Set Up and Brand Your Website - dummies

Set Up and Brand Your Website

By Susan Chritton

A website or a blog site is the primary tool to highlight your brand online. If you’re in business for yourself, you won’t be taken seriously if you do not have a website. (And your website can easily have a blog component.)

Websites are no longer scary to create and certainly aren’t the sole property of businesses with lots of money. Anyone with a basic understanding of computer tools and a little creativity can create a website in a few hours.

Create your own site or hire a pro?

When you consider what you want a website to accomplish, you may wonder whether you need to hire a pro to create the site for you or whether to try creating it yourself. Do-it-yourself websites make sense when

  • You’re a small business or solopreneur and do not have much money to invest in your initial website.

  • You’re willing to learn the skills to be able to add content to your site as you build your business.

  • You’re comfortable enough with the computer that you aren’t afraid to play with creating a site.

  • You want a simple site without extra functionality.

  • You enjoy the designing process.

Consider hiring someone to build your site if

  • You’re too busy to set up your own website.

  • You’re looking to build a site that has increased functionality and needs a professional to add plug-ins and widgets.

  • You have no design sense and can’t figure out how your brand might look when put into your website.

  • You’re not comfortable with computers, and web design would be very stressful for you.

Regardless of how you create the website, keep in mind that you want the site to highlight keywords that correspond to your brand message, and you want the visual impact of the site to mesh with your visual brand image. As always, consistency is key!

When you decide to do it on your own . . .

If you decide that you feel up to the job of creating your own website, you won’t truly have to go it alone. You can find several major sites to help you create your own website:

  • The basic version of this website/blog site is free. You can choose from more than 100 templates.

  • You can register your domain name at this site as well as create a professional website.

  • Offers printing services and helps you create a basic website.

  • TypePad: This free blog site also allows you to customize your site by using one of its templates.

  • Miniblog Tumblr: It allows for free e-mail publishing from your desktop or phone to create instant blog posts.

Many other online resources can help you create your own website. Some easy and popular ones are Google, Intuit, and Yahoo!.