≡ Menu

Small Business Website Success Gallery


7/26 Update:  You can still submit your website to be reviewed and considered for the gallery, but this current prize giveaway is over. But I’d still love to see your website and its design. Feel free to drop it in the comments below.

7/25 Update: Drum roll please — Contest Winner Announced: Comment # 5.  Glen Craig at FreeFromBroke.com — a blog about Personal Finance. Congratulations Glen!! We’ll be in touch via email.

>>Tweet this Post<<

Small business owners, startups, makers, inventors, solopreneurs often impress me with their do-it-yourself skills and attitudes. Our small team decided that it would be cool to honor that can-do spirit this summer by creating a gallery of the best SMB websites and to give one lucky site owner a nice prize, too. Read on.

As most TechBizTalk readers know, I write for Forbes, American Express OPEN Forum, and Small Business Trends. This roundup idea is aimed at OPEN, but in every contest like this I always uncover some wonderful new company that fits at another media site. This opportunity to discover, uncover a new company is one of my favorite reasons for doing roundup type posts, galleries, and lists. There are simply too many gems out there for me to find on my own. So, I want to thank you for submitting your site and getting in touch.

Criteria for the roundup post includes:

  • Best design
  • Best fresh look
  • Easy navigation
  • Creative content
  • Good use of social media
  • Strongest calls to action
  • A few other areas that make a website fun and useful to visit.

ioSafe-Solo-front

There are no shortage of amazing tools and services to help small business owners build a website or online presence today. Some choose not to build a site at all, but build a presence within a community, or on Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn and successfully grow their business using these services.

In the navigation link above, we list ~15 website builders that are free or low-cost. You can read that ever-growing list. It includes Google, WordPress, Wix, DoodleKit, Moonfruit, Weebly, Webstarts, Yola, Webs, Jimdo, ezWeb123, Ruxter, and two new ones are being added this week (to this list) — SquareSpace and Vistaprint. And there are many more.

If you have used any of these tools to build your company website, or another service that we’ve not listed, please submit your site so it can be considered for the post. Plus, we’d like to showcase it and link to it in the upcoming gallery. Don’t forget to share which tool or service you used! If we choose your site for the gallery or the roundup, we’ll send you an email asking you some more questions and possibly to provide a screenshot or two and we’ll go from there.

Giveaway – 1 Winner will receive an ioSafe 500 Gigabyte hard drive!

HERE’S HOW TO ENTER

To enter the giveaway, enter your website URL -and- answer the following question in the Comments section below.

“What has been the most exciting part of taking your business to the web?

It doesn’t matter if you just started your company or have been in business for 20+ years.  Also, feel to share any website building advice or tips you might have for those who are just starting out.

    >>Tweet this Post<<

You do not have to answer the question to submit your site for consideration in the Small Business Website Success Gallery, but if you want a chance to win the ioSafe 500Gig hard drive, you must answer the question. We will use Random.org to randomly select one comment as the hard drive winner using the simple True Random Number Generator based on the number of comments.  If you do not answer the question with an appropriate comment, we’ll assume you don’t want a chance to win the prize and simply want us to consider your site for the roundup post.

We’ve reviewed ioSafe products before and love them. This unit is one that I reviewed not too long ago and it is in brand new condition (sitting on a shelf). This unit is roughly $200 in value.

Comments will stay open until Friday, July 20 until 8pm Pacific time. Contest winner will be posted on Monday, July 23rd. UPDATE: CONTEST IS CLOSED.  COMMENTS ARE OPEN JUST FOR READABILITY. NO NEW ENTRIES ACCEPTED AFTER DEADLINE.

THE RULES
One entry per person, please.
No entries after 8pm (PST) on Friday, July 20.
Winner will be selected at random and announced Monday, July 23. [Note: slight delay, random drawing took place on 7/25).

Contest/Prize open to USA residents only. (sorry to all my international friends on this one — this hard drive is heavy!), but you can still submit a website.

You can email instead: Gallery@TechBizTalk.com with your site URL if you simply want us to consider it for the gallery/roundup post and not the contest prize.

 

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

*Fine Print:  We run a family-friendly website and business, so sites and businesses that promote, endorse, or sell alcohol, tobacco, firearms, weapons, adult-oriented stuff (or the photography/video that accompanies that last category) will not be accepted.  

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Johnny Caraveo July 17, 2012, 12:56 pm

    “What has been the most exciting part of taking your business to the web?
    It doesn’t matter if you just started your company or have been in business for 20+ years. Also, feel to share any website building advice or tips you might have for those who are just starting out.

    The exciting part of launching a new website is that you finally get to see your works’ fruition. As for building your own website, start out small. Create a one page site that has all your information, then add more pages and functionality as you move forward. Always try to keep it simple, intuitive, and make sure you spend some time in the design phase. A simple wireframe of a website can save you hours of coding later on. Good luck!

  • Phil Simon July 17, 2012, 1:39 pm

    What has been the most exciting part of taking your business to the web?

    In a word, the connections. It’s taken a while, but people are coming out of the woodwork. I’m finding fans in random places across the globe. Because I blog frequently, I’ve been able to find the top of some valuable search queries. This has opened up opportunities that otherwise would have never presented themselves.

    Of course, this takes a great deal of time, effort, and comfort with uncertainty. Those looking for “quick hits” in an era of social media fatigue should keep looking.

  • Sarah Robinson July 17, 2012, 3:06 pm

    I built this by myself using a free theme: http://www.fierce-loyalty.com. I’m pretty proud of it. :-)

  • Michael Vosilla July 17, 2012, 4:55 pm

    The most exciting part is getting feedback from others. The most important feedback comes from potential clients of ours. When a client says I was looking around and chose your firm because of the website, I feel a great sense of satisfaction.

    This website is a group effort between the partners, myself and the spouse of one of the partners. It is an ever evolving process, that we are always changing.

    A tip I have is to build what others have done before you, you can very easily search any issue you are having or effect you are looking for and find out how others got them it work for them.

  • Glen Craig July 17, 2012, 5:01 pm

    The most exciting part has to be paying myself and seeing my actual profit. To me, it means I’m actually getting it done and that’s an awesome feeling. Before I was incorporated my accounting was pass-through and I really didn’t see the cashflow the same way or have the same urgency to make sure everything was running on all cylinders.

  • Candace Talmadge July 17, 2012, 5:03 pm

    Please enter the small business website I built myself using Weebly: http://www.copy-clinic.com

    Thanks. And thanks for this great list of online website building tools.

    Good to know about all of our options.

