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The Newbie?s Guide to Small Business Web Design

You've got a concept for a business, are excited about putting it out on the Internet, know a little bit about computers and the Internet, but know nothing about building a web site, or web design.

You can still be highly successful and save money by doing the job yourself so long as you've got the willingness to learn and the time to spend on the project. It can be fun ? and it should be.

The contents of this article will greatly improve your knowledge of web design without causing you to feel overwhelmed. Keep this article as a reference point, check off each part as you go through the process of development, and, in due time, you will have an effective web site for marketing the information, product, or service you wish to provide to your customers.

Domain Name

Keep it short and relevant to your business. Do not get frustrated trying to lock down a domain name by settling on anything to get you web space. You will soon realize that every word on your web site has relevancy to its success. Register for no less than two years. Serious businesses don't renew yearly. You have to show that you're going to be sticking around.

Web Hosting

Don't mess around with small time web hosting. Affiliate yourself with a reputable company that provides top-notch service, as the rewards with regards to security and support are worth the extra dollar.

Web Site Construction

The basis by which people choose to build their web site is at their discretion. Microsoft FrontPage is a worthy choice for those of you who are new to web development and starting from scratch. Instead of reading books to learn about web design and development, you may be much better off using Google, MSN, or Yahoo to find the answers to your questions. Use "quotations" around your question in a search bar to get more specific answers.


Building your web site on a template is a fine way to start, but you may want to learn how to build from nothing. The mistakes that you may make along the way will prove invaluable. It is strongly recommended that you go with Tables instead of Frames, and if you don't have a clue what either means, just do a little reading about the two on the Internet before you start building.


It would be a safe bet to keep your web site at no more than 750 pixels wide, regardless of the fact that more and more people are going to 1024x768. If your site is geared towards older folk, then you can count on the majority being at 800x600 for easier reading. You don't want to alienate your visitors by having them scroll to see the whole page. Be sure to check that your web site pages show up the same in all browsers.

The Intro

Never ever put "Under Construction" or any other type of phrase that says that you are incomplete on your web site. Your site is young ? it is never incomplete. Try to refrain from saying "Welcome to ?". You should think of your web space as being real estate. The space you use up with unnecessary text is a waste of advertising.

The Text

Keywords, their place on a web page, whether they are bolded or not, and the number of times each word appears on a web page are factors that determine how high you end up in search results.


Before I say anything further, don't get freaked out by HTML code. It not as hard as it looks. Again, do a little reading on the Internet ? this time about Meta Tags and Keywords. You will have to make sure that your Title, Description, and Keyword Meta Tags are bang on with the text on each web page you build. You can use many free Tag Analyzers found on the Internet to check relevancies.


Graphics increase load time and looks. There's a fine line between too little and too much. Use customers, not friends and family to gauge what is appropriate for the way your web site will look.

Random Tips

You may need to read a little to learn how to implement some of these tips, but nonetheless, they are here for your consideration to improve the placement of your web site in search results:

1) Make sure your TITLE is right below the HEAD in the HTML code. 2)Use one or two keywords in an ALT Tag to describe your images. 3) Get links pointing at you from sites sharing similar content.

Austin Culley is the Chief Operating Officer for Oil-Net.Com Inc.

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