Building a Successful Internet Business in Five Steps

For those with little or no web publishing experience, building a successful presence on the web can be daunting. Although it’s not necessarily easy, building a web business is not rocket science either. Almost anyone, with at least some computer experience, can build and operate a successful GoDaddy email login web business like we do. My wife and I own and operate a very successful retail Internet business selling nutrition supplements: Cactus Canyon

1. Choose and Purchase a Domain Name: Before you can build a public web page, you will have to choose and purchase a domain name. For example, CactusCanyon is one of my domain names and is our main site. There are many domain registrars from which you may purchase the domain from. Their prices range from around $8.95 to $29.95.

There really is no reason to pay more than $8.95 for the domain name. GoDaddy is the world’s largest domain registrar, and I purchase all of my domains from them for $8.95 each per year. On GoDaddy’s home page is a search box which can be used to find available domain names. I suggest a .com name with no dashes for your main site. It should be easy to spell, easy to pronounce, and as short as possible. It is best if a keyword is part of your domain name, but this is not necessary.

If the name still looks like a good one, sign up for an account with GoDaddy and purchase it. You may purchase it for any number of years. I suggest paying for at least two years. There has been some discussion as to whether or not new sites registered for just one year might raise a caution flag with Google since most spam sites are only registered for one year.

2. Sign Up With a Web Host: Although some Internet gurus host their sites on their own servers, most regular people use a hosting service. A host will provide a server with which you upload your web pages files to. It is on that server where people will actually be viewing your site. Although there are wide ranges of hosting plans available, most new sites will do just fine with a low cost plan.

Cactus Canyon was started with a hosting plan with GoDaddy for $3.95 per month. Our current hosting/E-commerce plan with Yahoo Online Stores costs $99.00 per month. But they have great starter packages for $49.99 per month. The most important service a host should provide is reliability. Their servers need to be available 99.99% of the time!

The second most important thing is tech support. In my opinion, there isn’t a better, low-cost hosting plan available than GoDaddy’s. Upgrading to a higher-end hosting package as needed is an easy process. I’m never in favor of going low-budget just to save money, but in this situation GoDaddy’s economy hosting package is more than adequate for most new sites. Once hosting is purchased, the host will e-mail the details needed to publish your site via FTP.

3. Build Your Website The next and most technical step is actually building the pages of your site. Those with no web design experience will find the learning curve quite steep. I highly recommend enrolling in a short-term web design class at a local tech school or community college. It is possible to wade through the process with the help of a book, but as with many things, a short class will speed the process. Be aware that most of the people who begin the process of building a web business will quit during this phase. One could hire someone to get the job done, but unless money is no object, this is usually not an option for the long term.

Anyone serious about owning an Internet business must learn web design. Although learning web design can be tedious at first, the good news is that only basic skills are needed. In fact, if a beginning web designer tries anything more complicated than text, border less tables and images for their site, the results will be counter-productive. As long as the site conveys a trustworthy atmosphere to visitors, all that is necessary for success is a simple, clean, and easy to navigate site.

Building trust can be as simple as talking to your visitors in a personal way, giving personal testimonials, including some pictures of yourself, etc. If you expect people to make a purchase or visit your brick and mortar store after visiting your site, they MUST trust you. Dreamweaver is the most popular web design tool. I use Dreamweaver and highly recommend it. FrontPage is another alternative, but I consider it a distant second place behind Dreamweaver. Dreamweaver will cost from $120 (on eBay) to $250 retail.

The good news is that there is a new option available for free! First Page 2000 is a great way to get started building websites. And it is FREE! It is not a robust editor like Dreamweaver, but it is more than adequate for beginners to make a great site with.

o Photos should always be in .jpg or .png format. The .gif format is fine for clip art, symbols, etc. You MUST optimize your pages with some program. You simply can’t take a photo from your digital camera and put it on your site. Most of the time those photos have huge file sizes. You MUST resize it AND optimize it for small file size. If you don’t have PhotoShop, go to eBay and buy and older version like PhotoShop 6. It will do all you will need and will not cost more than about $70.00. You will NEED a good photo editing software. Also, while you are there, buy a book on how to use PhotoShop. You have to know how to crop, resize, and optimize your photos

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