There are a couple of different variables you want to answer first before you make a choice on how to tackle your website creation:
- What’s your budget? – Probably the most important question. Knowing this and setting a fixed budget for this (or knowing clearly that you don’t have one) will make everything else fall into place.
- No budget / non-existent = you’re basically left to the DIY option. You just have to worry about paying for barebones domain + hosting (domain = roughly $10-$15/year; hosting = $10-$50/month). What you save in dollars, you lose in time spent.
- Small budget (less than $1000) = Shop around for freelance developers. Find someone who can execute what you want and has a solid portfolio to prove it (more on this later). Fiverr (like others above have recommended) is a great place to start. Upwork is another fantastic freelance website. Also PeoplePerHour.com. On these sites, you can set your budget, lay out what you want in a website, and post it in the community for freelancers to bid on your project. The only downside is that you may be decide to hire with someone in a different country who could simply take your money and then disappear once payment clears (have had that happen before). Not going to say it happens a lot, but there’s always that risk. With lower budgets, expect to see more foreign freelancers bidding on your jobs.
- Solid budget (over $1000) = Hire someone in the states – the closer to you in physical proximity, the better in my opinion. This way you can meet your potential web team on a Skype call or in person, ask them all the questions you have, and feel more confident that they won’t just run away with your deposits. Look for someone with a portfolio! See their previous work.
- What do you want your website to do?
- You have to know what you want out of your website. Can visitors order products directly on your site? Is it more of an informational site?
- I always liken websites to different stores / points of interest at the mall. (The mall = the internet)
As a consumer, when you’re at the mall, you’re obviously walking in with a purpose. You’re looking to buy something or get more info on something.
There are different types of stores – retail, food, etc. When you walk into one, you browse around, check out the different things, and if you like what you see and you have money to spend, you buy! Simple business 101.
Then you have your informational kiosks – booths in the middle that tell you all about a certain service you can get, and you have someone there in a solid color polo shirt willing to answer any questions you have and giving you informational brochures and even asking if you’d like to provide your contact info so “we can send you more information.”
What type of store are you? Are you just looking to tell your visitors about your product and gather emails for future one-to-one selling / marketing? Do you sell products on your store? D you offer a subscription service for your video courses or services?
You have to know this so that you or your developer have a plan on what needs to be built in order to help your business effectively. If you sell products, you’ll need something that handles credit card and/or Paypal transactions. If you offer a service, then you’ll need something to gather email and contact info so you can continue the sales process over the phone.
It can be difficult and overwhelming to navigate all this stuff. If you ever have questions about this stuff, feel free to shoot me an email @ firstname.lastname@example.org – use me as a valuable resource for your business to bounce ideas, consult about your current project, future projects, etc.
And if you’re leaning toward hiring a professional, take a look at my company, Post Oak Agency! We’d be glad to help you figure out your new website build.
Founder | Marketing Director & Consultant
A former audio engineer & radio director, I'm proud to say that today I've built a reputation for building and marketing brands and small businesses.
Have any questions? Feel free to email me anytime at email@example.com – consider me a valuable resource!