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Building a Business Website: Things to Consider

Having a web presence for your business is commonplace these days. Website, social media, e-commerce store -- businesses are expected to be online. Most companies have a website in some form, but not every business website has great functionality and pertinent information.

Whether you are an entrepreneur launching a business website for the first time, or a seasoned company in need of a re-vamp, here are some things to consider when building a website:

Domain - this is the unique name of your business website. Most .com domains are pretty inexpensive to register (around $10 to $20 annually). It's important to have a domain name that's memorable and easy to spell.

Host - Web hosts are the servers on which your website's files and data are located, which you pay for on either a monthly or an annual basis. Your hosting needs likely will depend on the size of your website. If you have heavy traffic, or complex applications, hosting may be more expensive. WordPress is one of the most popular free webpage hosts -- and you are able to upgrade your hosting capacity through WordPress for a small fee. Squarespace is another great platform to host and build your website.

Design - These days, a website has to look polished! If you are a young business and can't yet hire a designer, you're in luck: download free (or relatively inexpensive) templates for WordPress and customize to make it your own. For the less tech savvy among us, it may be worth it to hire a website designer. Depending on your needs, this may just be a freelancer to design a custom logo, or a small agency to create the site from scratch. Figure out what your needs are, get some estimates, and feel out your options.

Function - The most well-designed website is worthless if functionality is lacking. Try to view your website through the eyes of your customers. Why are they on your website? What are they looking for? Ask some trusted friends or business associates to test it out before the site goes live -- and gather some honest feedback.

Have fun with this creative and exciting project, and best of luck with your new website!

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