How can I start a web site for my small business?

I want a web that is free. I want to advertise my small business. Please help.

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  • Trevor
    Lv 7
    1 decade ago
    Best Answer

    This is going to be a long answer and is two of my previous answers copied and pasted into one. here goes...

    FREE WEB SITE...

    There's several places you can get a free website including from Yahoo (their service is called Geocities).

    If you're serious about creating a website and want one that looks professional then I wouldn't consider a free site, there are many paid for sites that need only cost you a few dollars a month.

    Here's some of the things to consider about free sites...

    -- 1 --

    You're often restricted in the type of files you can have, some sites don't allow MP3's or video files for example.

    -- 2 --

    There's usually a bandwidth limit (this is the amount of data that's downloaded). It normally doesn't take long to reach the bandwidth limit and when this happens the site becomes unavailable - you've probably come across such sites yourself. The bandwidth limit is often hourly and also monthly. If you hit your hourly limit your site will be down for about an hour but if you hit your monthly limit if could be down for days or even weeks.

    -- 3 --

    Most free sites have a limit to the amount of space you have to store your site. Large files such as music and video will very quickly fill the space. Simple text pages don't use much space but when you start adding a few graphics this can soon add up.

    -- 4 --

    There's rarely any technical support with free sites other than user forums. If something goes wrong it's up to you to sort it out.

    -- 5 --

    Some copmpanies that provide free sites are 'here today and gone tomorrow' - just what you need if you've spent ages designing a nice site. Others are initially free but then state you have to pay or your site will be deleted. To avoid this stick with the well known and established names such as Tripod/Lycos and Yahoo/Geocities.

    -- 6 --

    Free sites are often limited in what you can do, a lot won't support PSP or MySql, some don't even support Java. Could mean that features such as forums, blogs, guestbooks etc aren't possible on your site.

    -- 7 --

    A free site has to pay for itself somehow, no company is going to give away webspace without getting something in return. One common practice is to place adverts on your site. Sometimes these ads are themed and related to your site but other times they're completely unrelated.

    -- 8 --

    Often the site isn't transferable except to a paid for service provided by the same company. This can be a serious problem if your site becomes popular and you need to move it somewhere that can accomodate your growing needs.

    -- 9 --

    Often any extras are hugely expensive, if for example you want to buy more data transfer (bandwidth) you could easily be paying $1 per GB. It might not sound a lot but if you're also paying for more web storage space and access to certain tools it will work out far more expensive than having a paid-for site.

    -- 10 --

    You won't get your own domain name so instead of having xyzcompany.com you'll have something like freewebhostingcompany/xyzcompany.com.

    -- FREE SITES --

    If you still want a free website then this page here... http://www.free-webhosts.com/search-webhosts.php is an excellent resource as it compares no less than 545 different free webhosts complete with reviews and user comments for each one.

    Here's some links to the 4 most popular free webhosts...

    Lycos Tripod (CNet rating 9 out of 10)

    http://www.tripod.lycos.com/

    Lycos Angelfire (CNet rating 6 out of 10)

    http://angelfire.lycos.com/

    Yahoo Geocities (CNet rating 8 out of 10)

    http://geocities.yahoo.com/home/

    Express Page (CNet rating 4 out of 10)

    http://www.expage.com/

    -- PERSONAL RECOMENDATION --

    If you want a decent site with a wide range of tools and virtually no restirictions then go for a paid one. They're not expensive and you'll have infinitely more flexibility to design and expand your site.

    1 and 1 is the world's number one webhosting company where you can get a site for as little as £1.99 a month (they're UK based so it's about $3.50 a month)

    http://order.1and1.co.uk/

    Yahoo is the largest US and Canadian webhost and their starter package is $8.96 a month.

    http://smallbusiness.yahoo.com/webhosting/?p=PASSP...

    Personally I'd go with Yahoo - I have lots of sites with them and have never had any major problems.

    Hope this helps and good luck in designing your site.

    PROMOTING YOUR WEBSITE...

    Several criteria determine the amount of traffic your website gets but by far the most important are to have a good search engine ranking and good links to your site.

