You know you need a business website—but what’s the best way to go about it? Should you build your own website or get a custom solution build for you?
First, even if you do decide to DIY, you don’t need to start from scratch. There are many companies offering one-stop website services including hosting, website templates and tools for building your site.
Here are three questions you should ask yourself to determine if your business needs are best served by building a site yourself or having it built for you.
- How complicated will your website be? If your business is one that doesn’t change very much, such as an accounting service or beauty salon, and you simply need to put up a website with some basic information such as your location, hours, phone number, a contact form, a few photos and customer testimonials, then you can probably build a DIY website using available templates and stock photos from the Web design company. Today, even ecommerce websites can be DIY thanks to online tutorials and integrated payment tools.
If your business is more complex, such as an ecommerce company with thousands of products or one that provides an online service, you may want to choose a custom-built solution. Custom-built websites can include advantages such as having a marketing copywriter create the copy and integrating more complex inventory, shopping cart and payment tools seamlessly.
2. How knowledgeable are you about technology? You don’t need a lot of tech-savvy to put up a simple DIY website. Today’s solutions offer simple setup so that just about anyone can handle putting a basic site together. However, if users will be interacting with your site a lot, such as placing orders or doing online chat, this may require more tech know-how than you have. Also keep in mind that using a custom-built website gives you access to experts who can advise you on the best ways to handle problems or whether Option A will attract more customers than Option B.
3. How much time do you have to spare? If you’re busy 24/7 building and running your business, even a few hours to set up a simple DIY website can be time you don’t have. If your site is more complex, you’ll need to devote even more time to building it.
Keep ongoing website maintenance in mind, too. If your site will need frequent updating—for example, if it’s content-heavy, or if your products and services change frequently—using a custom-built website can give you access to ongoing services such as having the company update your website for you.
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Rieva Lesonsky is CEO of GrowBiz Media, a media and custom content company focusing on small business and entrepreneurship. Email Rieva at firstname.lastname@example.org, follow her on Google+ and Twitter.com/Rieva, and visit her website, SmallBizDaily.com, to get the scoop on business trends and sign up for Rieva’s free TrendCast reports.