Getting Started on the Web: A Guide for Small Business

Many organizations and businesses would like to have a website but don’t know where to start. Before you hire a designer for your site, think about these issues:

Your Site’s Scope
Will your site be informational, similar to a brochure? An e-commerce site for selling products or services over the web through a secure connection? An interactive site where visitors can connect with each other or play games?

Knowing the scope of your site determines your need for server space, your budget for development, and whether you need a single designer or a development team consisting of designers, programmers, database specialists, and so on. In general, the simpler the site, the lower it will cost to produce and maintain. However, simpler sites also tend to generate less business.

The Imagery and Copy You’ll Use
This will give you an idea of what kind of work you need to do up-front and what you can contract for. Many businesses shoot their own photography with a digital camera, for instance, while others hire professional photographers. Some businesses can use copy from existing brochures, while others will need copy written especially for the site. Be sure to include your needs for additional services when you’re interviewing designers.