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Even the smallest business needs a website.  A website gives credibility to your business.  In fact a business without a website might be viewed negatively by your potential customers!

The good news is that getting a website is not difficult or expensive.  But what should your website include?  Generally a basic site should include certain pages.  This article talks about them.

Home Page

This is where a visitor normally enters your website.  As such it should be attractive, but it doesn’t need to be too fancy for a basic site.  It should have a Headline and Subheading that says who you are and what you do.

It should link to other pages on your site and provide enough information that your visitor wants to stick around long enough to learn a little about you and your business.

Finally it should include some kind of Call to Action, even if that action is as simple as sending an email, making a call, or visiting your location.

About Page

This page is important.  It should tell a visitor something about you and your business.  It doesn’t have to be your whole life story.  But it should reinforce the idea that you are a real person, and your business is about real people.

Contact Page

This page should make it easy for your visitor to contact you.  It should outline all the ways they can do that, be it Email, Phone, Text, personal visit to your location, or any other acceptable method.  An improvement to a basic site might include a Contact Us form.

Blog Page

Most people and businesses should have a blog.  Again this shows that you are real.

Privacy Policy?

Optional, but with privacy concerns and laws a privacy policy spells out what you do with any data you collect from your visitors.

Products Page?

Again optional, but if you have a small number of specific products or services you can highlight them here.

How to Get that Basic Website

There are many ways to get your basic (starter) site up and running.  There are basically two steps.  One is building the site itself.  The other is finding a Hosting Company to host your site.  There are several options for both steps.

As far as building the site you can either do it yourself or hire someone.  There are various apps that make doing it yourself possible.  They can usually do a reasonable job for a basic site.  Their big drawback might be a “cookie cutter” approach and limited expandability.

Hiring someone to build your basic site is usually not too expensive.  The big advantages are that you are free to work at your business and do not have to spend time learning how to build your site.

One option whether you are doing it yourself or hiring someone is to use WordPress.  WordPress is a free framework that takes a lot of the  difficulty out of building a site while still allowing for lots of expansion.  There is still a bit of a learning curve, and you need to spend some time learning the framework to get the most out of it

An advantage of WordPress is that because it is used for such a large percentage of Internet sites there is a lot of help available.  And it is easy to hire professional help if you get stuck or want to expand your basic site.

When it comes to Hosting there are also many options.  Hosting is simply where your website code is housed so that visitors can access your site.  At the basic site level you are talking about shared hosting.  This simply means the hosting company houses multiple sites on one physical computer (server,) and the hosting company makes sure that when a user types in your web address they see your site.  Shared hosting is quite reasonable.  It usually starts around $10 – $20 a month, or somewhat more for additional services from the hosting company.

Of course we would be happy to get you up and running at Morse Digital Labs.  Starter sites are very reasonable, and we’ll be there if you decide you want something more complex at a later date.

Best of luck with your site!