How to set up a company web site in 30 minutes

My good friend Lars Swanstrøm asked me the other day if there was an efficient way of getting up a company web site. The law firm he is working for felt the need for a presence on the Web.

My wife Susanne and I decided the fastest and easiest way was to use a ready to run blog service. Google’s Blogger is free and efficient, but adds a menu to the top of every page. That does not really spell professionalism.

We therefore suggested that they put up a Wordpress.com blog, i.e. a blog in the cloud and not on a server of their own. Doing it this way means that they do not have to worry about software upgrades and patches.

Wordpress.com is free as well, but we suggested that they spent a few kroner for a premium bundle, allowing for more customization, a proper domain, no ads and more space. (US$ 99)

They had already bought a domain name (hjemmeadvokaten.no), so it was only a matter of redirecting it to their new wordpress.com blog.

Setting up a basic blog is done in a few minutes. However, it does take a little longer to get a grasp of the logic underpinning such a tool. My wife and I have blogged since 1998, which means that what may seem easy to us, is not necessarily so for a newcomer.

Here are some of the lessons learned:

Understand the difference between posts and pages. Blogs consists of posts, the newest presented at the top of the blog’s home page. Traditional web sites, on the other hand, consists of static web pages, always available via the main menu. In this case we wanted the site to consist mainly of pages presenting the firm and its experts.

Given that Google love informative articles, however, we also recommended that the lawyers write a few high quality articles that will be of interest to readers searching for such services. These articles may draw people to the site and to the company.

Stick to a clean and simple design, unless you really know what you are doing. Clean means professional.