  • Andres July 17, 2012, 5:12 pm

    The most exciting part of taking our business to the web was the realization that this thing is real, ready and open for business (yikes!). If you are a web based company is like your baby. Starting with something simple but nice and through constant nurturing and love it develops into a beautiful and powerful tool and platform…ongoing process though (never fully finished). It’s a good thing :)

  • K. Moore July 17, 2012, 5:12 pm

    Great contest idea! It has been a labor of love creating my website!
    http://www.NineGPS.com

  • james pader July 17, 2012, 5:13 pm

    Mountain Laurel Handrails http://awoodrailing.com started shipping nationwide after a homeowner in Washington state saw pictures of an installation in North Carolina. The best part about my business currently is my customers and their interesting projects and ideas. We’re starting work soon on arched railings for a circular deck! It’s exciting to work with people who are committed to putting these artistic handrails on their homes!

    I found this site through HARO email.

  • Andrew McCluskey July 17, 2012, 5:17 pm

    “What has been the most exciting part of taking your business to the web?”

    In the music business it is definitely being able to eliminate the middle man – the label, distributor, retailer, etc. The web allows music businesses to interact directly and develop relationships with individual fans and clients. Sure it takes a little longer to develop momentum, but if you’re committed, over time you build a rock solid business that you own 100%.

    As for a tip:

    Remember that you’re going to get better at building and developing your website – like everything in business – the more you do it, the better you get. If your website looks a little basic at the beginning, that’s fine – you’ll learn as you grow and over time you’ll be empowered to present yourself online exactly how you want – without having to pay external consultants!

  • Julie Melillo July 17, 2012, 5:18 pm

    As a life coach in Manhattan, the most exciting part of taking my business to the web (in 2005) has been connecting with people across the US and world. I now have clients in several states and internationally — without the web there would have been no way to attract these clients in far away places. I still have all my great local clients — financial traders, CEOs, etc., but it’s great to work with people in diverse fields and locations. It keeps me fresh and on my toes.

    My web site is not the most attractive, but it has amazing SEO.

  • Nerina Garcia-Arcement, Ph.D. July 17, 2012, 5:21 pm

    The best thing about taking my business to the web is the opportunity to reach so many different people. Psychotherapy has transitioned from asking a friend for a referral to a trusted psychologist to people looking directly online for one. This is a way to get my message out there and also provide resources to help others.

  • Curtis Brewington July 17, 2012, 5:35 pm

    You can check out our site at http://www.crystalkeyministries.net. Everything there is open-source using mostly OcPortal for the CMS and Wordpress for the blogging platform. We engage heavily in social media by promoting the best leadership practices in the non-profit sector.

    We have been using open-source programs on the web since 2004 when we first launched our website on a Microsoft Office Live platform, which has since, been discontinued.

  • Laurel A. Wimmerstedt July 17, 2012, 5:37 pm

    What has been the most exciting part of taking your business to the web?
    It doesn’t matter if you just started your company or have been in business for 20+ years. Also, feel to share any website building advice or tips you might have for those who are just starting out.

    I used Wordpress and actually did all of the code myself which was a daunting task! That is probably the most exciting part of taking my business to the web…the fact that I did it myself. Being a Woman Owned Small Business, I did not have the finances to hire someone to build it. So I learned as I went along! And I was super thankful of Google – when I did not know how to write a specific code, I would do a search. Most times I would find the answer…sometimes I didn’t. Which meant I had to keep trying to figure it out myself.

    It is also great to hear comments from people asking me how I did certain aspects of my website…but I also get NUMEROUS other comments which are spam. So my advice is to others that are just starting out to not be bothered by some of the comments. Because some of them can be mean!

  • Gary Parkes July 17, 2012, 5:44 pm

    I was excited to build my site and bring my work alive via a website. I like having a centralized location or depository where potential clients can view all my varied work and hopefully identify a need they have with a solution they see on my website. It also is an opportunity to share a little bit of myself with site visitors.

    I used Weebly to build my site. Necessity was the mother of invention; I had no budget to hire a web designer so I had to learn how to work with the template based tools. I have since done several websites for others with Weebly.

  • Shari McGuire July 17, 2012, 5:48 pm

    Because I run my company out of my home, the most exciting part of putting up my website was it felt like hanging a shingle out to say I am open for business (even though I was in business prior to my site being complete).

    I created my site with OptimizePress on WordPress.

  • Jason July 17, 2012, 5:49 pm

    Great contest, very nice prize as well. I hope it is very successful!

  • Beth Carter July 17, 2012, 5:53 pm

    The most exciting thing about taking my business to the web has been being able to look bigger than I am. I’m a one-woman shop, but the website I created looks fabulous — as if I had a team of professionals working on it. As a result, my website has helped me win projects with big-name Fortune 500 businesses, which never would have happened if my website looked anything less than professional. And because my site is search engine friendly, clients and service providers from Los Angeles to New Jersey have found me.

  • Evelyn July 17, 2012, 5:53 pm

    The most exciting part of taking my business to the web and designing my own website is being able to convey to my clients exactly who I am and to tailor my business offering and web content to fit the unmet demands in the legal industry.

  • Lyvonne July 17, 2012, 5:54 pm

    Hi! Saw your request via HARO. We actually have 2 e-commerce sites that we built (www.essentialsinside.com and http://www.letsbepets.com). We built both stores using zencart which is a free (and GREAT) program though we modified the look of the sites significantly. I’m not sure which one to pick to submit since I’m very proud of both of them but I guess I’ll pick http://www.essentialsinside.com as the submission.

    To answer your question:
    “What has been the most exciting part of taking your business to the web?
    It doesn’t matter if you just started your company or have been in business for 20+ years. Also, feel to share any website building advice or tips you might have for those who are just starting out.”

    Our whole venture has been very exciting. I suppose the best part is that our stores are each a concrete example of how you can turn nothing but an idea into a concrete product.

    Our best advice…choose the right hosting company. It took us 3 to get to the right one (camelot-hosting.com). You don’t need to go too expensive at first but don’t go cheap. It doesn’t matter how good your design is, if your site doesn’t come up fast people aren’t going to hang around to see it.

    Thanks for posting through HARO. Have a great day!!

    Lyvonne

  • Andrew Schrage July 17, 2012, 5:57 pm

    We’ve really tried to aim for a clean, custom website that also has fantastic, but not intrusive, navigational features: http://www.moneycrashers.com

  • Shawn Scianna July 17, 2012, 6:03 pm

    The most exciting part of taking our Flying Card business (http://www.sendaflyingcard.com) to the web was the fact that we can open our product up to ANYONE in the United States, not just our local customers. We send a customized Flying Card (instead of sending the same old boring greeting card) and our customers LOVE it. It is fully customized and sent with no box or packaging, the whole Flying Card in the mail.

