Create a Web Presence with Just a few mouse clicks writes how businesses can use online web site creation tools to build their web sites. In MOST cases I would advocate not using these tools, but they do have some merit. I would suggest working with a professional web designer or a product like Microsoft Frontpage. These online web building tools are ok – but might not offer you the flexibility you need.
The article reads For most companies these days, a Web site is a no-brainer when it comes to doing business — be it basic marketing or conducting high-volume sales with customers and suppliers.
Yet small businesses, in some cases, have been slow to establish a Web presence even though it can help distinguish them among the competition. Only about a year and half ago, roughly 40% of small businesses using the Internet still did not have a Web site, according to a report issued then by the Small Business Administration’s Office of Advocacy. And just about a third of those with Web sites sold goods and services online.
Daunting to many, perhaps, has been the sheer hassle of putting together all the pieces: that is, hiring a Web designer, finding a company to host the site, and perhaps someone else to coordinate any e-commerce business. The strain of trying to mesh different technology platforms and deal with multiple customer service departments takes a greater toll on a smaller enterprise that might not have a single IT person in its ranks.
Recognizing the nation’s 23 million small businesses as a ripe market, a number of Internet leaders have stepped up efforts to court them with more-inclusive Web services, among them Atlanta-based Interland Inc., Microsoft Corp., with its bCentral services; EarthLink Inc.; and Kurant Corp., of San Francisco, through its StoreSense e-business tools.
Last week, I tested a recently upgraded suite of tools from another player, Yahoo Inc., which pitches itself as now providing one-stop-shopping for small-business Web site needs. Despite some rough edges, my experience showed that an entrepreneur with no Web presence and little technical know-how can quickly get a basic site designed, registered and online for as little as $11.95 a month at Yahoo. From there, businesses can choose to incorporate pricier e-commerce and direct-marketing elements into their Web presence as they want.