Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Establishing Your Virtual Storefront – Are you giving off the impression you want?

By: Scott "Snerdey" Lawrence, Snerdey Web Designs.

I can recall a time, approximately 15 years ago, when this little thing called “The Internet” was just getting started. For myself, it was a 9600 baud connection and the original Netscape browser (you know, the one with the gigantic “N”). At the time, there was little commercial interest on the Internet. In fact, the majority of the websites were small, individually-owned pages about someone's favorite past time or hobby.

Flash forward 15 years and you have an online community that is much more than just a hobby page. Today, the Internet is its own economy, with trillions of dollars being transferred every year. You would be hard pressed to find a business, person, or group that is not, in some way, connected and operating online.

This brings us to the actual website. 15 years ago, a small, simple page was acceptable. Unfortunately, this is not the case today. Today you have less than three seconds to make a first impression on a visitor, and the quality and presentation of your website is the means that you have to accomplish it. Ask yourself, is my website really up to par?

If your answer is less than encouraging, you do have options. You can pay someone to create a new website for you, you can purchase a web template, or you can try and improve upon the existing design. Each of these options has their own advantages and disadvantages:
  • Paying someone to design a new website for you can be expensive. A unique layout, back end system, logo, etc. all adds up. It is not uncommon for a web designer to charge upwards of $1,500 for a simple, clean, professional website.

    However, a unique website is likely to get you more attention, and will not seem overplayed and outdated. If the advantages of owning a completely unique website overpower the expense, this may be the option for you.
  • A web template is relatively inexpensive and easy to set up. Have you ever heard of template monster? They have thousands upon thousands of templates for sale at prices ranging from $10 to $1,000. My most popular website,, offers a 20% discount on template monster templates. This is a great way to get a clean, professional looking website at a fraction of the cost of a new, you can spend more to get the unique website copy.

    That being said, a popular template can appear on many different websites, and there is the (remote) possibility that a visitor to your page may have seen that particular template before. does offer unique templates at a fraction of the cost of a web designer, allowing you to have a professional website without the unique designers price.
  • Trying to improve on your existing design can be a mixed proposition. If your current design still has the potential to look modern, you may find success hiring someone to give it a quick over hall. However, you may find that the cost of someone redesigning your current design to be nearly as expensive as purchasing a unique template.

    Regardless of what you choose to do, you need to consider the value in your website. The economy of today demands that you have a professional presence, both offline and online.


    Snerdey Web Designs – Thousands of professional templates, with the average cost being just $50. – Looking to start designing? Learn the basics here.

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