So, you’ve officially started your business!! Great job! Taking the step of making your your new business official is big and important. It shows your potential customers that you are serious. After your solidify your business’s official recognition through federal and state governments, you’ve got to work on letting the world, specifically your target customers, know that you exist.
There are various ways to official present your business to the world. You may take out an ad in your local newspaper, create and print business cards, create social media pages, and create a website. Each of these is an important piece to your online presence puzzle.
It may be tempting to try to build your new online presence yourself. But there are a number of reasons why you should definitely not make that choice. Website’s seem simple, but they are actually intricate tools used methodically to increase customer awareness. Today, we talk about why you need a web designer to build your online presence and why you shouldn’t build or manage your website yourself.
REASON 1: IT'S A LOT OF WORK
As a service or product based business owner, freelancer, blogger, or entrepreneur, your number one priority should be to focus on the business of your business. Whatever it is that you do, you should make sure that you are focusing on ways to capitalize on your ideas. Designing and developing a full website the right way takes time away from your bread and butter.
What is the right way to design and develop a website?
There are quite a few steps to making your website fully functional. First and foremost, you need to make sure your domain is available. This can be where a lot of new business owners get stuck, mainly because if your domain is not available, you must consider either using another domain or changing the name of your business. Next, you must think about how you will build your website so you can choose the appropriate way to host your domain. Do you want to use a page builder that provides basic to full templates? Or, do you want to build your site completely from scratch? Either way, you must invest in a hosting platform that is suitable for the amount of visitors you foresee loading your website.
You also have to consider how “involved” you want to be in maintaining your website once it’s complete. Do you want to be in control of managing updates, focusing on the design aesthetics or just managing customers? We will discuss maintaining your website below, but you must consider all these items before you can get started with designing.
Once you have your hosting platform decided, you now need to think about the functionality of your website and what it is you want your potential customers or clients to do once they’ve reached your site. Do you want them to make purchases, submit their emails, or request quotes? This is another area where business owners may get distracted. It’s easy to make your website look pretty, but is it functional?
Another important piece is deciding if you want to take the time to learn how to develop your website. Designing is half of task of building of beautiful website. Developing your site includes learning important pieces of code that can help determine the functionality we talked about above AND can also help with the design and layout of your website.
REASON 2: IT CAN GET EXPENSIVE
Nowadays, there are SO many options when it comes to build your website. Whether you are searching for a domain and hosting OR you are in need of a specific type of functionality, the fees from various companies that provide these services can pile up. For example, some platforms may require that you pay monthly for certain level functionality.
So you’ve paid for your domain and now you are paying monthly for your website. Now, you decide that you need another level of functionality, such as an automated mail service or a customer relations management system that comes with forms, automated messaging, video calls, and more. If you are just starting out, it’s fair to say that you want your expenses to make financial sense. If you feel you are being nickel and dimed by these companies, it might be better to employ a web designer so that you are not focused on the headache of spending.
How much does a web designer cost?
Most web designers have their own system for pricing out services. Some have pre-filled templates that allow business owners to plug their information into the appropriate places, making it easier to get started. These templates are often offered as a flat fee, just like a product, that will only increase if added functionality is needed.
Another way a web designer may offer and price services is by the job. The way this works is, the business owners contacts the web designer and communicates his or her specific needs. The web designer will draw up a proposal or quote and charge the customer a flat fee based on the services and functionality required, as well as discuss any maintenance the business owners needs help with after the website is complete.
A third way a web designer may offer and price services is by the hour. A lot of times, us web designers will work tirelessly to create a unique site that makes the business owner’s vision come to life. This requires a lot of consulting hours, design and developing hours, editing hours, and more. Paying hourly makes sense if your project is long-term and you need help with aftercare and maintenance. It is also possible for your web designer to charge a combination of ways, all depending on the services you require.
REASON 3: YOU HAVE TO KEEP IT UP
The biggest task of building a website is keeping it up once it’s complete. It’s easy to want to set it and forget it, but with a functioning website, you’ll want to continually reassess if it’s accomplishing the goal for which you initially created the website. You’ll also want to keep updated any plugins, apps, or other types of functionality that have been added, as well as updating your core website to fend off any potential security risks.
Other website maintenance includes updating SEO options with every design change, updating & maintaining stock for product based businesses, updating new and improved services for service based websites, and changing out social media links and imagery.
In this article, we have barely touched the surface of what is required to build your own website. You will still need to consider search engine optimization and all the coding involved with making your website available and determining its’ rankability on Google and other major search engines. You’ll also want to think of your long term goals for the direction of your business and any changes you may foresee taking places.
In conclusion, building your own website is doable and if you want to save some money, you could attempt to create it yourself. However, if you want to focus on your business, leaving the web design to an experienced professional who can take the time to build your online home is the best way to go!