As a business owner, at some point you have considered whether your company should have a website. Hopefully, your answer to this question was yes. However, the path that lays between that decision and publishing a website online can be thwart with questions, frustrations, and obstacle after obstacle, especially if you don’t really have much knowledge in the field. You might think that it is as easy as cornering an IT person and peppering them with questions, but in my experience, people in the know have worked very hard for their knowledge and they are not very open to sharing it with us annoying layman with our irritating questions. Most of the time they roll their eyes and point you to the ever-knowledgeable Google.
What are your options?
You can use a free website tool like the one found on Google my Business, WordPress or Wix. This is not suggested as these website builders offer only the most basic functionality and they look terrible. You do not have the option of choosing a URL that makes sense and is easy to remember, making your job of staying top of mind in your customer’s world much harder. It’s ok to start off with, especially if you are a start up with little to no cashflow, but this should only ever be a temporary solution. Your company website leaves a lasting impression on the end user and should be taken seriously. It can delight or vex your customers… which client would you rather like to deal with?
You can pay for a website template and a custom URL and use a site builder like WordPress and Wix. The options that you can choose from are endless, but it’s not always possible to find a template that will suits your business 100% of the time. Especially if you have a specialist service type company. You also need a certain amount of patience to learn the new interface, and you need to be at least a little computer savvy. Or you need to strap down and start googling…
You can pay someone to do it for you. This is easier said than done and the service providers in the web development are varied and endless. You can choose from students to freelance web developers to small web development companies to large corporates that have an army of developers at their beck and call. What you choose will largely depend on what you can afford. But be warned – a large company or a large price tag does not guarantee that you will get a quality product. I have often heard of small companies who employ a busy large corporate to handle their site, yet they don’t get half the attention they pay for and they get a mediocre site that will probably have to be redesigned again in six months to a year. It is imperative that you do your research. You could very easily find a freelancer who is motivated and loves the work – you are more likely to get a beautiful site from someone who loves what they do than from a large company who plays the numbers game.
At the end of the day the decision lies with you – but hopefully these words shed some light on what you need to consider when faced with this decision.