So, you are debating a website for your business. You’ve been looking at a lot of websites, especially those of your competitors, but you’re still confused over which features would be good for your site. Let’s see if we can eliminate some of the confusion.
The big decision is to decide what the purpose of your site is going to be. Obviously, it’s to sell your business; there is no question of that. The question is how you want to do that. There are three basic ways to do that: a stand-alone site, a community-oriented site, or a shopping cart. All other features will come from that.
Stand-alone sites are the default. They are the easiest to maintain, are the cheapest to create, and hold your place on the web. For a small business that just needs something to lead customers to your salespeople, a stand-alone site can work rather well. Since you also looking for something that requires little maintenance, the site will also have few features beyond an index page, listed contacts, a history of the company, biographies of its leadership and salespeople, and some of the products or services that the company offers. There may pictures of the business, and possibly a catalog in either pdf or doc format, but not much more. After all, the idea is to simply act as an advertisement and little else. Please feel free to contact me if you need help. I work with top-notch web design miami firm before.
Community-oriented sites are a bit more involved. Not only do you need to design everything that a stand-alone site does, or at least have that information somewhere on the site, you also need to create something that will help build community. At this point, you need to build some sort of discussion board, or other means for people to share information. The discussion board is optimal, as you provide a way for people to share information and to get help, preferably in topics that are relevant to what services or products at your store. You can also allow them to share art projects or other images, act as classified ads, or even just post notices. Just be advised that this site requires a lot of maintenance.
Shopping carts are great for businesses that are product oriented. A customer places an order through the site, and then someone in real life fulfills the order. This site is reasonably low-maintenance (all that is required is to update products, prices, and specials), and enables you to take advantage of the internet to sell your products.
Ultimately, whichever features you choose should serve to sell your business. Decide on how much maintenance you want to do, and what the purpose of the site is, and then go for it. The website is yours; just make sure that it does what you want to do, and don’t throw too many bells and whistles at it and you should do fine. You don’t want your site looking too garish, or giving a potential headache to potential customers. Remember that, and your site will do more than you could ever hope that it would.