In 1999, when I set out to build my first website I knew very
little about html and even less about planning websites. Like a
lot of Newbies I just struggled along learning as I went. I also
knew very little about running a home business on the net. It is
quite different than running a bricks and mortar store in some
ways. I had run several business but never an online one. This
article comes out of my personal school of hard knocks.
The first decision you must make is where you will host this new
site. Do you want free web hosting? Here are some tips about
choosing a free web host.
Try to go for the web hosts that have been around longer. If
they already have a track record for longevity, chances are
greater that they'll be around for the life of your site. Hosts
like these include:
Geocities <http://www.geocities.com>; Tripod
<http://www.tripod.com>; and Hypermart
Please note that this is not an endorsement of these hosts nor
is it any guarantee that they will last.
Make sure you know who owns the content of your site -- you or
the free web host. This is in the fine print -- read it
carefully before you click the submit button to create your
account. When starting out often a free web host is within your
budget. Until your business grows it is a good idea on the web,
as with a bricks and mortar store, to keep the costs down. There
are many good free hosting companies on the web. It's your
choice whether you want to host free or you would like to get a
domain name now. It is all in the planning.
Next you will have to decide what kind of site you are building.
Is it a business site? What are you planning to sell? These are
essential questions when considering how you will want your site
to look. If you are not going put up your site yourself you will
have to hire a website designer. This makes it imperative to
have a good plan in place before you start building the site of
your dreams. Poor planning can cost you a lot of money and
Too often, having a Web site built turns into a nightmare of
additions here, tweaks there and the eventual rejection of work
done so far. You and your developer go back to the drawing board
feeling resentful and angry -- and you may feel a lot poorer.
I suggest that you get clear away from your computer and sit
down with pen and paper. Write a business plan then after you
have a clear goal and clear objectives in mind, go to a site
such as Morebusiness.com <http://www.morebusiness.com>, that
have business plan forms and put it in writing there.
Sites such as HowtoAdvice.com
<http://www.howtoadvice.com/BusinessStartup> offer sound advice
on how to start any business. Download some free ebooks written
by established internet marketers and read them. There is some
powerful information in them that can save you a lot of money
and a lot of time. The small business administration is another
good source of information on doing business both online and
offline. You can read their startup guide online at the
Empowerment Zone <http://www.empowermentzone.com/fromhome.txt>.
One must decide where they are going before they can get there.
It is important to do the planning *before* you even begin to
build your site. If you want to go to Seattle don't get on a
plane for San Francisco.
About the author:
Judi Singleton is the owner and webmistress Jassmine's World
<http://www.jassmine.com>, and the editor of Jassmine's Journal,
a free weekly ezine filled with articles and tips for living a
more healthy and prosperous life. Subscribe free at: