When setting up a new web venue for the first time you could be easily forgiven for thinking that building your website would be your biggest hurdle, but it’s really not.

I was just browsing our industry news when a post on ReadWriteWeb popped up and really rang true for me so I thought I’d share it here for anyone who’s started or maybe just thinking about starting up a new web based company. There are some great tips for pre, during and post launch – worth a read even if you think you know it all already.

There’s lots of tips there that we pass to clients – for example, when a start up doesn’t have budget for all the features they’d like from the offset, we suggest rolling out development in Phases. That way, cash flow is easier to manage, and you’ve got something to keep going back to your audience and telling them. ReadWriteWeb talk about “releas[ing] often” – by adding features continuously, you can launch sooner (but not too soon!) and be getting your business established, but keep showing your audience that you take the features of your service seriously and so are constantly improving them/adding to them.

I won’t bother with repeating the whole article, but in case you read it and aren’t sure what an API is, this is just a way for websites to share information between each other. It stands for “Application Programming Interface” and allows interaction between different online applications/services/websites.

For example, we intergrated the Ebay API on Stuff2Send.com. This means if someone is adding an item that needs delivering, and the details are already written up on Ebay, they can just enter it’s Ebay reference number, and using the API, Stuff2Send.com can go to Ebay, collect all the information about that item, and publish it on it’s own site. This saves the User having to spend time rewriting what’s already been published on the web elsewhere.

Similarly, our site naturalbornshopper.co.uk use the YouTube API, to show video reviews of products – the social shopping site looks to YouTube and checks for reviews on the title of the product (an example here for ipad covers) and displays them on the item details page for shoppers’ reference.

On the other side of the fence, we’ve also built APIs. If you want your mailing list to update automatically when people join your website or similar, then the 18a mail mailing list API lets you do that. The API can even let you send newsletters automatically, using content on your website in a template to send emails to your mailing list how ever often you want to. Contact us for more information.

The reason APIs can be good for your start up is that they allow your information to be passed around the web, via other developers’ sites who may wish to make use of your content/services. Yes, you might be giving something away, and other sites/businesses can benefit from it for free, but overall it’s still raising your profile and you can ensure that the API references you/makes the end user aware of your site.