Building Your Business Website

What is your site going to look like?
Have a look at 15 different websites and choose your 5 favourites. It doesn't matter if they are flashy sites with technology access issues, just select the 5 best looking ones. Are these the kind of websites you would like for yourself. This small exercise will be used in various chapters throughout the rest of these tutorials.

DIY Web Building.
If you decide to have a go at building your website yourself, you will need to establish a few points. Firstly are you capable of designing websites anything like those in your top 5? If you are, do you have the right tools to create the pages. Software like Microsoft's FrontPage is ideal. The familiar windows interface makes learning very simple. The problems with FrontPage lie in the erratic coding it produces behind the scenes. This code will seldom validate at and requires in-depth knowledge of HTML to correct or it will possibly only render correctly in Internet Explorer.

An alternative editor with a "what you see is what you get" (wysiwyg) facility is Macromedias DreamWeaver. this is the choice of many professional designers and is a rather more expensive solution, to the point that it may be worth have an entire website built rather than buy it and learn it yourself. DreamWeaver is harder to to pick up in the early stages but does not make code suitable only for Internet Explorer. The learning curve for Dreamweaver is much steeper than that of FrontPage, The code is not perfect and may require some attention depending on the page.

Contract web Building.
If the design, look and feel of your desired website style is beyond your capabilities or time constraints, it is time to look at getting a  professional to handle it for you. Before you select your designer, have a look at their work, do you think they are capable of achieving exactly what you require? Even if they come highly recommended from a trusted source, there is always a chance they are simply not able to achieve exactly what you want. The ideal designer is one that can achieve the look that you require along with an in-depth knowledge of the search engine optimisation requirements and able to handle simple HTML coding properly.

Have a look at their work, search for them on the internet using phrases and page titles (the blue bar at the top of your browser) they are using. If they have only their company name or other irrelevant text, that should be seen as a warning sign that they may not have a full understanding of the Search Engines. Likewise if they have too many images and little text on the page, including text that has been formatted as an image, it could signify they either don't want to be found in the search engines or don't understand the accessibility requirements beyond their own environment.

finally put their web address (URL) through the validator at and see if they are able to code properly. If everything is perfect, then and only then should you make an enquiry. If you are finding it too time consuming finding quality web designers, feel free to check our approved suppliers list. All the designers in here have their code validated by us and have had their work assessed for "Search Engine Friendliness" to save you the time and effort. Designers marked in red are also checked to ensure WebTV compatibilty with their own work.

Next, we look at Evaluating

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