    And some folks told us to start small. I said NO, and figured I would start a merchant account to accept credit cards right from the start, and it has helped SOOOO much. Think big and go big, the internet can help you get your business to where you want it to be.
    Thank you for considering us.

    SendaFlyingCard.com
    Don’t send a card, SendaFlyingCard…

  • Michelle  (@michelledh) July 17, 2012, 6:12 pm

    Wow, am I upset … 500GB’s nice competition !! :) UK here. Good Luck to whoever.

  • Sarah Wilson July 17, 2012, 6:15 pm

    Great idea, I’ll share. And, BTW, Jason sent me. :D

  • Sarah Wilson July 17, 2012, 6:16 pm

    Ummm… where are your share buttons? Is it just me or are they well hidden?

  • Jeff July 17, 2012, 6:24 pm

    my photography

  • admin July 17, 2012, 6:27 pm

    hi Sarah, sorry about that. I didn’t put them on the post. I’ll insert some manual links. Thanks to you and Jason!

  • admin July 17, 2012, 6:28 pm

    sorry about that Michelle! I’ll make sure the next one works for the UK! :-)

  • Suzanne Slatcher July 17, 2012, 6:39 pm

    Here’s the website for my snackfood company: http://www.thegoodbean.com

    Most exciting to me about creating my company’s site was that it’s pretty much the only place you get to put all that thinking around your brand, design, strategy, and positioning. It’s the only place you can control the content and the design – packaging has a limited amount of space, press releases and publicity photos are subject to the editorial needs of the publication, and in-store displays and tradeshow booths are restricted by context and attention span.

    It’s a Wordpress hack, originally based on a template but I’ve changed it so much it’s been practically rewritten. I love the robustness of Wordpress, the relative simplicity of the code, and I love the Wordpress community. There is enormous amounts of helpful information and code samples out there, much more so than for other CMS platforms I looked at. My tip would be to use a platform with a supportive userbase.

  • admin July 17, 2012, 6:53 pm

    Looks awesome! And yummy.

  • Mary Babiez July 17, 2012, 7:19 pm

    After 2 years in the making, I launched my gift basket company 2 months ago. I wanted to keep the business self-funded, so needed an inexpensive ecommerce solution. After a lot of research, I chose BigCommerce. Although they have partner design agencies who do beautiful work, I decided to DIY it. Starting with an out-of-the-box template, I spent many months working on my own customization to create my own look and feel. It took a lot of Q&A on the web to answer many html and CSS questions, and BigCommerce has great help resources and a community forum, so I always found answers to my code questions. I did use a designer for a few minor code changes that were beyond my knowledge, but paid very minimal for that assistance.

    The site is still a work in progress as I continue to evolve my product line and my content. Wanted to submit it because I am very proud of the work and the product. My gift baskets are very different than any others in the market.

    I have 2 pieces of advice for those starting out: 1) You will always get frustrated with various aspects of your website or your business, but don’t give up. The answers always come, you just have to be patient. 2) There is no such thing as a dumb question. Don’t be afraid to ask.

  • Erika Hampton July 17, 2012, 7:20 pm

    Check out our website: http://www.TagdUpApparel.com
    “What has been the most exciting part of taking your business to the web?

    I’ve have taken my simple little idea and it has the prospect of becoming a world wide phenomenon! The best part about taking my business to the web, is that anyone, anywhere can see it, and it can go from a virtually unknown to a household name, without needing major funding or billionaire investors backing you. I’ve watched my idea go from a basic concept, to a fun hobby, to an internet buzz – from the comfort of my home office. It’s inspiring and humbling all at the same time and helps me to encourage others to do the same thing!

    Tips and hints:
    I started my business on a very simple (and scarce) budget. Because I was very limited on resources, I had to learn everything from trial and error, and by doing hours and hours of research on the internet. I’ve tried almost every e-commerce website that was out there (utilizing free trials has been a great secret to success), I’ve had to learn HTML and all other computer coding secrets when my background is in sales – NOT computers. I had to develop a business plan with financial projections, and I did it all for free – with the exception of my investment in time. In the end, it helped me understand my business better and launch a better business. I look forward to sharing more tips and helpful hints!

  • Kathy Fitzpatrick July 17, 2012, 7:20 pm

    I used a basic template from Word Press. After creating the first website I did two more. Which was pretty amazing because I never dreamed I could create a website. I’ve enjoyed the positive feedback from others.

    It’s very empowering to have your own site that you designed the way YOU wanted it to be. Word Press makes it easy peasy!

  • Bolaji Babafemi July 17, 2012, 7:24 pm

    As an hyperlocal news website, we have tried to present information as clearly as possible with the use of simple navigational cues; Captions, headlines and teasers. Our website developers, GroupSetUp have designed an intuitive content management system that pulls all our content together in one manageable hub. All our social media and community engagement flow from their brilliant platform which leaves us free to focus on producing content.

  • Aislin July 17, 2012, 7:42 pm

    The most exciting part about taking our business to the web has been the process of establishing and growing our online presence at http://www.norteksolutions.ca. It’s been (and continues to be) an amazing learning experience. We’re a Canadian software company introducing a new generation of people management software to the market. It’s a powerful, Cloud-based HR solution that is easy to use and requires minimal training. We wanted our website to communicate our forward-thinking vision and values, while remaining simple to navigate and interesting to read. We started with a hard-coded version and switched to Wordpress a few months ago to facilitate blogging.

    One main tip would be to blog-it-up! Our blog posts have helped optimize our website in the major search engines. Integration and marketing on social media outlets to drive site traffic has also produced some good results.

  • Bill Leys July 17, 2012, 7:43 pm

    Hi TJ,

    My small contracting company uses Wordpress as our website…it’s probably not going to win any prizes for looking beautiful or having fancy graphics. I built it and edited it to do one thing-sell my waterproofing services through education and marketing myself as the local expert in my trade. Local as in California from LA to San Francisco.

    The most exciting part for me is to open my stats and see how many people come to our site and the number that translate into phone calls or “VIP” email inquiries that then turn into sales. I dropped my Yellow Pages ads 2 years ago and haven’t once regretted putting my time and efforts into Social Media and my website at a very low cost over YP rates.

    Found this through HARO BTW!

    Thanks

  • Rachel Neppes July 17, 2012, 7:45 pm

    Hi,

    We are small boutique PR and marketing firm which recently launched a new website to showcase our integrated marketing capabilities and services through our staff and team of strategic partners. Here is the answer to your question below:

    “What has been the most exciting part of taking your business to the web?

    For us, it has been our ability to reach as many businesses as possible about our expertise and how an effective marketing platform can help them. We have found that the best way to implement an effective marketing program is through one team, one plan and one partner. That’s why we created ResultRocket, giving clients a one-stop shop for an effective, fully integrated marketing and technology solution.

