When it comes to building a website, even getting started can be really daunting. The language is foreign and options seem endless. From CMS to SEO, copywriting to front-end design, it’s easy to get overwhelmed and end up in the weeds. Should you build it yourself? Hire a designer? Hire your friend’s brother-in-law who knows a little?
Well, we’ll tell you what we think you should do, but that’s probably obvious. In the meantime, we’ll breakdown some of your options so at least you have a baseline of knowledge going forward.
Build your own site
We know you’ve probably seen a few ads for different DIY platforms: Squarespace, Weebly, and Wix are quite common both as platforms and in advertising. Wordpress is a much older option that is incredibly popular as it’s open-source and many of the other tools you might use are easy to connect with it (like MailChimp, Buffer, Constant Contact, and more).
Some hosting companies, like Hostgator and GoDaddy have site builder options, as does the popular marketing software, Hubspot. These are all options, but we won’t sugar-coat it: many of these have a bit of a learning curve when it comes to actually using them. Which is fine, learn a new skill. But is that how you make money? Is that how you want to spend your time? We’re willing to guess that’s not likely.
Another word of caution—some of these platforms don’t play well with Google. And that, we probably don’t have to tell you, is a big problem if you’re trying to get customers or clients in the door. Some are great, and have SEO options that really help your site rankings, but again, if you’re brand new and don’t really know what you’re doing, is it really going to do you that much good? Probably not.
Hiring a web designer/developer
Of course, this is the option we most recommend, and we even have someone in mind. But even if you don’t hire Clicks and Mortar, we want to help you find the right person or company to trust with building your site. It’s important to find a professional who has experience and will give you the right product for your needs.
Here are a few things to think about if you’re outsourcing your site:
- What’s your budget?
- Do you want to be able to edit it yourself? If not, how much will it cost to have them do edits?
- Are hosting and domain registration included?
- Do they provide content (copy, stock photos, graphic design)?
- Will they provide references?
- How long have they been in business?
- What CMS do they build on, if any?
Developers have different platforms they prefer to use. These are often called a content management system or CMS. Some of the popular ones used more often by professionals are Drupal, DNN, Joomla, and even Wordpress.
When it comes to building yourself, you really can’t be too careful. It’s a huge investment--not only monetarily, but your time and reputation as well. You wouldn’t want your brand associated with a bad, broken, or unreliable site. We highly recommend shopping around, talking to different developers, and finding the right fit for your budget and personality. We’d love for you to start with us. Contact us today!