Answer the questions: Why do I have a web site? What specific benefit will it bring to my business? What role will it play in my business? How will it deliver the required benefits to my business?
It is ok for a website to simply be a quality brochure for your business if that is what is appropriate; and
A website should be a part of an overall marketing and sales strategy.
Have realistic expectations
There are hundreds of millions of web pages out there. Do you really expect 5 billion people will see your website the moment you publish it? Do you want them to?
Beware the snake oil
There are plenty of scammers out there more than willing to take your money if you give it to them. Many of these may even have well known and respected names, such as telephone companies and computer companies; and
There are no magic beans on the internet.
Ignore the 'technobabble'
If you don't understand the terminology, it probably isn't worth listening to.
Don't pay more than you need to
Do a bit of research to save yourself money; and
You will often only get what you pay for, but you will also be able to pay a lot more than you need to.
Identify and understand your customers
Know who you want to visit your website and why. Your strategy should cater for this; and
Ask them about their experience.
Respect your customers
Give them the information and tools they came looking for. If you don't wish to provide some information, you should have a very good reason for not providing it;
Make it easy for them to find it;
Make it easy for them to choose your business and products instead of another's; and
Ensure your information is legible and clear.
Present your business in the manner you want it to be seen
Ensure you use English appropriately; check your spelling and punctuation;
If you are in the entertainment business, animations and wild graphics are fun and maybe even appropriate, but if you are providing a professional service, probably not; and
Do you really want to annoy a customer with a 5 minute animation, when he/she came to your site to get your phone number to place an urgent order? Don't get in their way.
Do not provide information freely which can be used inappropriately; and
Do not promise what you can't deliver.
The minimum information you should provide is:
Your company name;
Your phone number and address, and office hours;
What your products and services are, and what they cost (if appropriate); and