Websites range in complexity, and the marketplace has adapted to this. Therefore, we've compiled a guide on how to create a business website that fits into your company's budget and produces the most effective product possible.
What Do You Want Your Website to Accomplish?
Before you decide on what the best way to construct your website will be, it is essential to take some time and determine what your objectives are for your site. The level of complexity you require will inform the level of talent you will need to employ.
Generally, business websites fall into three basic categories:
Informative Websites: Often the cheapest type of website to create, informative websites provide interested parties with what they need to find your business and hire your services. These websites depend more on outside marketing and serve as a resource to support other branches of your business.
Content Websites: A content-based website builds interest in your business by providing engaging material. More in-depth than an informative site, a content website is SEO-driven and encourages sales alongside the company's other services.
eCommerce Websites: eCommerce sites are functional retail portals through which your company generates revenue. These sites should have sensible navigation, operating payment processors and secure web hosting that protects the data of both your company and your customers.
Once you have decided which model best suits your business, you should then begin researching whom you should entrust with the construction of your website.
The main options for this are:
Building Your Own Website
Thanks to the availability of easy-to-use web design tools, you can design a professional looking website for your company either on your own, or by assigning it to your design team. This will likely be the cheapest option that is available to you, although it will likely be the most limiting, too.
That said, there are some definite advantages to building a site from scratch. You will have complete control over the content that goes live on your website, for a start. You control the design elements that represent your company, and you can complete the project on your own schedule. Companies such as Namecheap, GoDaddy or Web.com can help you acquire a domain name for an affordable price and set up services such as email and web hosting.
Designing your website using an online design service is relatively simple, as well. Here are some of the most popular choices available:
Squarespace is a great option to create an informative website that looks great, although it only delivers limited functionality. If you just need a site that will impress visitors while providing the details for customers to contact you, Squarespace is the perfect solution.
This website builder is designed to be used by anyone, regardless of their technical prowess. It combines web hosting tools with simple drag-and-drop website construction tools. If you feel comfortable creating a spreadsheet in PowerPoint, then you can easily make a website with Squarespace.
If you want to design a website that delivers original content that you've created to your customers, WordPress is an excellent choice. Without any advanced programming knowledge, you can set up a professional-looking site that is easy to navigate, unique, and aesthetically pleasing.
As one of the older web building tools available, WordPress partners with companies such as Bluehost to deliver simplified web hosting. Unlike other options, WordPress does have the ability to allow for more advanced editing, so you can enhance your page later if you want.
If you need a little more from your website and feel that you have the programming basics to back it up, consider using Wix. Wix is an application-based web design tool that can help you add functionality to your site. Using these apps, you can set up online booking capabilities, reservations, and ordering tools, giving your site eCommerce capabilities not available from other web building programmes.
While each of these options are affordable and easy to produce, building your own website comes with its own set of problems. You will be responsible for maintaining it, and the tools offered by these different sites may not be capable of executing your exact vision. Furthermore, the time investment required to learn how to make the site may interfere with the realities of running your business.
Hiring a Freelancer
If you don't have the time or confidence to create your own website, hiring a freelancer is another cost-effective way to get a website up and running.
Many freelancers specialise in the applications outlined above. This means that you can get the most functionality out of tools that don't charge much for setup and can be maintained by your team after they go live.
However, hiring a freelancer does come with some risks. Getting someone outside of your company to complete the project puts the start date at the whims of that individual's schedule and does not guarantee that you will get exactly what you had in mind. In addition, freelancers have specific skillsets, and while a good freelancer will collaborate with you to find out what they can do to create the site you had in mind, you will still be limited by their capabilities.
If you need a specific functionality delivered from your site that your freelancer cannot provide, you may have to hire someone else to complete that portion of the project. This will further increase the price and mean that you must dedicate more of your time to acting as a project manager for the website before it is completed.
Hiring an Agency
The most straightforward solution to these frustrations is to hire a web design agency. This is the priciest option but is guaranteed to deliver you a high functioning company website that looks great.
Web design agencies employ a diverse talent pool of experienced professionals who work together to create the best possible experience for you, your employees and your customers. The website will be designed with a coherent strategy, guided by experienced project managers and executed by skilled programmers. You can also depend on an agency to offer continued support for the site as time goes forward, and they will be able to implement sophisticated and secure marketplace features for your eCommerce requirements.
However, a design agency will cost much more than any of the other options available. You are employing a team and will have to pay the fees associated with hiring multiple people. The process for getting a website will go through phases, and while these phases help make it the best product possible, they also will drag out the development time.
In today's market, not having a website is a definite disadvantage for a business. So, remove that barrier and get one – but take the time to consider what course of creation will be best for your business.
Was this article helpful? What other tips would you offer for building a company website? Let us know in the comment section below!