    We used Wordpress to build our site, providing us with a cost-effective Content Management System that we can easily manage and maintain. We worked with our graphic design partner to create the imagery and branding for the site. All content was generated by our team and our strategic partner Attention Circle Marketing.

    Thanks for your consideration.

  • Nate Long July 17, 2012, 7:51 pm

    “What has been the most exciting part of taking your business to the web?

    My background is in public relations and marketing, so I’m most interested in how web branding and communications lead to conversions and customers. I’m particularly interested in inbound marketing and wanted to build a website that could generate leads. In my industry (the wedding industry), clients are often one-timers, so we have to work very hard for every customer we win over and help them spread the word to their friends. I actually built two websites, one for desktop and one for mobile/tablet. Eventually I want to make it adaptive/responsive, but I haven’t learned how to do that yet! I did find out how to re-direct to the mobile site if a mobile phone or tablet is detected. I used WordPress and premium templates to build my website. I taught myself Photoshop, Illustrator, HTML and CSS. Although that isn’t nearly enough to build from scratch, WordPress and it’s plug-ins and themes help build the infrastructure. Since I built the site, it has become my top source of referrals (including direct and indirect).

    There is no doubt that web design is tedious and always takes longer than planned, but it is an absolute necessity in today’s world in all but a very few local industries. By the way, it helps to have a friend who can help if you get stuck with code error or some glitch. Also, $50 toward a premium theme is well worth the money because it builds additional infrastructure that would take you hours, if not days. Best of luck!

  • Michael Q Todd July 17, 2012, 8:24 pm

    The idea of a website is to be as easily shareable as possible. Wordpress does this the best

  • Tai Goodwin July 17, 2012, 8:43 pm

    What’s been most exciting about taking my idea for connecting to the Launch While Working community to the web (http://www.launchwhileworking.com) is the response from readers. While there were articles out there on launching a business while working, there weren’t any sites or communities that focused on us. Every time I get an email or a tweet from someone that says how much they enjoy the site – it makes my day.

    Tips: Choose a good template – not one that has so many bells and whistles it takes you 6 months to learn, but one that has flexibility and can scale as you grow your business. Evaluate themes by looking at their documentation and support forum. I have been saved many times by being able to copy code shared in a forum by someone else that had the same problem as I did. Themes and templates without a good forum or good instructions make the DIY experience painful!

  • Nancy Olah July 17, 2012, 8:43 pm

    Weebly

  • Gina Elliott July 17, 2012, 8:44 pm

    weebly

  • Sophi Kravitz July 17, 2012, 8:49 pm

    Hi! Check out my Wordpress website http://www.mix-engineering.com
    I’m an engineer and new product marketing consultant in business since 2011.
    I use my website to blog about and show off my projects. My website has changed drastically at least 3 times since I put it up.

    “What has been the most exciting part of taking your business to the web? ”
    I love that random people email me and ask questions. It’s so fun hearing from strangers and about their projects.

    If you are thinking about building a website, just do it. Don’t spend a lot of time worrying about your business name, the look of the site or what your focus is going to be. Once you build your site, then you can change it until it feels right. There are so many easy tools out there to get started. I love Wordpress, but Tumblr, Blogger and many others are even easier to use. Make it happen!

  • Jim van Iwaarden July 17, 2012, 8:51 pm

    We wanted to “get found” on certain search terms (who doesn’t?), and learned that a blog platform is perfectly structured for that.

    My daughter, who had NO previous web design experience (but seems to have been born with an iPhone in her hand), built http://www.vaniwaarden.com in WordPress and launched it in less than 80 work hours.

    The most exciting part of this has been to show exactly who we are (e.g. the “Get a Life!” tab, very unusual for actuaries) and to see how warmly people respond.

  • Bruce Mc July 17, 2012, 8:59 pm

    The best thing about being on the web is knowing that I am putting information out that everyone who deals with US taxes, and or QuickBooks has the information they need or know where to find it.
    I have three sites to help taxpayers:
    http://www.lrtaxprep.com/
    http://themotaxguy.com
    and
    http://prep.1040.com/lrtaxprep/

    Being on the web has helped my business by helping new clients find me easier and become better informed before they arrive.

  • Shelley @ Gift Card Girlfriend July 17, 2012, 9:12 pm

    My website is http://www.GiftCardGirlfriend.com.

    MOST EXCITING – HAVING A PLATFORM. I am using WordPress to create and maintain my website. The most exciting part about taking my business online is that it finally gave me a forum to tell people all that I know about gift cards. Before creating my own site, I looked for ways to work with innovation companies or gift card companies to no avail. I knew what type of information I wanted to share, but it was difficult for others to picture what I had in mind. So in 2009, I put my stake in the ground and set out to mark my territory with a personal brand. It has been an evolution for sure, but because I’m doing much of the work myself, I can adapt to the response I get to better hone my message and reach potential customers. And the gift card companies I tried to entice before, are now reaching out to me.

    TIP – STAY LEAN SO YOU CAN BE ADAPTABLE. The best tip I have is one I received from an experienced entrepreneur. It has worked for me so I will pass it on. Keep costs as low as possible until you’ve proven your business model and concept. Several years ago, I started a different business under the guidance, “Go Big or Go Home!” I invested thousand dollars in a professionally developed website, patents, and marketing materials. Only after I launched the business, did I realize that my message needed to be tweaked. But I was too heavily invested to adapt.

    This time around, I’ve stayed incredibly lean, including using tools to do the work myself where possible. I’ve changed my website several times and will do so again shortly. Granted, many of these small business tools were not available when I needed them the first time, but now that they are, it’s cheaper and easier to respond to the market by making changes myself.

    Thanks for the opportunity to share.

  • Sharon Hayes July 17, 2012, 9:15 pm

    Great contest idea! I’m in Canada so am not eligible. Good luck!

    I’ve been doing business online for over 20 years. I love the FREEDOM that it gives me. I’ve been able to work around the globe – my office is portable.

  • Aveia S. Jones, Broker/Owner July 17, 2012, 9:16 pm

    I built my website GRACorp.webs.com on webs.com and I truly appreciate the navigability of the webs.com sitebuilder. I recommend it to my clients and peers every chance I get. This sitebuilder truly lives up to the needs expressed by small business owners by taking the guess work out of the web development process and also by providing supplementary features such as mobile sites, site tracking, connectivity to social networks, and more!

