Build your own website or pay someone to do it for you?

One of the most important decisions the owner of a new small business needs to make is whether to design and build their own website or to outsource it to a professional website design company. With so many free ‘build your own website’ tools now available online it is extremely tempting for owners of small businesses tochoose the optionof doing it themselves.

However if you do decide to go down the path of building your own website then it is very important to remember some important rules to ensure that the end product looks and feels professional. When a potential customer visits your website they will subconsciously make a number of key judgements within the first five seconds that will determine whether they decide to proceed to making contact with you. If a website looks ‘home made’ in any way then there is a high probability that they will press the ‘Back’ button and decide that you are not an established business that they wish to use further. When it comes to your website the first impression that you convey to a visitor is paramount and it is therefore of extreme importance that your business looks professional and has a corporate image. If the visitor decides to pick up the phone and call you it is also important that you either answer your calls in a professional manner or use the services of a Telephone Answering Service. It is also good practice to have a real address on the Contact Us page and rather than use your home address you can obtain a Virtual Office address for a modest monthly outlay.

It is not that difficult to build your own website and make it look as if it has been built by a professional although this will require a reasonable investment of your time and some investment in some short training courses. It is surprising how much skill is required with graphic design tools to make a website look good and a one day training course in a product like Photoshop will be time well spent. In addition a one day training course in WordPress will also save you a lot of time in the long term.

The main advantage of building your own site is that you can make a large cost saving as you will not need to use the services of a website design company. And provided you follow the points outlined above and take your time, you can build your own site and still end up with a top quality professional looking website.

About the author: John Grant is an entrepreneur and freelance writer and is head of marketing at The Answer Centre.

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