While you're busy spiffing up your printed materials, don't
forget to give your Web site a once-over.
Search your site for glitchy navigation elements, bad
spelling, blurry graphics, and gimmicky sound files and
animations, then give them the boot. Run a free compression tool
such as NetMechanic's GifBot over your graphics so your pages
load faster, and use Link Check to ferret out any bad links.
If an overhaul of your site is overdue, you'll need to decide
whether to do it yourself or hire out the job. You can build a
professional-looking site in a few hours with NetObjects' Fusion 4.0
(US$300). However, when it's time to redesign from top to bottom
or incorporate an online shopping cart, credit-card processing,
or other advanced options, your best bet is to hire a pro. At WebDesignList.com
you can search for a design firm or Web developer to build
exactly what you need at a price you can afford.
Once your tuned-up Web site is ready for prime time, you'll
need an objective critique. For US$495, a WebCriteria
Site Profile will rate the performance and usability of your Web
site in terms of speed, ease of navigation, freshness, and
composition. It compares your results to three of your
competitors and an industry benchmark. Within 72 hours it e-mails
a 15-page, PDF-format profile, along with tips for making your
Bonny L. Georgia is a Massachusetts-based freelance writer
who specializes in small-business technology.