    “What has been the most exciting part of taking your business to the web?”
    I feel that having a web presence is extremely exciting for any new, small business owner. It signifies that you are telling the world that you are open for business and ready to serve on an international level, if need be. In addition, I have found that there is a certain confidence that I feel when sharing details about my company, and asking clients, vendors and peers to visit my site for more information. It will be utilized as a great tool to service my clients, provide even more information about the overall economy from an industry specific perspective, as well as provide tips to increase the effectiveness of the businesses of my commercial client base. My Texas based real estate brokerage and consulting firm is always willing to answer questions about your personal or business real estate needs, and we are also available for any questions you have regarding the launch of your start-up business. We welcome an opportunity to guide you in the right direction!

  • Greg Bepper July 17, 2012, 9:18 pm

    When I started designing sites there were only 1 million PAGES on the net! So much has changed since then but one thing never changes. Build your site for your visitor not to win an award or to show how clever you are in design. Your visitor is there for a reason make sure they find it easily. K.I.S.S!!!

  • Bill Elward July 17, 2012, 9:19 pm

    Castle Ink
    http://www.castleink.com

    The most exciting aspect of the business for me is the ability to make changes in real time to the site, our online marketing, etc. and to see the impact that it is having almost immediately.

  • admin July 17, 2012, 9:51 pm

    Love this advice, Greg! Thank you. So, what’s your site?

  • Jaclyn Smith July 17, 2012, 9:58 pm

    The most exciting part about taking our non-profit, Save the Mermaids, to the web was our ability to have a voice to the rest of the world. Having started Save the Mermaids in the small beach town of Santa Barbara it was easy to get buzz from word of mouth around town. Once the site was up though we were then connecting with people all over the world and now have chapters in Bali, Australia, South America, and Central America. Having set up an online shop with STM merchandise we can now send our sustainable goods worldwide and use 100% of the profits for our education program to create awareness about the dangers of single use plastic on the ocean. Save the Mermaids!

  • Cindy Sawyer July 17, 2012, 11:55 pm

    When I first started my website I hired a web designer to build my site with on a pre-made template. The shopping cart was so confusing that I couldn’t even change a simple text or picture if I wanted to. I had to wait for my designer to figure it out. I then switched to another host and built my current site with a new template. I can change the simplest text or picture without knowing much of coding and website building.

  • Tim Beachy July 18, 2012, 12:19 am

    For me the most exciting part is the seeing this idea I’ve had for about 15 years become a real, tangible business. Getting to see my vision and designs online for purchase and building my brand through social media really energizes my spirit in a way that’s been missing for a long time.
    Not having the means to hire a web designer, I bought a book on how to use Dreamweaver and starting teaching myself HTTP. I downloaded a template from Dreamtemplate.com and customized it for my business. I’m far from being a webmaster, but I was able to cobble together a site that does just what I need it to. I did get hung up on for a bit on getting all the tab links to function properly, but I figured it out on my own and got it working!
    On Easter day of this year, I launched my website.
    Beginning to build through Facebook and Twitter, I met the owner of LetsBePets.com and approached her with my Brand, she loved my shirts and they are now for sale on her site! She introduced me to HelpAReporter.com and I just got a reply today from a DC area TV show about appearing on their ‘holiday presents for pet lovers’ episode this fall.
    -Tim Beachy
    A Breed Apart Clothing Company
    @ABreedApartCCo
    facebook.com/ABreedApartClothingCompany

  • Thomas Rayner July 18, 2012, 12:20 am

    It’s really exciting to be able to reach so many people. My website has a blog on it that I promote through social media. Even though it just launched and we’re still building an audience, it’s really rewarding to get feedback on it and to get connected to other professionals in my industry that I would never have otherwise had the opportunity to meet.

  • Aisha July 18, 2012, 12:28 am

    “What has been the most exciting part of taking your business to the web?

    Hands down, the most exciting aspect of being a part of a company that communicates its presence via the Internet is visiting the site & thinking, “Wow. I made this & I REALLY like the way it looks.” The 2nd most exciting is getting unsolicited positive feedback. Oh, & being the first Google result. Go SEO! <- & the fact that I now know what that even means.

    Now soliciting feedback, especially from self-professed 'hoarders' and 'collectors' of all types. Visit: http://www.3ANDTHECITY.com

  • Alison Graham July 18, 2012, 1:39 am

    The most exciting part of taking my business to the web is having a one-stop place where prospective clients can learn about me, my business, my experience, my clients, and my blog. It’s like an interactive business card. I love that I built it myself and it truly represents who I am and what I do.

  • Nathalie Thompson July 18, 2012, 1:57 am

    The most exciting part of taking my handcrafted jewelry design business to the web has probably been the exhiliration and feeling of accomplishment that came with realizing that I am now a”real” business. Even with the paperwork and licenses and all that stuff that makes you a real business with your federal tax department, there is just something about having a web presence with your own domain name that really makes it seem so much more solid. And that very first sale from your very own web site that you poured so much of yourself into is just such an amazing, awesome feeling!

    My best advice for someone who is considering launching their own site would be to check around for a good web host — you want to know that they’ll be there for you with an awesome support desk if you need help or run into any issues (my host rocks!). Also, if you’re going to be DIYing any of the coding to customize an e-com system or template, check out the online forums for the application/template you’re using; you can pick up an awful lot of great tips and info from lurking around the boards and doing searches for what you need help with.

    Beyond that, the key is to just get started. It may seem overwhelming at first, but if you break it down into steps and make it your intent to do a little bit every day, you’ll find that you pick up momentum as you go — before you know it, you’ll have a real site up and running. You’re also going to find that you keep learning as time goes on, wanting to tweak things and make little improvements and changes as you go. Your site will keep evolving as you and your business do. It’s always a “work in progress” and alway getting better. But you have to take the first step… so just “leap, and the net will be there”. ;-)

  • Jason Haeger July 18, 2012, 2:22 am

    The most exciting part of web presence is being able to communicate what we do with content and images to people who we would otherwise miss as potential customers and clients. Blogging has been a great tool to get the word out about our brand and what we offer that makes us stand out from the crowd. Being able to watch stats has enabled us to adapt the content to be more effective, which has been a great thing.

    My advice would be to pick a platform, and stick with it. You’ll learn more about coding and how content and its framing effect web performance if the context is consistent than if constantly switching the context in which the content is being written. Personally, I love Wordpress(.org).

  • Melissa July 18, 2012, 2:32 am

    For me the most exciting part has been the creative aspect (this is also one of the most exciting parts of my business in general to me). I’m an engineer by day so I don’t get a lot of opportunities to be this kind of creative. :) I love having full control over what it looks like and what goes into it. It’s even fun coming up with ideas for the promotional slides on the front page.

    Thanks for this opportunity!

  • Anna Jones July 18, 2012, 4:50 am

    The most exciting part about taking our business, Anna & Eve LLC, to the web has been watching our sales span the globe in one short year, with very little investment in advertising. Without the web, this would not have been possible. It is so rewarding to hear from satisfied customers that our Swaddle Straps are helping babies sleep in all corners of the world!

