You probably already have a website. Most businesses do, and it's easy enough to have a basic site put online with only a couple of hours work. You might want to ask yourself these questions, though:
I use "back to the basics" design principles for website design. Your website is there to assure visitors that you can do your job well, that you are reliable, and that you have exactly what they need at the best price. If your business has inventory for sale on the web, that means an attractive, easy-to-use shopping cart with great search options and reassuring checkout. Buttons should be easy to find and common questions should be answered up front. If you have a service business, the site should emphasize your reputation, give testimonials, show why you have the "edge" in your business, and make contacting you easy. For art, music, and creative industries, the use of multimedia, graphics and Flash animation may be called for. Every website has a mission and a purpose; being clear on that purpose is key.
I'm an expert at back-end database and information modeling for websites -- making "information-rich" sites that capture the essence of your business and provide tools to help you manage it. Think for a moment about the most difficult tasks you face in your business. Inventory management? Record-keeping? Tracking disputes? (or avoiding them!) If your website can become your "toolkit" for simplifying these tasks, how much time could you save, and how much more would you enjoy running your business? There's an old saying that "the only one who likes change is a wet baby." Maybe, though, it's time to change out your aging information system for a new, reliable, secure, web-based system. I can do this at a lower cost than you might imagine possible.
COST: Expert web design is typically done at a $60/hour rate. I will provide you with an initial consultation and a rough prototype for free. You should also know that one of my hours is often three of someone else's -- I have tools that let me "jump-start" the process of customizing to your business. We'll do the process in manageable "chunks" with features delivered, tested, and approved by you at each step. You won't be asked to commit large sums of money in advance or be "locked into" using my services forever. You own your website.
I typically host websites through a reliable Linux hosting provider, with excellent uptime and support and competitive pricing. I can often transition your site without changing your existing hosting provider, but it depends on the features they offer.
For website marketing, it's all about the basics. I'll make certain your website has good keywords, appropriate amounts of repetition, proper location of sections, etc. to make it "search-engine-friendly." I have some tricks to improve rankings, but they aren't rocket science. We can use Facebook and other social-network tools to get the word out and build your network further. I won't charge you ridiculous "SEO" fees for all this, because I consider it part of good design. You should understand in return that building a top ranking is something that takes time, patience, and solid business practice. Reputation on the Web is a lot like reputation anywhere else.
There are a number of "click-through" marketing techniques that allow you to pay money to bring visitors directly to your website. You can advertise directly on other websites, do link exchanges, etc. -- all these may be useful, but by far the 600-pound gorilla in this business is Google AdWords.
Face it: people will find your business using a Google search, or they won't find it at all. The great thing about the AdWords service is that you can GUARANTEE that every dime you spend on marketing will result in visitors to your website. In other words, if nobody clicks on your advertisement and goes to your site, you don't pay. AND you can not only choose what words and phrases to trigger your ad, but you can localize your advertising to a geographical region, which is great for business with limited service ranges, since it's much cheaper to advertise locally.
I know how to set up and optimize Google AdWords campaigns and track them, so you'll get the most efficient and effective web advertising for your dollar. You choose how much you want to spend, and we'll be able to see exactly how that translates into visitors and buyers on your site. It's hard to beat that for advertising!