Websites That Won’t Break the Bank

Written by Liz Kudwa

A:  Yes, I have a couple of suggestions.  First, the Capital Area District Library has some books that may help.

* Design Your Own E-Shop: Creating And Promoting Successful Small Business Sites by Molly E. Holzschlag, 2004
* Make Your Small Business Website Work: Easy Answers To Content, Navigation, And Design by John Heartfield, 2004

Additionally, an article from the www.inc.com website has some great tips on how to trim some web development costs.

Penny-Pinching Your Way through Web Development

Penny-Wise, Site-Foolish
Don’t scrimp when you pick a Web host — unless you like greeting customers with “Site not found.”  The old adage “you get what you pay for” applies here.

Working with Student Contractors
Save money using student contrators to help meet your Web design needs.  Contact college or university computer science departments to find your student.  Be prepared to work around their class, exam and holiday schedules.  When you part ways, make sure you have adequate documentation of their part in the project, including location of files and passwords.

Build It Yourself or Hire Someone?
You have three choices – build it yourself, hire a local consultant, or hire a consulting firm.  Option 1 is the least expensive, option 3 is the most expensive.  If you’re in search of web design expertise and are a small to medium sized firm, it is best to go with a local consultant.  Again, college students can be a good choice for this as they will likely provide value above their cost.

Master Your Domains
The right domain extension can make a difference for your business. Some of the most common top-level domain extensions include .com, .net, .org, .us and .biz.  Another important decision is deciding where to register your website’s name and domain.  One suggestion is to look up companies already registered with a company and tracking how much visibility they get on popular search engines
such as Yahoo! And Google.

Elizabeth Kudwa  is the Business Reference Librarian at the Capital Area District Library located at 401 S. Capitol Avenue, Lansing, MI 48933.  Contact her at 517-334-1522 or by e-mail at kudwae@cadl.org.