  • Jeff Davis July 18, 2012, 11:19 am

    The best, most exciting thing about bringing a business to the web is that the process embodies the true spirit of the American Dream. You can make it here. Most don’t, but that’s ok. The opportunity is there if you work hard and play by the rules. That’s really all anyone can ask for.

  • Anthony Johnson July 18, 2012, 12:20 pm

    I built my company’s website by myself with a moderate level of web design
    skill using Wordpress with a premium theme from studiopress.com. Also used
    a variety of free plugins to get the desired look and functionality (such
    as: Social Profiles Widget, Recent Tweets, Contact Form 7, WP-Cycle, etc).

    Here is the site: http://www.spiraloutconsulting.com Hope you like it!

  • Anthony Johnson July 18, 2012, 12:46 pm

    By the way, most exciting part of doing business on the web is the way it opens up a world of possibilities and helps to level the playing field so we can compete with larger rivals!

    TIP: Be sure to add a few social media plugins to your site that allow people to connect with you as well as allow them to share your information. There are a ton of great free plugins out there….choose the ones that best fit your needs. The more “social” you can make your website, the more alive it will appear to visitors!

  • Mike the Gardener July 18, 2012, 1:09 pm

    I built my own website for my business. The web address is http://www.averagepersongardening.com

    I used Coffecup’s Visual site designer and Photoshop to put it all together. Visual site designer I believe cost $49. You won’t get the robustness of the tools as you will say with Dreamweaver, but as you can see from my website, it gets the job done.

  • Morgan Roberts July 18, 2012, 1:10 pm

    The most exciting part about opening the website for my business was the almost immediate global implications it has provided. I am based in the USA, but sell my products worldwide and my site has been the sole reason for these connections. Ireland, Australia, India, the UAE, France, Greece, the list goes on and on! The thought that little girls are wearing my dresses, babies are lounging on my rugs and cuddling my blankets, and walls are decorated with my art, all over the world, is something I never imagined would happen, especially within a year of opening! The web truly makes the internet an online marketplace, and my website has been the gateway into that awesome opportunity.

  • Roger Willard July 18, 2012, 1:19 pm

    The web has open up the world to us in that my clients can come from anywhere. Since I am a commodity of one, that is there may be other hypnotist, there is only one me and only one Willard Hypnosis Center. Client from hundreds of miles away will see and come to us for our unique approach on helping them change their lives. The web help us shout it to the world that we are here.

  • Kimberly, The Fur Mom July 18, 2012, 1:21 pm

    The best part about building an online business has been when I figure something out. I thought this would be impossible and I would have to spend 1000s to get a site up and running. Not so. Wordpress is user friendly, there are tons of Premium Themes that can be downloaded and updated/customized affordably, and I do all my own updates.

    I’ve made great contacts over the year and have saved money on logo design and search engine optimization training. And I’ve collected a series of resources that have been a life saver.

    Recently, the best part of my site is being recognized locally! I love that!

    Kimberly
    Keep the Tail Wagging, http://www.keepthetailwagging.com

  • mansoor July 18, 2012, 1:23 pm

    i want to create one website for my name’s and update my photos,please create one website

  • Pooja Parthasarathy July 18, 2012, 1:35 pm

    Hi TJ,

    Here is our site! Built entirely by me using Wix and some HTML.

    Thanks,
    Pooja

  • Steph Calvert July 18, 2012, 1:57 pm

    I love how web technology has developed over the years! I’ve built my own site at Hearts and Laserbeams a bunch of times now, using basic html, then Flash, then Zen-cart and now Wordpress. Wordpress is my favorite service to use BY FAR! It makes it so easy for a print designer like me to make beautiful things happen on the web as well.

  • Jonathan Whitt July 18, 2012, 2:14 pm

    What has been the most exciting part of taking your business to the web?

    For us it’s been the exposure. We are amazed at how many people have visited our website which leads them to further connect with us via our social media channels. We’ve brought the Facebook and Twitter feeds onto our webpage and also linked to our YouTube channel. People gravitate towards one of those to better connect with us, mostly through liking us on Facebook. We also use online registrations for our events which has been terrific. Other than our web hosting account and buying a template, everything else has been free. The tools available to us through WordPress are incredible.

  • mantel featherson July 18, 2012, 2:27 pm

    “What has been the most exciting part of taking your business to the web?

    The most exciting part of taking my business to the web is the sense of accomplishment that I’ve gained from building something that I’m proud to share with the world. Second to that is creating the foundation for what I hope is an enduring platform.

    In terms of site building tips I definitely recommend using wordpress as the starting point for a site, from there I would look for a good theme (premium or free). You need pick something that you like now but can also grow with.

    One other tip that I think is important, but often overlooked (especially with us little guys) is – design. I think you have to nail this one, especially if your goal is to build a brand. Your site as well as its outposts (facebook, twitter, google+) need reflect a consistent color scheme, messaging and logo. I think if you do that well, you’re creating something that is more purposeful and compelling.

    BTW, thanks for holding this contest, I think we’re all incredibly proud of our sites and they’re the result of a TON of hard work.

  • Sarah Kely July 18, 2012, 2:44 pm

    “What has been the most exciting part of taking your business to the web?”
    The Engagement. I knew my Hair Salon was going to be okay when the phone started ringing and clients would tell me they found me online.

    The scariest thing about starting a new business (aside from quitting the corporate world) was the marketing. I had no experience in this area. But thanks to all the online resources and a few webinars/seminars, other business owners are coming to me for tips on websites, seo, social media and marketing funnels. I’m still learning, but I’m catching up to the Salons that have marketing firms doing the work for them!

  • Lori Nash Byron July 18, 2012, 3:33 pm

    I’ve actually built two websites for my business. Here’s the latest:

    http://www.FamousinYourField.com

    I built my website using Wordpress, with a premium theme by Genesis.

    My website advice is don’t go cheap! Pay the few dollars and get a premium theme. Premium themes are more flexible and have more features that you’ll
    need, like plugins to accomplish specific tasks on your website, such as
    blocking spam comments or optimizing the posts for search engines. It’s $85
    (at the most) well spent.

    The most exciting part of taking my business to the web is the freedom and
    ease that’s available to business owners now! With all the free or low cost
    tools available for online business building – website development
    software, email management, video screen capture, etc. – you can launch and
    operate a profitable enterprise, with little money and from absolutely
    anywhere.

  • Shaun Walker July 18, 2012, 3:37 pm

    Growth.

    That’s the most exciting part of taking your business to the web? I don’t even mean growth for our business, but just getting the chance to see the revolutionary advancements for the online world as a electronic neighbor to the world.

