Once you’ve created your website plan the next step is to decide who’s going to bring your masterpiece to life. Is this going to be a do-it-yourself project or one to enlist the help of a local design firm?
Your website’s your baby and you operate on a tight budget, so why not build it on your own? This could be a fabulous growth experience for you. You may uncover a hidden talent! Or…it may be the worst decision you could make for your business, but how will you know before trying it out?
Be realistic about your computer comfort level. Ask yourself a few important questions:
If so, you might have a great time embarking on this web design adventure.
Before you begin, be sure this is the most cost effective option and make certain you can produce a website for your business that will be as professional as your competition’s. Consider taking a web design class through an adult education program to get off on the right foot.
A tempting alternative to the less adventurous do-it-yourselfer is the design online option. This option allows you to create your own site using an online interface provided by a free or subscription-based site building program. It doesn’t require as much technical know-how as starting from scratch, but there will still be a learning curve. You’ll need to know some of the basics before you begin to ensure images and text are properly formatted.
This is a good alternative for those who want both a personal endeavour and a moderately professional looking result. Many online builders allow you to add functionalities such as blogs and photo galleries. Design alternatives are usually restrained to pre-made templates with limited options for customization. This is often attractive to businesses on a tight budget testing to see if a website can make an impact.
Web design is a lot like car maintenance; you might be physically capable of rebuilding your engine, but should you? Once you get the engine taken apart will you remember how to put all the pieces back together correctly? If it is broken, how will you know which part to replace? There would be a lot of trial and error going on, and unless you have an amazing intuitive sense, it might take quite a while to figure things out.
The right professional designer can guide you through the process with as much or as little involvement as you desire. To cut costs you can do your own photography or write the text for your pages. In some cases you could do part of the design on your own and contract with a programmer to create your amazing web tool. Another option is to have a designer create the site in a content management system, like WordPress, and leave the pages blank, allowing you to enter the information on the individual pages.
With all the pros and cons regarding the different ways you can attack your website sprawled out in front of you, it’s time to figure out which option you’re the most comfortable with. If you’re thinking that working with the design pros is the way to go, check out our Design Company Interview Guide! You’ll find a list of must-ask questions to present to your potential designers before hiring them for the job.