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Why Create A Web Site?
by Bob Brooke

Before you begin your Web site design, it's a good idea to think about its purpose. Why are you creating a Web site? Do you even need one? What will it do for you? These are important questions to consider.

It's important to know why you're doing this before you begin. After all, you are going to spend an awful lot of time or money on your creation. In fact, your Web site will take on a life of it's own.

Why is an important question for peace of mind, so that you know if you're achieving your goal or not. For example, my goal with Writing at Its Best is to present my work in a professional way, as well as offer information for beginning and intermediate writers. Why am I doing this? Because I believe that every human being needs to give something back to society to help improve the world in which we live. I offer not only my articles but information and links on writing in general.

There are many reasons why you should create a Web site. Here are a few of the more common ones:

To make some money - A good reason. However, in spite of all of the hype, it is just as difficult, if not more so, to make a decent living on the Internet as it is in the "real" world. It's essential that you understand your purpose is to make money, and focus your Web site towards that goal.

To educate - A very good reason to create a Web site.

To entertain - Many excellent web sites do this well. Humor Web sites are a good example.

To direct - Portal sites fall into this category. The idea is to send visitors to other useful places.

To give your opinion - A site containing book reviews is a good example.

Why is it important to know why you are creating a Web site? The answer is simple: So that you know when you've hit your target. If your mission is to educate, then knowing that you have the ability to evaluate your creation and determine if that purpose has been met.

Knowing why also allows you to pick the proper statistics for measuring how successful your site really is. If your purpose is to make money, then the only really good statistic is dollars earned. Page views and hits are simply not important with this goal. On the other hand, if your mission is to educate people, then page views are critical, as each page may be a lesson read. If your mission is to direct people to other sites, then the number of people who left your site and the links they clicked on would be the useful statistics.

Note that it's possible, and even desirable, to have more than one reason why you're creating a Web site. You might be doing this because you want to make some money selling herbs and at the same time educate people about them.

Finally, if I know why I'm creating something, I tend to do a much better job than if I don't have a clue about the reason. And if someone else is designing your site, you'll feel more confident knowing that it's being done for the right reasons. Knowing why, whether you design your own site or let BBC Web Services do it for you,  will help you aim more precisely and be able to hit your target more often.

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