Any modern business needs an online presence in order to be successful. Whether you are planning to sell products online or just make clients aware of your services, a website is a great way to reach as many people as possible. The idea of setting up a website, however, can be a little intimidating if you don’t have IT skills. Luckily there are lots of companies that can provide all the help and support you need to ensure that your website — and your business — is seen by thousands of potential customers.
What Is Web Hosting?
A web hosting service helps clients to make their websites accessible on the world wide web. These companies own servers, either in their own facility or in huge date centers where there are dozens of similar servers kept together; their clients buy storage space on these servers for their own web page and also internet connectivity to ensure that this web page is accessible to those who search for the company name.
If you are a small business owner, this is the kind of IT capability and support that you simply couldn’t provide for yourself. These servers are expensive, and unless they are well-maintained, there could be fluctuations or even complete breakdowns in internet connectivity. This is why it is worth spending a few dollars a month on web hosting services, or even less if you find ipage discounts online like http://ipagediscounts.net; after all, if your website doesn’t appear to be working reliably, customers are less likely to trust your business.
Importance of an Online Presence
It is not just important to have a reliable website; clients want to use a website that is easy-to-use, attractive and filled with engaging content. Often the same companies that provide your web hosting services can also provide support with website design, or they often make simple templates available that you can fill with your own photographs and texts to make a simple but effective online presence. Shop around to see what deals are on offer with various web hosting companies for website design, or use discounts to get money off their additional support services.
Think about some of the best business websites you have seen, and why they work so well. Although the interesting and engaging text is important, the first thing most people notice when they visit a new web page for the first are the images. If your business is selling products, then these images should be of things you sell; if you provide a service, find an image that illustrates this service. For example, if you are a taxi company use pictures of some of your cars or drivers. Pictures which have no relevance to your business may look good, but it will only cause confusion if your bookshop uses pictures of the local scenery.
Keep Your Site Updated
As a small business, you want to try and attract as many new customers as possible. One way of doing this is to keep the written content on your website fresh; update your product or services list when appropriate, perhaps adding a new blog post when you start selling something new. This has the added bonus of promoting new products to your existing customers. You might want to consider adding some customer engagement tools — either allowing clients to leave reviews or comments or including a tool which allows customers to either buy products online or make bookings. At the very least, you should include all your contact details on your website — including telephone number and email address as some people prefer one type of communication over another. All these tools should be available as standard from the best web hosting services and may not even cost you a great deal if you have discounts.
There is no need to be reluctant to engage with the internet if you are a small business owner. A reliable and useful website can be a great asset to your business in its early days and as it grows; after all, some of the biggest corporations spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on their online presence every year. Gone are the days when people used the Yellow Pages to find local services and shops; these days everyone searches online for the things they need. If you want to take advantage of that change, then you need a website and web hosting services too.