Well this is rather sad, post number 2 after so many months, only excuse is good business, short handed, and a little time for family. This time lets talk about paying someone or going it alone.
This question is as simple as finding a balance between the following needs; time, money, & performance. I am a big fan of doing it your self, it’s the best way to learn how it works. However if you have a working budget and you need exposure, leads, customers, or sales and you need them as fast as possible. Then you need to go with an expert. If you build your own site plan on at least 6 months to get comfortable with how it works. Lets start with go it alone.
First off don’t do it, this is how I do everything, for the most part I am self taught in everything I do. When I decided to build my website I went out and spend $200.00 (then) on Microsoft Front Page. Its great for beginners and it worked very well for me then, but now I look back on it and see what a joke it is. I can always spot a FP web site and it is very hard to make a FP site look professional. But it is a great place to get your feet wet and then advance to something like Dreamweaver, which will make sites look much more professional. However Dreamweaver is more complicated to learn, unless you have started with a program like FP. Every pro will tell you they use note pad and build from code, but then off the record they will admit they use a program like DW, why? It saves time.
But there is another option, go with a hosting company that will provide you with a basic site. I have reassured quite a few and I can only recommend one “and one”. I like 1AND1 hosting company because they will provide you with a great site template that every beginner can use, they have blog templates and basic shopping carts as well. I only wish this was around when I was starting out with FP because the templates with 1AND1 look much more professional than FP and it starts at a great monthly price. So go it alone with a little help.
But if you need something fast, you have the budget, or your are ready to upgrade to a professional built site, then here are some things to watch for.
* Take some time to look at your competitors sites as well as non-related sites that you like to get a feel for how you would like the layout to be.
* If you want to have as many visitors as possible, that stay and look around, then keep it simple
* Be willing to listen to the website designer, if you have found a good one they know what they are doing.
* Treat your web site as though it was a new location for your business.
* Keep it simple.
Now there is a lot more to building a website and I am going to go into the points above in more detail in future posts, so be sure to check back.