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Effective Small Business Web Sites On a Budget

As more and more of the world's business starts taking ... we're left to wonder how our own web pages will stand upand out in the jumble of ... ... ... don't always have

As more and more of the world's business starts taking place
online, we're left to wonder how our own web pages will stand up
and out in the jumble of everybody else's.

Small businesses don't always have the option to buy expensive
graphics or to hire a great web designer. Or even if they do,
they have to take into account whether their potential customer's
browser will support a high tech page. On the other hand, we all
want our web site to look as great as our competitors. So what do
you do? Here are a few tips to help you decide which type of site
is best for you.

As browsers get more sophisticated and modems download faster,
web sites are getting fancier. My old advice about put a logo at
the top of your web page and keep the rest "text" is looking out-

On the other hand, MANY of your web site visitors have slow phone
lines with no improvement in the near future. With web design
expectations higher but lines still slow, it puts many of us
between a rock and a hard place.

Some ways to jazz up the look of your pages without making them
slow loading:

1. Use one to three SMALL gif or jpeg graphics on a page, but
don't go overboard. Try to repeat graphics when you can from one
page to the next. Once a graphic has loaded into the visitor's
computer, it doesn't have to load again.

2. Create an interesting page by formatting your text into
headlines, bold, indented blocks, and limited colored text. You
can also set off important points with small graphic balls or
arrows. These don't take much time to load and can add interest
to your page.

3. Put parts of your page in a cell and give it a different
background from the rest of your page.

4. When you find a logo you like, email the owner and ask who
created it. I find that many site owners create their logo
themselves and don't mind making one for you at low cost. A great
place to get a cheap logo is at they'll design
your logo for only $25.

Some time back I beefed that too many web sites didn't have
enough words to explain their offers. "Some sites are all
pictures with very little copy. It's hard to figure out what the
site is selling and why you should buy it," I complained.

Now it looks like a lot of sites have gone the other direction.
In an effort to maximize sales, they put dense copy about all
their offers on the opening page of their site. Did we over do

The latest thinking among advertising experts is a page filled
with lots and lots of copy is jarring. People click to the page
and think "Gee! I don't have time to read all this."

It's often better to trim your opening page offers down to just
your most essential elements. Plenty of white space is good.
Rather than having a batch of graphics on the opening page, you
might focus on one larger more powerful graphic that unifies the

Some big corporate sites are moving to this philosophy of "less
is more." See for an almost extreme example.

Bottom line is customers are pressed for time. Many are surfing
the Net while on their lunch break or between office chores. If
they can't figure out your offer quickly, they may click

Web site frames have always been controversial. In the beginning,
this method of splitting a web page into two or three smaller
pages didn't work on older browsers.

Later someone pointed out search engines have a hard time reading
pages with frames. Web designers who really want to get listed
high on search engines avoid frames.

Still, there are times when frames would be a good choice for a
web site:

1. You don't care if your site gets listed high on search
engines. You may have other ways of promoting your site that work
well for you. Your site might be one of a great many sites in
your industry and it is almost impossible to get listed as one of
the top ones.

2. Your site has lots of information. You want customers to be
able to quickly switch back and forth between pages. Frames can
make this easier.

3. You want to save money or time designing your site. You can
have a razzle-dazzle opening page and menu bar while all the many
inner pages are simple text on a page. That kind of site is quick
and easy to design.

No matter what type of business you run, or how much money you
have to pour into web designScience Articles, there's bound to be a combination
of ideas that will work for you.

Article Tags: Opening Page

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Kevin Nunley provides marketing advice, business writing, and
popular promotion packages. See his 10,000 free marketing ideas
at Reach Kevin at
or 801-328-9006.

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