You have multiple options for creating a website for your business. Do-it-yourself (DIY) sites and basic templates that offer limited customization can get you started affordably, although they lack powerful SEO tools (more on that below.) High-end sites, though, might break the budget before they have a chance to generate you any business. You get what you pay for in quality and effectiveness, but small businesses need to walk before they run in some cases, and need to take on manageable web development projects.
Can you afford a web designer and developer?
You have the option to skip the formal web design process, and buy a ready-made template from $0 to $300. Just make sure to change the logo and content and you’re good to go. It will look a bit generic, but fits into most small business budgets. It does take time for you, the business owner, to set up and manage, which may not be your strong suit!
There are some fairly easy to use do-it-yourself (DIY) options out there: Wix, Squarespace, WordPress.com (different than .org), Shopify, Bigcommerce, Weebly and many others. Some people have no problem with these platforms and others end up hiring a contractor to finish their website for them when they become frustrated or reach the limit of their technical savvy. The biggest issues with these DIY platforms are:
- Forever monthly fees
- Poor SEO performance
- Template-only options
There are also some pros: No hosting fees, design or development decisions. These could make a good place to test your new or startup company and the attractiveness of its value proposition.
Why Is a Web Designer Helpful?
Your website represents you to the world, and you need enough customization to impress your audience as a healthy, reliable, knowledgeable business.
On the other hand, if you think your company is unique and like no other, and/or you have special functional needs for selling and servicing your target audience, don’t buy a ready-made template. Use a graphic designer to paint the picture (design the website) that matches your company persona and fulfills your unique requirements.
Why Do I Need Web Development?
Once the design is done, you need a web developer to transform the designer’s creation (the “picture” he or she painted) into a functioning website that generates leads and revenue. One issue with ready-made templates is that they can be prone to coding errors down the road when security and application updates are run. The developers that make templates are smart and are often good coders but they have created a generic template to sell to hundreds of people, which tempts them to take shortcuts in back-end design. When security updates are needed in the future, you may be in trouble because the custom code does not meet the future content management system or html5 requirements, and the developer is not around to help.
To avoid trouble down the road, use a web developer who is organized, dependable and stays within the guidelines of the system you want to work with.
What is SEO and Why Do I Need It?
SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization. Good SEO gains you traffic from the natural (organic, unpaid) search results on search engines such as Google, Bing or Yahoo.
“It doesn’t matter how pretty your website is if no one can find it,” says Ken O’Donnell, founder of KO websites and SEOpro.pro.
This SEO step in building a website is extremely crucial and should be planned out before starting the website development. If you want to be aggressive and get more business from online contacts, you must have great SEO. For example, a graphic designer or web developer may name an image “homepage_numer9.jpg.” Huge mistake. It should be structured like “My-company-main-keywords.”
If you want to get valuable traffic from your website you need someone that understands who your customer is and what search queries they are likely to use to go looking for a business like yours.
Ready to Get a Web Design Started? Call or Contact the SEO Pro’s at KO Websites
We’ve been building websites that work and websites that you will find fast on Google for more than 19 years. We know what it takes to get you onto page 1 and we know how to help you choose terms that will attract the right traffic. Call 510-276-9902 or fill out our short contact form to get the conversation started.