    Search engines use a complicated and secret algorithm to determine which sites are placed where in the rankings but there are several tricks you can employ to boost you ranking.

    There's lots of articles on the net to do with Search Engine Optimization (SEO) but I ignore all of them and do things my way. This seems to work as every site I've created ranks within the top 6 on Google even when there's millions of results found. A site I created less than a week ago is already ranked number 1 by Yahoo and Google.

    These are some of my tips...

    -- GIVE YOUR PAGE A GOOD TITLE TAG --

    One of the first things a search engine looks at is the title tag of the page. When writing the tag use the same words people are likely to key in when using a search engine. For example, if your page is about space travel then a title such as "Space Travel - Be a Shuttle Rocket Tourist and Journey to the Moon" is much better than "All about flying to the moon and back". Why? Because the first tag includes words people are likely to use in a search engine such as space, travel, shuttle, rocket, tourist, journey and moon.

    -- GIVE YOUR PAGE A RELEVANT NAME --

    Search engines look at page names. If your domain was mydomain.com then a page name such as mydomain.com/space-travel will do much better than mydomain.com/section1/part2/page3.

    -- USE THE DESCRIPTION TAG --

    Some search engines including Google support this tag - others don't.

    Compare a Yahoo search for 'Black Eyed Peas' to a Google Search. Both of them find blackeyedpeas.com but Yahoo describe it as "... Multi-platinum 2-time Grammy-winners The Black Eyed Peas cross an historic threshold as their hit ... The Black Eyed Peas, Sergio Mendes, John Legend, Justin Timberlake and others ...". Google uses the description tag and describes it as "Official site includes videos, message boards, tour dates, and photo gallery. Additional content is available to members."

    -- USE THE ALT TAG --

    Some search engines ignore the alt tag, others include it when spidering your site. Not only that but some visually impaired users and power-surfers who turn off images rely on alt tags.

    -- FLASH ANIMATION / SCRIPTING / DHTML --

    Spiders are unable to follow these linking systems. If all your pages are linked using Flash, DHTML or scripts then the spider won't follow the links and your pages won't get indexed. If you're designing your site this way the least you can do it to include conventional text links to the main pages of your site and ideally to a Site Map that contains text links to every page.

    -- SPLASH PAGES --

    These are the animated front pages to a site, usually nothing there other than an animation and a 'Skip Intro' link. Spiders don't like Splash and as this is the doorway to your site think carefully before creating one.

    -- DOORWAY PAGES --

    These are pages that exist on a site but are not accessible to the visitor, if someone tries to access the page they are redirected elsewhere. Historically webmasters created such pages and stuffed them full of popular keywords and phrases.

    Spiders have wised up to Doorways and there's nothing better for getting yourself pushed right down in the rankings or kicked out altogether than use of Doorway Pages.

    -- HIDDEN TEXT --

    Some web pages hide text by printing white text on a white background for example. Often such text has nothing at all to do with the site but is just a list of popular words and phrases used to draw people to the site. Spiders can spot tricks like these and will penalise sites that employ such tactics.

    -- PUT A HEADING ON YOUR PAGE --

    The heading should closely match the page title. You need to format the heading as a Heading Style and not simply use bold and underlined text.

    -- REPEAT KEYWORDS AND PHRASES --

    Include in the text of your page several instances of keywords and phrases people may use in a search engine. Using the space travel example your page should include words such as space, travel, fly, moon, space-tourist and so on. Repeat them frequently but don't overdo it.

    -- USE OF THE KEYWORD TAG --

    This is something that's falling out of favour with search engines. Originally this was a useful tag for ensuring your page contained variants of words, particularly those that are often mis-spelled (e.g. Britney, Britany, Brittany, Spears, Spiers etc). I haven't used this tag for some time and I've heard people say it can be detrimental to search engine rankings.

    -- AVOID 404 (PAGE NOT FOUND) ERRORS --

    Spiders hate these and after finding one or two on your site will leave it. Don't rely on an E404 page to take visitors to a designated page when the target page is missing.