    Tip.

    Start with a strategy in place before creating your website. Merely having a presence will do you no good. The #1 checked source for any business by a consumer is their online portal. Make sure you know exactly what you’re offering, how you can execute it and what your goals are. People love confidence—And confidence begins with preparation.

    [[HERO|farm is a marketing strategy and design firm based in New Orleans. Like our city, we do things different.]]

  • Karen Garvey July 18, 2012, 3:58 pm

    The most exciting part of beginning a web presence was the accidental “hits” that the site would get … and in the beginning, they were definitely accidental. Those hits were encouraging and help me to forge on, knowing that I would be increasingly found.

    As far as a tip? Layout your navigation so that potential clients / customers have an easy time taking action. Attention spans can be short.

  • Mimi C. July 18, 2012, 4:47 pm

    I used a simple, free website builder (imcreator.com) to create my San Francisco vacation rental website: piedaterresf.com. I am in the process building another website for my main business (I am an Architect by day) and decided to give VIRB, another website builder, a try but with less success. VIRB is not as intuitive to use and I’ve had to refer back to the tutorials many times, something I did not have to do with imcreator. I am now contemplating giving Squarespace a try and will report back if I have any success there.

    The best part of taking the business to the web is the instant credibility it creates in the eye of your clients. I am also looking forward to utilizing the google analytics I installed on my webpage to see what kind of traffic the webpage generates and hopefully figure out how to improve it.

  • Matthew Henry July 18, 2012, 4:52 pm

    Hello TJ –
    Yes, I personally build my own websites (http://www.LodgeandCabinSigns.com) using the old Microsoft Publisher 2003 edition and cleaning up the html code in Word Pad. I’ve tried using other software, but found that this was one of the hidden gems that Microsoft no longer sells. It was so easy to use. As an artist & craftsman, it is important to me that my work be reflected as something personal rather than commercial like most websites look with all of the ‘pollution’ of ads, links, etc. Simplicity is best. Regarding your contest question about “What has been the most . . .?” The most exciting part of taking my business to the web has been my ability to reach a greater audience than the old days of travelling the country doing arts & crafts shows to sell my work. I have more time for my children.

    Thank you. Have a happy day!

  • Kola July 18, 2012, 5:26 pm

    i’d have to say that the most exciting part for me has been discovering more friends and family members that share my interest in purposeful living

  • Andrew Legrand July 18, 2012, 5:33 pm

    What has been the most exciting part of taking your business to the web?

    I graduated law school in May 2011, into one of the worst job markets ever, and decided to start my own virtual law office. The idea here is that everything is moving to the internet, banking, communications, so why can’t a legal practice completely exist online? I’m excited to move my business to the web because it’s a relatively new business model for attorneys to practice online. There aren’t many books or websites on the topic simply because not many people have done it before. It’s uncharted waters, but the potential for this market to grow is huge.

    I didn’t have the cash to hire someone to build a website for me, so I built my own site with Wordpress and a theme. I know some HTML, so I was able to make some of the tweaks myself. I decided to hire a designer friend to make a few more changes, and couldn’t be happier with the result.

  • Hart Shafer July 18, 2012, 8:10 pm

    “What has been the most exciting part of taking your business to the web?”

    The most exciting thing is the potential to reach people all over the world. Without a web store a small company like mine with a physical product would never have the reach it has now. But within weeks of launching I had customer interest from Singapore to South Africa to Germany to Australia.

    My biggest tip for web site building is to keep the initial site simple and don’t try to anticipate every possible eventuality up front. Make your design, get it functional, get it live, and then iterate to improve. And to know what to iterate, measure obsessively!

  • Arman M. July 19, 2012, 12:26 am

    Our website, http://www.oneconcierge.com has truly a been a labor of passion! With 3 years of development from conception to implementation, we have quickly grown our online presence from a simple informational tool to a major revenue generation platform that carries our brand’s message to users all over the globe.

    “What has been the most exciting part of taking your business to the web?”

    When our business started 4 years ago our tech savy founders realized the importance of a prominent web presence and with 8 years of self-taught web design and authoring experience we threw ourselves head first into developing a web presence that would do more than just list our contact information, but really help build our brand. The most exciting part of taking our business to the web was watching our organic growth. Over the last three years we spent a large majority of our marketing efforts, time and money on making sure that our web presence echoed our activities ‘offline’. We realized the importance of growing our business with an established identity/brand online.

    We engaged in social media, search engine optimization using unique and informative user content, eCommerce applications, mobile sites, targeted and helpful landing pages for events, countries, cities, & products that we serviced. By avoiding the mainstream ‘pay-per-click’/banner advertising and paid SEO, we were pleasantly surprised to find organic growth in our website that mimicked the success we experienced offline and really translated into more than just a website but a unique, useful web presence that helped build our foundation and brand us as a company allowing us to grow and excel at a much faster rate than we thought possible. Seeing that organic growth while keeping those advertising dollars in our pocket really got us excited. To see your business expand and grow in an organic manner is very satisfying.

    4 years later, our website http://www.oneconcierge.com ranks highly on a majority of major search engines for our industry, and we are quickly becoming known as a leader in the global concierge & lifestyle management industry. We are routinely featured on luxury blogs and other media outlets and none of this could have happened without our strong belief in the importance of establishing a proper web presence. Our founders are still an integral part of our web development strategy and we even get into the nitty gritty of hand coding when need be!

    Our site has changed over the years in design, use and functionality, but each version is a labor of passion and an improvement on the last (or so we hope)! It’s a wonderful feeling to be talking to a customer and have them compliment your website, knowing that you were involved in the process of building and developing it! Organic growth for your website is a time consuming process and takes a lot of effort and dedication, but that development will give you a better understanding of what works and what does not. Keep those marketing dollars in your pocket, ignore the SEO advertisements and do-it-yourself, you’ll appreciate the time and effort you put in!

  • Nigel Quantick July 19, 2012, 9:21 am

    Very kind of Bolaji [#34] to mention us – but he left out his own website! http://www.westlondontoday.co.uk is his great site and we can’t take any glory on the design side as he has driven what he wanted, we just have the flexible platform to deliver it and he can change it on the fly!! Has a great Olympic background from London 1948 Olympics ready for the next few weeks.

    The platform is designed around building groups and communities with the website as a hub for all the activities leading off from that – newsletters, events, forums, polls, surveys etc. with a CRM solution underpinning the whole thing.

    All the best, Nigel

  • Dawn July 19, 2012, 1:46 pm

    Thanks for the great contest! I worked hard to build my website http://www.CaughtBeingGoodApp.com and though it’s not yet perfect, I’m proud of it.
    My favorite part of having a website is looking at the stats. I like to see so many visitors from all over the world and I hope that I’ve helped each of them in some small way.

