Ten years ago, if I were asked whether a contractor needed a Web site, I’d have answered that it wasn’t absolutely necessary. Asked the same question five years ago, I probably would have said it was a good idea. Today, the Internet is practically a utility — like water, electricity, gas, and cable — and most Americans use it every day. If you don’t have a Web site, it’s time you got one, because that’s how more and more of your customers will find you.

Fortunately, building an effective Web site is neither expensive nor complicated. In fact, it’s well within the capabilities of anyone who can use word processing software and has some basic understanding of the principles by which the Web operates. Your first site may not win any awards, but if it’s easy to find — and it can be — it will be a...

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