Tuesday, September 4, 2007

WOW what a good idea! (Not)

Now I may be a little prejudice, but I must tell you when I get these ads that say: You can now do your own website – get rid of you web designer do it yourself – or – Build a website yourself; we give you all the tools – or - Host with us, build your own website and updated it with our new super duper template builder (only $100. a month, ugh!). I cringe, on the surface it sounds really good. Why not save bundles of money doing it yourself – after all you are on a limited budget. However, I have had too many new business owners that have gone through that route and came to me with disastrous results. Let me explain myself. Building a website is like building your store (brick and mortar). Now if I sent you an advertisement stating – build your own store, I will give you all the tools, and you will save a bundle on having a professional builder do it. You think WOW, that is a good idea – you pay me my $49.95 and I give you the tools to do it. When you look around, and you see all the saws, hammers, nails, cement mixers, wood, brick, sheet rock, pipes, etc. laying there in a pile would you know what to do? Even if I gave you a 300 page book with directions – are you up to the task? Of course not – unless you are a contractor that has had the extensive experience of building offices before. OK then let’s say you see all the stuff and think – I will just get some more books on how to build an office building… Do you genuinely think that would be the thing that would give you the expertise to know how to build an attractive – store inside and out? Then you realize you have to buy the lot to build the store front on. Then you have to do the signage… This may sound like an exaggeration but makes my point. The time and effort you would put into building your website – doesn't mean you are good at creating the look and feel that your clients would be attracted to. What about making sure that you site is a marketing machine? Do you know how to build that type of website? Do you know how to collect names from your visitors so you can market to them? Your website should give a professional presentation – the appearance layout and content should be done with the help of a professional. There are places to cut expenses and your website is not one of them. There are millions of web designer – but not all have the gift of design as well as the extensive experience to know exactly what you need in order to make your websites a viable commodity. Your best bet is to find a designer that you have confidence in – you know they are familiar with all aspects of an e-business and can guide you in the right direction. Hire a professional that has been in the industry long enough to know what it takes to have a successful website. When you hire the right professional web designer/developer you're not only getting an expert at building an effective on-line presentation, but the guidance they give you will be invaluable.