We recently talked about how to make your small business website a success in 2013 in our 10 Steps To a Successful Business Website post.

What? You haven’t created a website for your small business yet? You’re not alone. By now, almost every small business owner is aware of the importance of having a website, but many haven’t taken the plunge yet because they feel overwhelmed by the process. One of the best ways to combat this is to break it down into small steps and collect everything you’ll need before you tackle your new site.

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With the New Year just around the corner, it’s time to get serious about a resolution to make your small business website a success. Not sure where to start? You’re in luck! We’ve made a list (and checked it twice) to help you get on track for your business’s best year yet.

1. Get a custom domain name. We don’t mean to harp, but this is a big one. Having your own domain shows customers that you take your business seriously, and they should too.

2. Create a custom email address. Another benefit of having your own domain name is the ability to have a custom email address, like email @ mybusiness.com. Do you want your customers hearing from your old Hotmail address? Probably not.

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We’re halfway through the week people, which means it’s time for another edition of Example Site Wednesday.

Today’s site is from a technology support company in Las Vegas, Nevada called Technician Platoon. What stands out most about this site is how well this Webs user has employed layout and organization to convey a good deal of information in an effective way.

We’ve talked before about how imagery can be very important on a website to create visual interest. The exception to that rule, however, is the company whose industry does not lend itself to good imagery. The options in that situation always seem to come down to a site packed with unattractive or irrelevant images, or a small business website that is essentially just a Word document hosted online.

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As we talked about last week, there are a lot of myths out there about building a website — from the price to the timeline to the level of skill you need.

The answers to people’s questions about website creation vary greatly though, depending on the route you take to build it. Many people still go with the old standard method of working with various professionals. Increasingly, however, individuals and small businesses are striking out on their own and using DIY website builders (like…say…Webs SiteBuilder).

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Anything you do for the first time can seem daunting. Especially when it’s outside your comfort zone. But, contrary to some popular myths out there, it doesn’t have to be that way when it comes to creating your website!

At Webs, we’ve been helping people get their personal, group, and small business websites off the ground for a long time now, and we’ve noticed some recurring themes when it comes to people’s objections and misconceptions about website building. In order to help get you over the hump and on the path to your new website, we’re addressing the top 10 below:

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Have you noticed anything new in SiteBuilder3 lately? We recently added some brand new themes to our fully customizable library!

The Webs design and development teams are always gathering user feedback from our support team to gauge what people are looking for in our website builder. They take that information and periodically create new themes to give users even more flexibility when they create a personal portfolio, group site, or small business website.

The goal with this group of themes was to give viewers modern experiences using the latest in HTML5 and CSS3 (whether they know what those are or not!) To see the new themes for yourself, log in to your Webs account and select a website to edit. In the top right corner, click “Theme” and scroll through the options.

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Whether you have a brick and mortar store or offer a personal service, your small business needs a presence on the web. Even if you have no plans to consider e-commerce, there are still plenty of other reasons to build a website. What are they? Glad you asked:

1. Wait, why aren’t you considering e-commerce? While it’s true that online sales are not suited for everyone, you should at least think about the option for a moment. More and more, consumers are turning to the internet for their shopping needs to avoid lines, get products from companies out of their driving radius, and find more options. Don’t sell a physical product? Maybe gift certificates for your services are in order. Even if you decide it’s not for you, a web store is an option that you should consider.

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There are lots of articles on the web about the affect that certain colors can have on a website, or how to use color effectively in your branding. But have you ever thought about creating a black and white website?

Today’s example site, the portfolio of performing artist (and Webs user) Róisín Monaghan, uses this technique beautifully to create an elegant look and feel that serves her subject matter well.

One advantage of a mostly black and white website is that it clears out the clutter and allows other design elements to take center stage.

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Our series on starting a small business continues with a discussion about identifying your brand’s target audience.

As the old adage goes, you can’t please all the people all the time. So, it’s best to focus your resources on pleasing the right people as often as possible. The best way to do this is to identify your business’s audience right off the bat.

Now that you’ve named your company, found some small business financing, and branded yourself with a great tagline, it’s time to talk about who you think is going to buy your products.

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