advantages of doing business online. You don't need a physical storefront; you can run everything in the comfort of your home. You don't have the worry of large costs in monthly rent. You also have the ability to advertise to millions of people in no more time than it takes for an email to go from one point to another. Furthermore, you have the ability to build a storefront as big as that of largest company. To a great degree, all of this is true . To add to this, the earning potential is, as many say, unlimited.
However, all is not as easy as it may appear or sound. Establishing a business online calls for hard work and planning and there are very important essential things that must be done initially. First and foremost, you will need to choose a server to host your web site. More than anything else this step is essential to success and is one that calls for research on your part. You must keep in mind that the web hosting company or server that your web site is hosted on is much the same as a physical building where you place a physical store. If that building is dilapidated, lacks the essentials needed for your business to run properly, then your business will suffer, if not fail. The same is the case as it relates to servers or web hosting companies on the Internet.
In your research, you should make certain that the server you place your web site on has a reputation of staying up and functioning on a 7day, 24hour basis. Any time your server is down or offline, your site will be offline as well and not visible to the Internet community. As a result, you will loose business and your rankings in search engines will suffer and go down. Therefore, it is essential that you put the time in necessary to research your perspective web hosting company before choosing to place your web site on its server.
Similarly, each web hosting company affords it users different features that enhance their ability to do business. The ability to take secure credit card transactions, as well as blogs, forums, etc. are offered by most web hosting companies and play a vital role in your ability to provide services to potential customers. The extent to which your server or web hosting company affords you these features will be the extent to which you will be able to effectively compete with other businesses like your own. If, for instance, your competitor's web hosting company provides customers integrated shopping carts, and yours does not, you may well loose business to that competitor due to this deficit.
When choosing a web hosting company, it's a good idea to make sure that it has good customer support, 7 days a week, and 24 hours a day. Your web site will call for regular maintenance and the ability to access it when necessary. It is vitally important that you have someone at hand that can help you remedy any problems you may encounter when you have to fix a problem with your site or perform regular maintenance. The longer you have to wait to get assistance resolving a problem with your site, the longer that difficulty will hamper your ability to do business, thereby resulting in a loss of profits. Thus, round the clock, 7 day a week access to customer support is absolutely necessary to the success and maintenance of your online business.
Among those hosting companies that provide this type of help, is Dot5 hosting company. It is not only inexpensive but it has an excellent customer support base. You can chat with a customer support representative regarding any problem (technical, billing, or otherwise) at any time of a day or night. Not only do they provide you with information regarding how to resolve your difficulty, but they will often remedy it for you, if you don't have the technical know-how to do it yourself. Unlike other companies, you don't have to wait until someone responds to you by email. The help you receive is direct and immediate.
Along with a good web hosting company, you must have a way of building your web site, unless you opt to have a professional do it for you, at which point you'll have to pay a fee. There are many software packages available that can help you in this endeavor and assist you in producing a site that is both efficient and attractive. There, are also free software packages available like NVU and Komposer. Both are comprehensive and easy to use. However, they both call for a certain level of knowledge, in order to install advance features, such as java , streaming video, etc.
There is also Adobe's Dream weaver and Microsoft Expression. According to some, both are expensive in cost. However, with their price also comes a great deal of features to make any site fully interactive and attractive to potential customers. You will indeed be able to produce a good site by using either one of these software packages. However, as with NVU and Komposer, you will need some level of knowledge of web site building and related aspects to adequately utilize advance features.
There is one other software package that might prove of great value called NetObjects. This software package was designed to make it easy to produce a fully interactive and attractive site to conduct business online. It makes it easy for you to build and utilize product catalogs, payment modules, institute java scripts, and much more. Placing video, music, and other features into a site is relatively easy with this software. Most of all, it is relatively inexpensive and therefore, deserves a mention. I've found it an excellent buy.
Before, you can begin to have success with your online business, you must have a way for people to find out about it. In short, you must have a means of letting people know that your site exists, what it sells, and how to take advantage of it offerings. This is an absolute must. Simply stated, you must begin the process of driving traffic to you site.
One of the prime ways that online businesses drive traffic to their sites is by way of search engines like google, yahoo, and msn. In order to be truly successful, you must optimize your site to make it friendly to search engines. That is, you must construct your site so that search engines can easily see what your offering, be able to properly index it in their databases, and follow its navigation links. You must make it easy for them to assess and give a proper ranking.
Some hire experts to do this work for them, however such can be a very costly endeavor, costing up in the thousands of dollars. Search Engine Optimization, as it is called, requires time, dedication, and a certain level of expertise. It is not something that you learn overnight.
Other web site owners opt to do their own search engine optimization by the use of various software packages that were developed expressly for this purpose. They tend to be very good at highlighting features of your site that need to be revised in order for search engines to rank them in the top ten. There is one software package in particular that is excellent at this. It actively teaches the art of website optimization in a 12 step process by the use of video tutorials built into the software itself. It teaches you the importance of the use of keywords in your site and actively searches for keywords for you. It gives you suggestions regarding the best keywords to use to draw potential customers and much more.
Similarly, it also teaches the art of web site submission and will automatically submit your site to 130 search engines or more. Through the use of a video tutorial, it teaches how often you need to submit your site and how to avoid spamming by submitting your site properly. It teaches you how to optimize your web pages while helping you actually do it. It's truly a great piece of software. Most of all, it's free. If you'd like to download it you can do so here.SAAs you can see, there is a lot involved in starting and maintaining an online business. It is not as As simple a task as some might have you believe. However, it is doable and most of all worthwhile. Success doesn't come over night, but it does come.