There’s no question about it: a website is essential for any small business. If you don’t exist on the web, you’re making it extremely difficult for others to start a business relationship with you.
Major corporations know this, and that’s why they have elaborate, professional websites. They hire webmasters as part of their staff and pay big money to keep their websites regularly updated and running smoothly.
A small business needs a website, too, but can you afford to add a webmaster to your employee roster?
If not, you can still hire web designers to create your website for you. Your other option is to do-it-yourself, which can save money but at the expense of quality work and an absence of internet marketing know-how.
Let’s break it down.
Serious, professional websites are not free. You have to pay for your domain name and hosting, and prices can vary.If you want to hire a web designer, it’s going to cost you a lot more money.
The best web designers – the ones who will make your website look amazing – charge more. It’s not easy to create a stellar website, and you will get what you pay for.
- If you hire an inexpensive web designer, expect the quality to be lower.
- If you DIY, you can save money but you can enter a false economy because you might miss important details and spend more.
If money is an issue, you might as well try to DIY before you hire someone.
You can of course sign up for the cheap, nasty “free” websites with free URL and hosting, but no one will take you seriously if you take this option.
Similarly, the cheap online drag ‘n’ drop template sites are limited in their functionality.
Websites also take a lot of time to create. When you’re already running your business, it can be hard to create your website yourself, and even if you do manage it, it will not be nearly as good as a professionally created site.
Why spend time tinkering with something you do not fully understand when you can invest the cash in someone who does?
If you don’t have enough time to create a website, you should probably outsource the job, especially if you want your site up and running as soon as possible. As they say, time is money, so it is important to consider the money you might lose by devoting so much time to doing-it-yourself.
After the website is complete and online, you’re not finished, not by a long shot. Websites require regular maintenance.
Unless you want to have the exact same content forever, you’re going to need to update your website from time to time, and the frequency depends on the nature of your business and your site goals. When deciding whether or not to outsource or DIY, consider the time and money that would also be required for long-term maintenance.
If your website crashes, or if something isn’t right, it can require skill to fix it. If you don’t know much about web design but still manage to create a DIY website, you might be in trouble later down the line when your site needs improvements. Hiring a web designer can help ensure that any potential site problems get fixed quickly and correctly.
So, what’s your verdict?
In general, if you’re not experienced with web design, outsourcing your business website is almost always the common sense approach.