Updating your current website or building a website for the first time for your business is a big commitment. It comes with lots of questions, stress, and uncertainty. I understand these concerns because I have built and rebuilt my own website multiple times and I have worked with hundreds of business owners who are updating their business websites. You want to get it right so the investment you make can last and you can see that return on that investment.
When deciding what the best approach to take for creating your new website it all comes down to what makes most sense for you and your business. We will explore the options you have so by the end of this article you will know the path you should take.
Website Development Options
If your website is in need for an update you will want to know what website design and development options are for your business. The following are a list of common options along with pros and cons to help you decide what is best for your business.
One important thing to keep in mind while you are analyzing your options is how much time do you have to dedicate to this important project? Remember your time is very valuable and you need to decide if your time spent on creating an effective website is worth it or can you get a better product for the equivalent price by hiring someone?
Option 1: Build a website yourself using a template or website builder
There are many website builder options out there such as Wix, Squarespace, GoDaddy website builder, or WordPress. Each of these platforms has options where you can either select a template or drag and drop elements into a layout. This option is good for start-up businesses or a basic business card website that does not need to generate leads. You may be asking what do you mean a business card website? Many businesses that are starting out drive traffic to their site through networking and handing out business cards. Their website is basic and not optimized for SEO or lead generation. This site is about having a simple website so when people ask you if you have a website you can say “yes”.
Some considerations are your time or your staff’s time trying to become a designer, developer, and SEO expert. In the end you may spend the same amount on the cost of time as you would hiring a professional and not get the same quality.
- Cheaper in price
- No coding experience needed
- Get your a website relatively fast if you have the time
- Not customized for your business
- No real planning or strategy to generate leads
- Steep learning curve for users to build and host site
Cost: Your time + $30-$100 a month for subscription/hosting
Option 2: Hire a Tech-Savvy Person To Setup a Template Site
I have seen many times where a business finds a person that is considered “tech-savvy” or may have set up a website before. This person may not have a lot of skills in creating a comprehensive strategy but they may more quickly set up a template or website builder website than you or your staff. This may be a good option if you are a start-up or want a very basic website that may not create a lot of leads.
A consideration you should keep in mind is just because someone has set up a website does not mean they have the level of experience to create a website for a business that is effective. Creating a lead generating website is more than setting up a website. One crucial aspect is knowing what questions to ask you about your business and about your customers to create a user experience that aligns with your customer’s needs. There is also a strategic way to set up certain types of content that showcases your business, answers users' questions, and creates trust which is needed to create leads. Note that 88 percent of online users are less likely to come back to your site if they have a bad experience. A website is a marketing tool that needs to speak to your customers about your business and if it doesn’t you will be leaving money on the table.
That said if you need a site that looks decent and don’t want to spend your time on it this may be a great option for your business.
- Cheaper in price
- No coding experience needed
- Get your a website relatively fast if the person is not busy
- No strategy to generate leads
- Person most likely does not have expertise in marketing strategies
- Will need to use your time to guide the person setting up your website to get what you want instead of an expert providing expert proven strategies to create a layout
Cost: $500-$2000 + $30 - $100 a month for subscription/hosting
Option 3: Hire a freelancer / small agency
This option has a lot of levels to choose from depending on the background and skills of the freelancer or agency. This is typically a good option for an established business and not a startup. The experience of the freelancer or small agency will impact the level of effectiveness of the website. Some freelancers or small agencies may be really skilled in design but they do not have a lot of skills in other areas like SEO or digital marketing to create a lead generating website. It is important before you start exploring which freelancer or small agency to hire is to list out what are your goals for your business and for your marketing to assess what marketing channels you think are viable for your business. This will help with asking questions to the person before you hire them. A good digital marketer will have skills in many of these areas to provide a well-rounded solution.
You can expect a higher quality of design, a layout that creates a good user experience, and content that more effectively communicates a clear message about your business. Some agencies will write the content or they will help guide you through the process so it is still effective.
One critical part of a lead generating website is not just the website itself but the SEO and the additional tactics that can be implemented on the website itself to make it more effective. You will want to check out my ebook on SEO and digital marketing to truly understand what can and should be done to ensure your quality website generates leads.
- Professionally designed website
- Custom experience for you and your customers
- Knowledge depth to make the site more successful
- Cost will be higher (you get what you pay for)
- Some agencies are not skilled in all areas of digital marketing
- Hard to tell which ones are experts and which ones say they are
Cost: $2000-10,000 + hosting (Site size and complexity plays a part in cost)
Every business is going to have slightly different needs but one thing is for sure, a business’ website is their most important marketing investment. The quality of your website will greatly impact the flow of new leads to your business. If you invest in a high quality website not only can increase leads but will last longer over time. Read more on what it takes to build a great user experience and value of quality design.