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Building Your Home Based Business Website

A home based business, like any other business these days, needs a website to be successful. And fortunately, a home based business owner doesn't need major corporate dollars to build a great website to reach a much broader audience than is possible with conventional advertising and marketing methods.

In fact, a well-planned, well-designed website can be a home based business owner's best friend.

The first thing that you need to do is to start planning your home based business website as soon as possible. A mistake that many home based business owners make is in waiting until their company is already up and running. This can cause problems because the domain name should be on all offline marketing materials. It costs a great deal of money to have new letterhead, business cards and other printed materials redone to add the domain name. Also, having a website adds substance and credibility to your home based business. So you want to plan your home based business website strategy as early as possible.

You also want to put a great deal of thought into your home based business domain name. In many cases, it's the same as your business if the name isn't already taken. This may not be the best way to choose a domain name, however. You want to make it easy for prospective customers to find you, so you may be better off choosing a domain name that describes your home based business product or service accurately. The reason for this is that people who are looking for lawn care services are going to do a search for lawn care services, so the domain name should relate as closely to that as possible. A hot trend these days is to put hyphens between each word of your domain name, but stay away from periods and commas.

When it comes to actually building your home based business website, unless you're extremely knowledgeable about web development and design, it's a good idea to hire someone to do it for you. You can find many great web designers online who will build and host your website for a truly affordable fee. Many of these companies have templates you can use to design your home based business website yourself. Whichever method you choose, remember that you want your home based business website to look as professional as possible. And be sure to stay away from slow-loading graphics and flash. Web surfers aren't known for their patience and will leave a website if the pages take too long to load.

Another important part of your home based business website that you want to put a great deal of though into is the content. You'll want the content to speak to your customers in an conversational, informative manner. And website experts suggest the more pages the better. When you're first starting out five to ten pages is probably enough, but you will want to add to the content as you go and frequently update your content with news and information to give your home based business website visitors a reason to come back. If you're sitting there screaming, "But I can't write!" Relax. You can hire professional website content copywriters on outsourcing websites like Elance and Guru to develop the content for you for quite affordable rates. It's money well-spent to have the best content possible for your home based business website.

All of these, along with a merchant account, are essential for a successful home based business website. However, there are some other things that you will want to consider for your home based business website such as:

Opt-in newsletter
Shopping cart if you're going to be selling merchandise
Affiliate program
Email courses
Free offers

And don't worry if all of this website building stuff sounds confusing or difficult to you. A good website developer or a few nights searching the Internet for information on building a website will clear everything up for you–or lead you to the right company that will build your home based business website for you, from beginning to end. Just make sure the company has a great reputation. You may be running your home based business from your basement, but that doesn't mean your website has to be anything less than perfect.

Charles Fuchs

I grant permission to publish this article, electronically or in print, as long as the bylines are included, with a live link, and the article is not changed in any way.

About the Author

Copyright 2006, Charles Fuchs, President of Vision Management Enterprise Inc., is an established online marketer who specializes in helping people start their very own Work at Home Based Business.