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Toolboxes, Plug-ins and Apps

Spotlight on Services

Simple Does It...or Not

For many people out there, a simple website of 2-3 pages is all that's needed. It's like tying a shoe. This is who we are. This is what we do. Here's how to contact us. You're done!

However, in the website world, that's merely the threshold. Your website can be your store, your gallery, your portfolio, your appointment scheduler and so much more. This is where things can get tricky.

The more you want to do in your website, the more it will cost you. It doesn't have to cost you all that much more, but if you want your website to be a workhorse, then the average free site is not what you want.

When shopping for a webhost, carefully compare what you get. Does "free" mean that you have to include their name in your url - such as Are they going to slap their advertising for other people onto your website? Think about your brand and how these features or lack of features will effect your image.

As you start looking at premium plans, think about what the features will actually do for you. Also, can you build more features in as you need them or are you faced with an all-or-nothing decision. Will media, like photos and videos be important? Then what's your upload limit? I said last week that your website is your online business suit - be sure it fits and looks good on you.

Taking It to the Next Level

Whether your Webhost calls their features tools, plug-ins or apps, once you start putting your website to work, you've entered the jungle. The possibilities are endless. I call it making your website sing and dance. You could spend your life shopping plug-ins and apps, but it is important to use the right tool ( plug-in or app) for your job.

Recently I was in a client's office and he laid out a vision for the site I had just completed. As is usually the case, he had taken off in a direction that in no way resembled his original parameters for the week-old site. Initially, I doubted I would even be able to get his website to do what he wanted, but by the time I got back to my desk, I had already begun to understand how I could make it happen. I did a little more research and figured out how I could use a feature of his store to make this happen and what kind of plug-in I'd need on the site page to do what he wanted.

Then I started shopping plug-ins. Oh my goodness gracious sake's alive! There were hundreds of plug-ins, all doing virtually the same thing, but in an unimaginable variety of ways. What's more, while all of them would do sort of what I wanted, none of them had been designed with exactly the parameters I was looking for. Just like the webhosts and themes, a truncated version of the plug-ins were free, but for full functionality, you had to pay a premium. Confession, I am still researching this project, but I am confident I can make it happen.

Where do you want your website to take you? When I say the sky is the limit, I'm not kidding. You can do virtually whatever you want with a website. What's more, pretty much anybody can figure it out - if they devote enough time and energy to it. And that's the important question! Do you want to take the time and energy out of running your business and making money to chase this sort of thing? Perhaps you're the kind of person that actually enjoys a challenge like this. If not and if you know that you need to keep your eye on your business, call me! I'll build you a website you will love!

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