Design your own business website

Take charge and create a professional online image for your business with MWEB Website SelfBuild.

Website SelfBuild, which forms part of MWEB's Uncapped Website Hosting service, offers small business owners the chance to design and maintain their own websites affordably.

We chat to Rihana Hoosain, MWEB’s Head of Products, about Website SelfBuild and about designing a competitive website for your business.

What inspired MWEB to create this service?
Business owners often don’t have the time or manpower to get a great website up and running. Affordability can also be an issue, as it can be costly to create and maintain a site. The longer it takes to get a website up and running, the longer you miss out opportunities from having an online presence. So MWEB decided to launch Website SelfBuild to remove a lot of the barriers that prevent smaller companies from getting themselves online.

Can anyone use the website template service, regardless of their technical know-how?
Yes, it’s as easy as using a word processing package – if you can manage Microsoft Word, you can manage this. Website SelfBuild has an easy-to-use website design tool that allows you to point and click through a step-by-step set-up process. The software has 750 ready-made designs and templates, which you can customise to fit your needs, or you can start from scratch. The website design editor makes updating the site just as easy, keeping your website current and aligned with your latest business offerings.

Why is having a website presence so important for small business owners?
A website has become an integral part of having a business, making it easy for potential customers to see what you have to offer, how they can get hold of you, your pricing and more – almost like an online business card. SA is now firmly entrenched in the digital age and customers expect to find your business online. If clients can’t find your website, or it’s not as professional or up to date as it should be, they may turn to an alternative supplier.

What tips can you offer for business owners looking to design a website?

  • It’s more important to get online and improve your site over time than to build the perfect website – don’t waste time getting online.
  • Consider how you can make your website visible by including your website name on all marketing material (and think about investing in search engine marketing and search engine optimisation (SEO) so your website will come up in people’s Google search results).
  • Remember that your website is an extension of your business plan and not a solution in itself, so really spend the time on getting clear what your business does and why you are different, so you can develop a strong strategic edge, enhanced by your website.

Costs
Uncapped Website Hosting is free for a year to MWEB ADSL customers. After a year the cost of maintaining your site is from R19 a month, as per your specific requirements. You also receive a free .co.za domain registration, which is renewed year by year at no extra cost, as long as you remain an Uncapped Website Hosting customer.

For more information and technical support:
Contact the MWEB call centre on 08600 32 000. Click here for more information. In early 2012, there will be a video and tutorial added to the website.