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The Internet has entered the daily lives of people and businesses to such an extent that a small or medium-sized business, which today ignores it in its marketing strategy, goes into battle with one arm! It is also a field in constant development for 20 years: there are rules, principles and many things to know, to do or to avoid.

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There are ready-made formulas and cheap packages, the neighbor's son has already done sites and he is really very cheap ... and after all, you feel able to do it yourself. Yes, but…

Why internet because a traditional marketing campaign is generally aimed at a local audience (depending on the media) while a professional website is a showcase permanently accessible to the whole world in addition to being a space for meetings and contacts professionals.

That's it, your decision is made: you are going to start creating your professional website!

But who will do it? There are ready-made packages and cheap packages, the neighbor's son has already made websites and he is really very cheap… and after all, you feel able to do it yourself. Yes, but…

1. GRAPHICS: VISUAL ATTRACTIVENESS AND TECHNICAL MASTERY

Discovering a website is like visiting a business for the first time: the first impression is fundamental! The visual appearance of your website will determine in a second whether the visitor will take the time to visit or close the window without qualms.

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Graphic designer is a profession that cannot be improvised (3 to 5 years of study depending on the sector). The mastery of the composition, the balance of colors, the notion of space in and around the text, in a sentence, a word or a logo ... all these questions arise as soon as we start to create a graphic charter, whether for paper prints or on screen for a site. Visually and at first glance, a work carried out by a graphic designer or an improvised graphic designer, the difference is obvious… and reflects the image of your company: professional or amateur.

Web graphics (web design) are first and foremost visual but also technical. A beautiful model then needs to be "integrated", translated into internet language (html, CSS, etc.). That's the whole challenge of the web: you have to be a good artist, but also a good technician… and there too, there are a lot of things to master. Among others:

Browsers:  Internet Explorer, Chrome, Firefox, Safari and Opera, to name only the best known to the general public. Not to mention the browsers for phones (iPhone, Smartphone, Blackberries, Nokia, etc.). Ideally, your site should be designed to be compatible with as many of these browsers as possible...

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Screen formats:  from Smartphones to giant screens, including laptops, TVs or graphics tablets,  your site should ideally be readable and pleasant to consult whatever the screen format and whatever its resolution .

2. WHO WILL UPDATE THE WEBSITE?

We can indulge in the illusion that it suffices to finalize the creation of a professional website to see customers pour in and sales to take off. The reality is quite different: a site that does not move is a dead site. A dead site loses its visitors. 

It is essential to keep your site up to date and to do so have the appropriate tools! However, these tools require special development by a professional. Without these tools, updates will be a complex operation (use of specific software, risk of inadvertent modification of the layout with each update, need to transfer the modified files to the web server, etc.), and the modifications relating to all the pages of the site will be very tedious ... Consequence: your site will never be up to date, unless you can pay someone to do this work.

3. REFERENCING

Your site only has a reason to exist if it is visited. One of the main keys to attracting visitors isSEO in search engines  (Google, Yahoo, Bing, etc.)!

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Optimizing a site to improve traffic (number of visits) is a profession in itself and must be considered from the design stage of the site. It is possible to improve the positioning of an existing site despite the absence of certain elements during the creation, but it is a much longer and more expensive job ...

4. A PRO OR A POTE?

The neighbor's son, my colleague's niece, the postman's cousin or a friend's grandmother (strike out unnecessary) offers to create my site for free or for a crust of bread. In itself, if it is his job and this person already has some successful references, why not and so much the better! But if it's someone "who gets by in computers" ... hello confusing!

Reminder:  you are playing the image of your company here ... if the result does not meet your expectations, how can you gently make this charming semi-volunteer person understand that her work is riddled with errors / spelling mistakes / ugly / unprofessional / so slow that the site will not go live for 5 years, etc. You do not have at all the same margin of requirement towards someone who provides you a service compared to a person who sells you a service! And if this person moves to Kamchatka, what do you do?

5. FORMULA WITH SUBSCRIPTION: SCAM… OR NOT!

How it works: A skilled marketer calls you in and gives you a free website as part of a "great deal" from his company XYZ. Make an appointment and the agent introduces you to his company, asks questions about your business and convinces you that you are incredibly lucky to be eligible for a free website. 

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After the meeting, you signed a contract of 150 to 300 € per month over a period of 48 months. Your website will ultimately cost you between € 7,200 and € 10,000 with the impossibility of breaking the contract free of charge and no guarantee as to the result and the quality of the site, the referencing or the possibilities of updating.

But hey, without trying to demonize, there are also honest and less "aggressive" agencies that can effectively provide you with a tailor-made service according to your means and needs ... but it is important to know where you are setting foot.