    -- ADD YOUR SITE TO DIRECTORIES --

    You can add your site to appropriate categories in online directories. There's hundreds of them altogether but the 4 main ones are...

    http://dir.yahoo.com/

    http://www.wikidweb.com/

    http://www.dmoz.org/

    http://directory.google.com/

    There's an extensive list here... http://www.seocompany.ca/directory/free-web-direct...

    -- SEARCH ENGINE SUBMISSION --

    Google dominates the search engine market, Yahoo and MSN are the other two key players. A lot of the others use Google.

    If you can get your site indexed by these three then you've pretty much covered all your bases. Rather than waiting for the spiders to find you it may help to add your site to the submission lists.

    http://www.google.com/addurl/?continue=/addurl

    http://search.yahoo.com/info/submit.html

    http://search.msn.com/docs/submit.aspx?FORM=WSDD2

    -- ESTABLISH GOOD LINKS --

    This is the most important factor of all. You need lots of relevant and 'respected' pages linking back to yours as each link scores bonus points in the rankings algorithm. The best links are those from trusted sites that are themselves established. For example, if the space travel site has links from NASA, the European Space Agency, ABC News and the like it will give it a serious boost in the rankings. One link from NASA would be worth more than a whole bunch of links from less relevant sites.

    It's worth taking the time and effort to get links from as many sites as possible. Visit relevant sites and e-mail the webmaster with details of your site.

    Because links are vitally important your site has to be make people want to link to it. I make it a policy to never link to sites that have pop-ups and I'm sure many other people do too.

    -- HAVE A GOOD SITE --

    When creating your site think how it's going to appear to visitors. Bear in mind different people use different browsers and have different connection speeds. A large page might look fantastic to someone with a fast connection will be a real pain to someone with a slow connection. If you need to put advertising on your site then make it relevant and discreet - one thing guaranteed to get someone off your site is to have pop-ups and 'in yer face' advertising, can you think of any successful site that employs these tactics?

    If your site is an informative one then make it so visitors can get the information they want quickly - don't go for Flash intros and complicated menus and use only common fonts, if the font isn't on a visitors computer their browser will use the default font instead.

    Navigation must be easy with every page having a link back to the homepage and don't use frames, they're seriously outdated, users don't like them and spiders ignore them.

    Avoid cluttering your site, spread it out or onto more pages. Keep the text brief, unless it's something the visitor wants to read they'll soon get bored and go off to another site.

    -- REMEMBER WHY PEOPLE USE THE INTERNET --

    Ignoring porn and all that stuff, the primary use of the internet is for information so make your pages informative. The space travel website could include information about the universe, each of the planets in the solar system, a history of space flight and so on. This will generate a lot more traffic which in turn is likely to lead to more links and ultimately a higher ranking.

    -- IGNORE SEO COMPANIES --

    You probably receive e-mails from companies offering to get you higher rankings in the search engines. Their number one concern isn't your site but their balance sheet, treat them the same as you would with an e-mail for Viagra and hit delete. They do work to an extent but not by doing anything you can't do for free. Google get e-mails from companies offering to help rank their own site, see what else Google have to say about these companies... http://www.google.com/webmasters/seo.html

    -- CONSIDER ADWORDS --

    You pay for these, how much you pay is up to you. If someone enters a search phrase that matches your adwords then your ad is displayed on the results page. If more than one ad matches then they're displayed in the order of who pays most for their adwords.

    -- SPREAD THE WORD --

    Just tell people about your site and add posts in relevant forums, blogs etc.

    -- BE PATIENT --

    In general the longer a site is around the better it does in the search engine rankings, largely because as time passes more and more sites will link to it. If your site relates to a popular subject you may find it ranks low down to start with then climbs steadily in the rankings, it could take years before you have a good ranking.

  • 1 decade ago

    go to www.geocities.com/ and sign up and go to a web dezine chat room with yahoo! some one will help you and take a class at www.ed2go.com GOOD LUCK!

  • go to geocities.yahoo.com, and if you know how to set one up, then go ahead. if you dont, then use the newbie settings where it makes the pages for you and you just type in your text. i think they might have tutorials too that can explain things better than i can.

  • 1 decade ago

    register a site through a host.

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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    visit find a good job.com

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