Top mistakes new websites make

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Apr 27, 2009 by Paul White

Everyone wants to make quick money, and they often don't take into account the risks involved.  This is why new investors often jump into penny stocks, rather than invest into stocks that yield small but reliable dividends. This is also the reason many start up websites.  They have the,"if you build it they will come" Philosophy.  Even though Field of Dreams was a great Movie.  This logic does not work in real life.  A more realistic phrase would be. If you build it, market it, promote it, an Sell it, they will come if your timing with the market is right.  Building a business is like a game of chess.  You can just setup shop anywhere, to server any given market.  You have to do a lot of research to determine the demand for your service / product.  The costs to doing business in this market, and what is your ROI if things aren't running as smoothly as you thought possible. 

Often one thing I see in new website startups is they think they can beat the system.  Of course these are people or companies that don't have a clue about website development or promotion.  Their lack of knowledge leaves them cocky about what is possible, and they make every mistake in the book.

Website Mistake #1.

You build your website with no focus on SEO.
If you are not optimizing your website's code and content for SEO.  You will never optimize your Search Engine Referrals, or ranking.

Website Mistake #2.

They use in-a-box solutions to get off the ground.
If you want a website to succeed you have to start at the foundation.  This means no buying prefabricated templates.  Your website needs to be designed from scratch to serve your market.  You need the ability to customize your content, design, and features as your business grows. You should hire a competent Developer that can do it all for you. 

Website Mistake #3

Over spending on your hosting plan.
I have met people who are convinced their website will hit critical mass within a couple months.  So they have it hosted on a dozen load balanced dedicated servers in anticipation for this surge in traffic.  The result is they spend $4k / month on just hosting their website.  Then 2 years later, they are still doing almost no traffic, and they have spent 100K on hosting their site.  You should never pay this much for hosting your website.  Most websites will run just fine on a $13 / month hosting account.  If you need something to handle large volumes of requests there are other ways to setup the hosting that doesn't require full dedicated boxes.

Website Mistake #4

Paying a monthly Retainer for a Developer that does nothing.
If you developer is charging you even $20 per month that is too much.  The only time you should be paying your developer is when they are working on your website.  Websites don't require a baby sitter.

Website Mistake #5

Not going direct with the hosting company.
Many developers may run their own servers.  Sometimes this works out great as you get all their resources without having to pay extra for it.  But your developer is not availble 24/7 if stuff hits the fan.  A dedicated hosting company usually has 24/7 phone support in case your site goes down, or you need help with email / stats / ext..  Always make sure your website is direct between you and the hosting provider, and you are not paying some middleman ( developer ) who is padding the costs for their own personal profit.

Website Mistake #6

Copy Pasting content from other sites and pretending its your own.
I have met a few clients in the past that didn't want to take the time to write their own content.  So they copy pasted their competition's content and then changed up the few words.  First this is plagurism and its illegal.  Its fine if you are running a blog, and you take snippets from other articles, then add your own analysis, then providing a link to the source.  But when you copy another site's content and try to act like its your own this is very illegal.  If you get caught they can sue you.  Unique original content is the legal way to do it, plus search engines will also rank you higher for original content.

Website Mistake #7

Paying someone else to run your external SEO campaigns.
Your External SEO campaigns should be done by you.  Paying someone else to do it for you, such as a Specialist that claims they can give you top ranking is very risky.  After you stop paying them your site will drop in ranking.  You will need to spend a few hours each week exchanging links with other related sites, and working to build a network of backlinks.

The biggest mistake is people are more in love with the idea of having a successful website than building one.  You need to enjoy updating your content and website.  Your intentions should be creating a website that has unique content for others to read. These are the types of sites that google will rank high, and these are the sites that generate word of mouth. 

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