Overview: Every business should have a web site.  Those without even a simple a web site are at an immediate and growing  competitive disadvantage. A web site is a key and valuable asset for a business.  It allows existing and potential customers to browse your products and services before they visit your business. It can also be a way to generate new revenues.

Buy a domain: Every business should create and buy its brand domain name . This will protect and add to your business value and is brand assets.

Own Your Domain: Your domain name is a key asset like your brand name. Make sure you register it in your name and NOT that of your web developer.

Create a Web page: Every business should have at least a simple web page for its brand. This allows customers to at least know who you are and what you offer.

Plan a Web site: Businesses should plan their web site carefully before making one. The web site should support the business brand and activities.

Find a Developer: If you don’t have the tools or skills to develop a site yourself find competent and reputable developers and ask for a quote.

Getting a Quote: Send your detailed web site plan and what you expect to be delivered to a list of developers so they can compete for the work.

A Good Quote: A good quote is one that gives costs for designing, Developing and maintaining the site.  The cheapest quote may not be the best value.

Use Contracts: Always have a signed contract for your web site work. This legally defines what you are paying for and the terms of the work.

Be Involved: The contract should have regular review built into it. This allows you to manage the progress, quality and changes to the site

Good Visuals: Pictures and video should be of high quality and be brand aligned. Your developer should help you get the best visual impact.

Good Text: Good grammar and spelling is critical for clarity and translation. Avoid using slang or local terms for site text.

Key Information: A good site makes it easy for a user to understand the who, what, why when, where and how of your business and web site.

Branding: A web site is a brand asset and should be designed to support and enhance your brand. It should have your logo, tag lines and themes.

Colours: The colours used on the web site should either be the same as or compliment your brand colours and shop decor.

Links: Provide links to local information, businesses and activities that compliment your brand. This adds value to your site and customers.

Contact Details: Your web site will be viewed by people who have never been to your shop. Give FULL details of who and where you are plus how the get there.

Testing: Your developer should have regular reviews of the work so you can test the site and make sure it is what you want  and of good quality.

Outside Opinions: Get others to test the site especially before the work is finished. Ask them to be brutal with their comments. Customers will certainly be.

Launching the Site: Launching your web site is a major business event. Plan to communicate it to your existing customers and perhaps have a launch event.

Promoting the Site: Your web address should be on all marketing, promotion, branding  and advertising materials. If not you are wasting your money.

Keeping it Fresh: An easy way to keep your web site fresh is by embedding Facebook, twitter and other dynamic information sources to it.

Site Maintenance: Site maintenance should be part of the contract with your developer. It should be done regularly or immediately a problem is found.

Site Statistics: Your web site should have Google Analytics. This ensures you can see who visits the site, when, from where and what they do.

Site Upgrades: Your business changes over time and your web site needs to reflect these changes. Always plan web updates in your business change plans.