So you have decided to build a website. Maybe you have a business already and it is time to check out this “online” thing you have heard about; or maybe you have a cool E-commerce idea but don’t know how to get peoples' money through the web. There are many reasons to build a website. Once you make the decision, it can be difficult to decide what the next step should be. Ideally, you will call a custom website design company at this stage (insert winky face). Lets have a look at what those solutions could be.
Essentially, building a website can be broken into 3 different options:
- The Do-It-Yourself online template - you know the type, a downloaded design for $10, drag and drop style
- An Independent Contractor - someone’s cousin that works in his basement with a flag instead of curtains
- A full service custom website design company - Acro Media Inc., just as an example
Having been involved in building websites using all 3 different options, I can share some quick insight on what each process involves. The DIY template can be fun, especially at the beginning. At some point you may even look over at your wife with excitement and disbelief and say something like, “Wow, I can build a website!” ( I did this). Lets skip ahead a few days or weeks. The site looks decent, but chances are you are a bit frustrated by the things you can’t change. It will likely not look quite as good as (insert your favorite website). The problem with strict templates is that, well, they are strict. If you don’t have any programming or graphic design experience this can be a major roadblock. You may be left wishing you could do more after spending a good chunk of your own time. If this is the case, you may have to spend the money anyway and find an independent contractor to help you out after all that hard work?
The Independent contractor route is a little more difficult to discuss. This is due to the variation of service and quality that can be found in this website building arena. Like in any industry there are top quality contractors and there are contractors who think they know what they are doing. Do your research. Ask the right questions. Knowing the right questions to ask is so important (another blog post on this coming soon). There is a massive difference in quality contracting and people just winging it. This difference will have repercussions throughout your entire website build. The best case is that you have an amazing experience and you end up paying a little less than you thought you would. The worst case is that you need to search for a more experienced and competent company to redo your entire site, and to top it off, you paid more than you thought you would while losing precious time. Again, do your research and good luck.
Now for the custom website design company option (note: possible bias warning). It is true that a full scale custom website is not the best option for everybody. With that said, if it is within your budgetary consideration and website ambition, I highly recommend looking at this option. Custom website design companies offer a level of service quality that you cannot find elsewhere. This includes professional consultation throughout the entire process. There are many stages in a comprehensive development approach. These stages include assistance in initial planning, creative vision and design, software and web development, content management training and post launch warranty service. On top of the development services, many custom website design companies (such as Acro Media) also offer a range of online marketing services such as, social media strategies, Pay-Per-Click campaigns and search engine optimization techniques.
Essentially, the role of a custom website design company is to ask you the right questions, not the other way around. If the quick scalability of your business is your primary focus, it is well worth talking to the pro’s. They might have the right solution waiting for you. If you are unsure, but want to talk with an Acro Media Account Manager to find out what route to take, give us a shout. We’ll be the first to tell ya if your money is no good here!
After being involved in all of these scenarios, I know which one I would use on my next project: The DIY template! Bam, didn’t expect that did you? I like to keep you on your toes! Until next time.