"...Pick Up A Full-Featured Website Design Program"
Developing websites for selling products online can be much different from designing the glitzy, effects-driven sites of today. A website designer may not realize the requirements of online marketing related, or product selling/reselling sites. They may sell you a design that looks great, but makes no sales for you. A website, like any other method of online promotion, has to be exper- imented with, fine-tuned, and then "tweaked" some more. It is a work forever under construction. Paying a webmaster to edit your site frequently can get very expensive, especially for those of you that are building your online business "on a shoestring".
Designing a website may seem to be quite a task for a non- techie. Well, it doesn't have to be, even if you know nothing about web design or HTML coding (the language of web pages).
Website design software known as "WYSIWYG" (What You See Is What You Get) is available to let the beginner design a great site, without having to pay a webmaster. The GUI (Graphical User Interface) allows the user to see exactly what changes in coding look like, on the fly.
Instead of writing HTML code to form pages,(etc.), simple tools are used to easily create (after you've spent the time to learn how a very complex piece of software works) website pages, place images and text where you want them, work with color "palates", and create "header tags" that will allow you to get ranked highly (with a lot of work) in the major search engines.
These programs have many features that you may think don't apply to a productive sales-oriented website, but you may find them useful to create other sites that may not be sales sites, but are more image and effects-driven by design.
Purchasing a good website creation program will set you back from $100 US to over $500 US, depending on the functionality. This wise investment, though, will pay for itself many times, giving you an edge over the competition. Paying a designer for just one website (plus a few edits) can cost you as much or more as buying and learning to use a great website design tool.
These programs involve quite a learning process to become a proficient user, but if you weren't willing to learn for the good of building a successful online business, you wouldn't be reading this article right now, would you?
As far as product recommendations go, there are many, depending on your needs and budget. Try to read up on diff- erent programs, from reliable third-party tech sites (like C|NET or ZDNet), to get unbiased opinions and user ratings.
Stay away from any programs that are producers of "bloated code", which is extra, unneeded code, that makes pages load and operate more slowly. After reading, you will see that one of the most notable examples of this is Microsoft"s "FrontPage". I know a lot of you have a version of Front Page already, from your install of Windows or MS Office, but I really recommend to go with a non-Microsoft product. The reviews and user comments back me up on this. Read for yourself.
Check out these three website design apps. They rank highly with users and reviewers, and after learning them, are easy to use. Use the links below to visit their respective home pages.
At the low end of our price range is HotDog Professional, from Sausage Software. This has a very loyal following, has nice features, and will cost you under $150 US.
The mid-priced pick has got to be GoLive, from the great software minds at Adobe. This full-featured, highly functional creation tool can do some great things. It comes in around $300 US, and integrates nicely with other Adobe apps, like Photoshop. The online tutorials on the Adobe site are video based, with the actions happening on the screen captures, along with audio narration.
At the top of our price range is the very popular "Dreamweaver", from Macromedia. This app is used by many of the top online marketers, and it integrates with other Macromedia graphics products, like "Flash" (produces most of the "cool" animated graphics that you see on the web today). This is a plus if you plan on designing other non- sales oriented sites that make use of Flash animation, or wish to design websites for profit. You can also get the Studio version, that comes with Macromedia's graphic editing/ creation app Fireworks. Highly recommended. Highly priced. (Around $400 US by itself, $799 US with Flash, Fireworks, ColdFusion and more.)
Whichever software you choose, you will probably find a free demo download available, so take it on a test run. There are also tons of free resources and tutorials online to help you learn and to use your favorite one like a pro!
Direct marketing veteran Ken Leonard Jr. publishes "New Marketer Ezine" weekly, helping to take the headaches out of starting and growing your online or home-based business. Get yours now by going to http://www.kenleonardjr.com and get two useful resources free.