Building a website is not a project you should take on lightly; be aware that the best websites are never completed. You will always want to change or add to your website, update your graphics, change your text; perhaps you have new products or your prices have changed. You may find yourself adding new sections to the site to deal with higher interest in your company through your website, or adding new features to the site to increase interactivity. Rest assured, it is a job that is never complete.
When you are building a site for the first time, have a good think about your technical level of skill. If you are a technophobe then the best option may be to employ a web design or development company from the start. You can keep your hands pretty clean; let them know the type of website you need and the type of features you want, and let them deal with all the tricky technology.
Be specific about the things that are really important to you – web designers can do just about everything on the web, but everything has a price. For example, if you want a site with lots of videos and flashy graphics, then it won’t load so well on slower connections. If you want a site that loads extremely quickly and works on a wide range of browsers, you may need to compromise on your site’s initial flashy impact. If you want a complicated custom part to your site think about how much time it will take to make and maintain – you will most likely be paying by the hour.
This hourly rate will be all-important in the future too. As stated above, you will likely need to make many changes to your website in the future. This could be done by requesting the web development company to make the changes, but if you don’t have some kind of service contract in place this could get costly. You could opt for a website that is easier for you to edit yourself, but be sure to check out the type of software this involves. The more flexibility to make changes, the longer the learning curve.
If you have the skills to make your own site, or at least edit a site after a professional design company has built the skeleton, then you’ve got an easier time on your hands – but don’t sacrifice your time, say, changing the color of a button, when you should be dealing with the core day-to-day running of your business.