Diana Huff offers an interesting warning to small businesses in a recent post at her B2B Marcom Writer blog: When creating a website, keep away from companies that offer "plug-and-play" site templates. These are sites where you "get a template with all the pages you need and you simply plug in all the content," she explains. On the surface, this sounds like a great option for smaller companies, but there's a catch: These sites come with hidden code.

Example: Huff reports on a self-made business site that has "source code ... filled with stuff like this (name changed to protect the scumbag [template] company)":

Copyright 2009 Scumbag, Inc. All Rights Reserved. This software, source code, HTML, JavaScript, CSS, and all other content and code is copyrighted by Scumbag, Inc. and may NOT be copied, reproduced, translated ... [or] reduced to any electronic medium ... without the prior written consent of Scumbag, Inc.

"As small business owners find, much to their dismay, the scumbag company could construe these terms to say they own your site and your content," Huff points out. Ouch. And here's the clincher: You may not even own your own domain name in situations like this, she says.

What's a small B2B company to do? "If you have no clue about website design, SEO, online marketing or anything else, get help," Huff advises.

The Po!nt: Go with a pro. Paying for a professional website design will cost more up front, but it could save you heaps of trouble and costs down the line.

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