If you have a business (no matter how big or small), your on line presence matters a lot. You need to create a functional website and this enables you get lots of customers. It's not just enough to have a website, you must have a professional looking site if you want to be taken seriously. Your website is an important part of your business and you have to treat it as such. Even if you are starting a one man show or a 1000-employee cooperation grant, if you don't have a website, you are losing business to other companies that do.
Some of the things to pay attention to when building a website
1. Page Loading Time: Adding lots of text and graphics to your pages can delay the loading time. Customers/visitors tends to leave your site even before accessing the actual content if it takes more than 15-20 seconds to load. Optimize images for fast downloading.
2. Broken Links: It is very important to always check for broken links if you update your website often. Broken links can destroy your business image and it makes you look unprofessional. Your visitor/customer will be disappointed when he finds something he has been looking for, clicks on the link and it doesn't work.
3. Browser Compatibility: This has been an issue with many websites. There are lots of alternative browsers besides Internet Explorer like Firefox, Opera, etc. Although the majority of your visitors will be using Internet Explorer, you cannot afford to lose customers that are accessing your website with a different browser. A website design will look great in one browser but might look awful in another. Talk to your developer/online website builder about the ways he is working on making your website browser compatible. You can also try to enter your website through different browsers to see what it looks like.
4. Functional Shopping Carts: Make sure you have adequate product descriptions, pictures, specification and very clear pricing. Include information on shipping costs and integrate any taxes within your price list. Include a foreign exchange calculator if you are shipping internationally. When designing your own website, make sure your shopping cart pages are protected by a Secure Certificate to give visitors the confidence to reveal their personal and credit information.
5. Have a good customer support and encourage conversation around your content, comments, forums, etc.
Use reasonable size fonts (12px or larger), short and easy to read URL's, update regularly and most especially, listen to your users and consider their opinions/suggestions.
Disclaimer:I am participating in a blog campaign from Bucks2Blog for an online
website builder company and was compensated. However, the views and
opinions are my own.