The first concern most clients express to me is “Currently, I don’t have a website, should I have you build it, buy one of those template things, or should I have my son build one?” The answer is yes, yes, yes… Whatever you think is best, roll with it! I guarantee that if you hire an agency, your site will be done correctly. If you choose a predefined template, then you might be happy and have some control over the updates. Lastly, if your son is a web designer, the result might be great, but if not, then you are back where you started. Either way, none of these choices are to “just add water, and voila!” Each takes time, energy, and resources to acquire a positive representation of your business on the web.
Step 2 – Using an Agency, Templates, or Build Your Own
First things first, choose a platform to host your site. If you wish to have your own hosting, we suggest either Bluehost or Go-Daddy with a WordPress or Drupal foundation.
Using an agency to build your website and design the flavor of your Internet presence has a number of positive and few negative points; some of which include having a graphic designer at your disposal, the incorporation of applications to increase visitor interest such as video or Java, and allowing you to spend more time on the busyness of your business. Of course, the downside is the expense might be greater than your budget, and depending on your contract, updates might be an added cost.
In comparison to an agency, predefined website templates are versatile and inexpensive, and they offer the user a supply of color combinations and layout designs. The cost on average is usually $200 to $400 and includes some support. With a template, you’re in control of the layout, changes, updates, and additions to functionality that increase visitor experience. Choosing a template is an experience in itself because there are thousands available, and some templates have multiple versions to use on different platforms. One of the best functions that most templates offer is the ability to change the layout without losing data or content. When you think your site needs a facelift, simply click the button and the layout changes.
Finally, having your son do the job! As previously stated, if your son is a graphic designer, then more power to ya… go with him! The benefits will be much greater because you have a live in website designer. But, and that’s a big But! If he is not a graphic designer, you might be posting a website that your client base will remember to avoid, and then you need damage control to resurrect your brand. Remember, word of mouth spreads faster than the Internet.
To conclude, I’ve seen many businesses spend hundreds and in some cases thousands of dollars only to be left with a bad taste in their mouths because they were do-it-yourselfers. Hiring an agency includes website design, development, advanced analytics, updates, SEO, SEM, and a number of back-end services that strengthen your company’s brand and exposure on the Internet. Think twice and do your research before entering or changing your web presence.