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How to plan a website to market your home based business part1

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How to plan a website to market your home based business part1

If you plan to start or already have a home based business then a website is something you should give serious thought to.
It's an inexpensive way to market your products and services.

If you sell products you can have an online catalogue which you can update, available 24 hours a day 7 days a week. You could set up an e-shop quite easily and accept orders from customers anywhere in the world.

Building a website yourself may seem daunting if you have had little experience of the internet and don't know how to use HTML, but don't despair!!

At one time website building was only for those who where technically minded and had a lot of knowledge about computers, but with some of the easy to use webdesign software available you can do it.

For a very easy to use and inexpensive at £15 piece of webdesign software, download webcreator. It's great for first time webdesigners.
http://www.mindscape.co.uk/products/TopProducts.asp?sst=2&cid=2&ssid=41

Frontpage is fairly inexpensive and not to difficult to learn how to use. I built my first site using Frontpage.
Get a free trial download.
http://www.runaware.com/microsoft/frontpage2003/

Dreamweaver is more expensive but they do have a 30 day trial download. You get easy to follow tutorials and and extensive manual with it.
http://www.macromedia.com/cfusion drc/index.cfm?product=dreamweaver

It may be useful to learn some basic HTML as it will enable you to fine tune pages and add your own coding.
For a free online course go to http://www.e-learningcenter.com/free_html_course.htm

Over several articles I will try and help you to put together a site that will be profitable and bring in targeted traffic.

Before you even begin to design your site you must ask yourself the following questions.

1 What is the purpose of your website? Is it to sell products, promote a service, provide information or build a downline.

2 Who are your target audience? They may be students, single parents wanting an extra income, or anyone interested in your services or products that you are selling.

3 What is your content going to be, and how are you going to present it?

Good content is vital. Make each page theme focused and write as if you were talking to a friend. Think what it is that you are trying to achieve and work towards a most wanted response at the end of the page.

What do you want your visitor to do?

4 Get yourself a domain name. It looks much more professional to have your own domain name rather than use the free space that comes with your service provider.

It doesn't cost much to buy a domain name and it will give you an enormous advantage. Next you will need to find a web hosting company. I can recommend http://www.internetconnection.net They charge $19.95 a month (or just under £12 a month) with a 60 day money back guarantee. I use them for several of my websites and always find them to be helpful and quick to respond to any queries I may have.

When you have made these important decisions then the next step is to plan the site.

Planning your site

Plan your website on paper first. First plan your pages. Start with the index or home page and draw a diagram showing how the pages will link from the index page. Produce a simple flow chart to show how users can navigate through the site.

On another piece of paper draw out where you want the page elements to go. This includes the navigation bar, header, logo, main text area, and any other navigation such as a sub menu.

Good planning will make it a lot easier when you come to construct the site on the computer.

Do some research and take a look at other sites who have a similar theme to yours. Study their design and note if the navigation works well or not. Does it take long to downoad? You can often learn a lot from other webdesigners.

When you are happy with your design then it's time to open up the software you are going to use.

In part 2 I will discuss designing the page elements of your website.

About the Author

Kathy has her own mlm online business which you can visit at http://www.healthandbeautytowealth.co.uk
She has written several other articles on online marketing which you can find at http://www.healthandbeautytowealth.co.uk/articles/articles.html

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