Building Your First Business Website

Business is most definitely booming on the Internet. According to a report published by The Wall Street Journal in 2012, Americans spent more than $200 billion on the web that year. This number, while impressive, is set to balloon over the next several years with a projected total of $327 billion for the year 2016. Additionally, the report goes on to note that experts expect at least 58 percent of Americans to make at least one purchase online by the year 2016. If you are not already retailing on the web, now is the time to take the plunge and get in on eCommerce.

Consider Your Basic Website Needs
Before doing anything, stop and take a moment to review your goals for products and services before jumping into web design and flashy graphics. While this may not be an exciting idea, doing so can help you refine the process greatly and avoid some potential pitfalls. For instance, websites that sell a service, as opposed to products, will generally present their wares differently. Testimonials, demonstrations, and custom service packages are all considerations. For product-based sites, focus on handling an influx of orders, shipping services, and added features, like a user review section.

Focus on Security and Functionality
Of course, handling money can be a risky venture for physical and online retailers alike. However, Internet storefronts face a unique set of functionality and security risks. The first part of this problem comes in the form of your page’s framework. Before committing to any web template or web design studios, make sure these tools or services understand the current threats from hackers and malicious programs. Adding in features like two-factor authentication and encrypted data transfers can help protect your sensitive financial information, as well as that of your customers.

Adding in Graphics and Visuals
Now that you have a strong foundation, you can add in the fun and flashy parts of the website. As you lay your website out, consider strong and pleasing themes and color configurations. Additionally, adding interactive plug-ins, like Javascript forms and videos via Adobe Flash Player, can also enhance the viewing experience for your potential base of customers. Outside of the more advanced additions, simple graphics and visuals can also break up the monotony of a standard page and provide your viewers with visible insight into products and services.

Be Cognizant of Mobile Trends
While building a strong standard desktop site is essential, catering to mobile viewers is just as important. According to a Pew research and data composition firm, 55 percent of smartphone owners use their devices to access the Internet. Adding tablets and netbooks to the mix only inflates this percentage. To make a mobile variant of your site that these consumers can browse, consider removing excess visuals and plug-ins. While a text-based mobile site is not flashy, it does load much faster than image-heavy alternatives. For mobile users viewing your site on the go, speed and accessibility is everything.