Back in the late 90's, having a website with the web address printed on your card, was more of a status symbol for business owners. What with Google still in a very nascent stage and practically no social media like Facebook, LinkedIn, and Orkut - doing real business through your website or getting your products in front of prospective customers, was quite an enormous or shall we say a near impossible task.
The only way you could actually generate eyeballs was by buying up expensive advt. space in popular portals, like Yahoo, AOL, or our very own Rediff.com. Cut back to 2009, and you have not only a dozen search engines competing to give you the best of the Web, but you also have useful tools like Blogs, Photo albums (flicker), Video (youtube, metacafe), and other social media where you can spread the word about your products and services. Now coming back to article topic, on creating a professional website, the spread of the Internet across the globe and easy availability of information - has forced many companies to revamp their websites in line with the needs of prospective customers using the latest in tools and technology.
No flash intros or heavy animations
This is a strict no-no for today's websites. You cannot afford to make a customer wait and show him a flash animation that takes ages to actually load - even before he has actually visited your website home page.
Why is website copy (content) important? - It converts more sales - period. Well written content on your website makes people learn, react, and prompts them to buy your products. It becomes all the more important to avoid typos (spelling mistakes) and grammatical errors which can scare away your customers.
What's the point in having a fantastic site, but does not show up when it is most required - thanks to your neighborhood web host - who is closed for lunch along with his server. Do some research - before buying your domain name and web hosting space. Find web hosts who can vouch to keep your website live with minimum downtime, and is reachable when ever your website goes offline. Finding a Web Host is really difficult - and I would be sharing some valuable tips on what to look for in a web host - but that is for another day - keep reading.