  • Monica Miller Rodgers July 19, 2012, 3:33 pm

    I saw a HARO query that led me to your site. Thanks for hosting this gallery. I’m finding great websites and tips in the comments.

    Just starting Aubia Communications (www.aubiacommunications.com), the most exciting part of taking my business online is the learning curve. I’m new to website design and blogging, and I’m really enjoying figuring out the process. I used WordPress with a Creativix theme, and I’ve found lots of forums with more experienced designers offering great tips and advice on how to consistently improve your site. Getting into the thick of the online presence is in and of itself a fun and exciting way to learn business.

  • Brent Thomas July 19, 2012, 8:17 pm

    I’d like to submit my site, http://www.BikeWrappers.com, which was built using Jimdo into the contest.

    The best part of taking my business onto the web? It has got to be giving the small guy a chance to compete with everyone else. It is the ability to take a dream and idea, turn it into a reality and bring it to a platform where anyone can find you and your product without having a huge retail presence. I started my company as a very lean-online only business and because it gave me a platform to be found, am now in retail stores around the country and international locations, where most everyone was able to discover my business through my website.

  • Karen Marie Shelton July 20, 2012, 12:21 am

    What has been the most exciting part of taking your business to the web?
    The most exciting part of taking HairBoutique.com to the web was tearing down the traditional walls a brick and mortar historically has been contained by and soaring into brand new uncharted territory.

    Ironically HairBoutique.com was started on the Web 15 years ago in 1997. We had to learn very quickly that doing business on the web changes with lightening speed. The Web is like a river. It’s constantly moving.

    Originally we started the main site with Microsoft Front Page. Remember that tool? It was very complicated and hard to use. SEO was primitive back then and Social Media had not been invented.

    Over time as the web changed we started building our add-on pieces with Wordpresss and similar. Our current blog – http://blogs.hairboutique.com/ – and our new advice column – http://www.askkaren.hairboutique.com/ – are both built with the latest Wordpress tools. The beauty of WP is that it allows you to focus on SEO and Social Media while creating great content.

    Recently we started experimenting with DIY add-ons such as Wix, DoodleKit, Moonfruit, and Webstarts, but haven’t finalized a tool we like best.

    Ultimately when you have a business on the web you have to continue to grow, change, evolve and learn. It can be a daunting task, but ultimately very exciting.

    Thanks so much for this amazing opportunity for offering such a great prize. I really enjoyed reading all the entries for this blog. I found so much great inspiration.

    Best wishes,
    Karen

  • Landmark Tax Group July 20, 2012, 4:45 am

    The most exciting part for us, as a tax firm, has been receiving positive feedback from taxpayers about the content and design of our site. The site, http://www.LandmarkTaxGroup.com was built over several laborious months using WordPress. Our goal from the very beginning was to fully optimize the site across several platforms and to make it as SEO friendly as possible.

    Our advice to newcomers would be to learn as much as possible about SEO and to build the site with that knowledge in mind.

  • Josh July 20, 2012, 4:45 am

    We built http://www.hipkiddo.ca and it revolutionized the way we do business! Product orders are all processed online, so the amount of time required per transaction is greatly reduced. Now we have more time to focus on product innovation and engaging our customers!

  • gene sower July 20, 2012, 7:13 pm

    I strongly recommend AGAINST businesses building their own websites, ESPECIALLY using free website builders. It’s a trap. Here’s why: http://samsonmedia.net/blog/2012/07/three-reasons-why-free-website-builders-are-a-waste-of-time-money/

  • Beth Ziesenis July 20, 2012, 7:17 pm

    The most exciting part of bringing my information to the web is that I can provide resources for small business folks and other professionals. People write all the time about the new tech tools they have discovered, and I’m happy people use it as a reference to help grow their businesses and careers.

  • admin July 23, 2012, 4:32 pm

    Gene, your post claims are not accurate. I will let your comment stand because I don’t mind that we will have to agree to disagree. You CAN SEO them, you CAN move them. Some of them allow third-party plugins. Plus, I find it ironic that your own site and blog where you post your reasons for NOT building your own site — are built in WordPress using a theme from premium theme builder BlogOhBlog. WordPress is one of the top choices listed here by small business owners.

    These tools help many, many small business owners and I’ve had this discussion with many, many, many website designers. The reality is there is a growing segment of the SMB market who is willing to do it on their own. And that is AWESOME! As many of my Forbes, Small Business Trends, and American Express readers know — I also BUILD websites for SMB owners, too. But I recognize many of them don’t need me and that’s cool. The handful who are too busy or overloaded are my target. But that doesn’t stop me from sharing great resources. Again, I appreciate you taking the time to comment and respect that you disagree. We’ll have to leave it at that. I hope your business continues to grow — i hope that for must about every small business.

  • Tina Patterson July 27, 2012, 8:09 pm

    I found your post on HARO and even though the contest is over, I still wanted to submit my company’s website for consideration into the website gallery. My husband built our site on Magento’s open-source ecommerce platform. We started with a purchased theme but modified the CSS so much it probably would have been easier to just start with the free core Magento theme. My advice for people just starting out who have no experience with web design is to purchase a good theme, even if it costs a little money. If you’re selling a product, invest in some good pictures too if you don’t have the lighting and camera equipment yourself. Your website is often your first touch point with a customer and a nice clean design can make your 2-person shop look like a Fortune 500 company.

  • Shaifali Aggarwal July 28, 2012, 12:53 am

    The URL for my business is http://www.24ours.com. 24 Ours LLC offers a free, edgy daily email for the busy woman with an urban mindset, featuring ideas to make her life easier across a range of categories.

    Taking my business to the web has been exciting because it has become an avenue through which I can express myself and hopefully make a difference in the lives of others (by offering ideas to make their lives easier)!

  • Roger Ellman July 30, 2012, 11:10 am

    One of the greatest contributions to happiness is expressing appreciation and gratitude.

    That’s the happiness of the person saying “Thank You!” and the person thanked.

    That’s why we say Thankly is “saving the world, one Thank You at a time!”

    Enjoy it, use it and feel great!

    best wishes,
    Roger

  • Jim McHugh August 3, 2012, 5:17 pm

    Just found this contest. I’ve enjoyed the opportunity to take 20 years of my consulting work to help businesses small to mid-size with my new blog and website. Because of this, I decided to share via http://BizSugar.com, a variety of LinkedIn groups, and of course other social media.
    My ‘business consulting’ approach is represented by the community-building aspects of my blog. I’m inviting discussion around 9 distinct but interrelated conditions that can cause a business to become ‘stuck’. I like to fix stuck companies.
    Thank you.