Last week, during my "Entrepreneurial Linguist" presentation in Vienna, I addressed the importance of having a website. Our web guru, IT superhero, and general guardian angel, Tom Gruber, did some research for us, and he came up with the following recommendation.
Many of our fellow language professionals don’t have websites because they can be quite expensive. Google to the rescue! Thanks to the smart folks at Google who created Google Apps and Google Sites, you can register and manage a website for just $10 a year. While you won’t have a top-of-the-line website, you'll get an easy-to-manage site with an associated e-mail account that gives potential clients a quick overview of your services and qualifications. Our recommendation is to at least include sections on About, Contact, Services, Rates, Qualifications, Clients, etc. Be sure to keep things simple and easy to navigate: your goal is to make sure the customer contacts you after visiting your site.
Sign Up at Google Apps for the Standard edition. You can find a Video Tutorial here. After a few minutes, you can activate your e-mail account and start building your new website with Google Sites. And no, you won't need the help of a web developer to get started: building a website is as simple as editing a document. Questions? Google help center will most likely have the answer.
Of course, we also like supporting other small businesses (web designers, etc.), so if you'd like to spend a bit more, look for a local specialist, who should be able to build a basic website and maintain it for a few hundred dollars. Have fun with your site! We'd love to hear your experiences.