Char at Essential Keystrokes recently posted a really good “Thursday Thirteen” entititled Thirteen Things Every Website Needs. She writes about having an “elevator speech” and where it should be used. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve rewritten elevator speeches about my different sites when listing them in blog directories, etc. It would have saved me so much time to have written them only once and just pasted in the text. She also talks about the importance of images on your site and points to a couple of places to get low cost images. I would add that you can find professional-level stock photography at Stock.xchng and those images are completely free.
Perhaps one of the most important of her thirteen things is the call for fresh information. Your site will suffer in the search engine rankings if you rarely, or never, update it. I’ve found that the easiest way to make sure that I keep fresh content on my sites is to set them up on WordPress. Because it’s completely customizable, I can make the design completely unique, while making it easy to regularly update them with fresh content.