Making a Web site will be one of the biggest projects of starting your online business. And with it comes a big question: Should you hire a professional Web site designer or make the site yourself?
Making a Web site by yourself may not be a problem for those who know HTML (coding of Web pages), but it would be hard for those who don't know anything about it. Even so, I recommend doing it yourself. It'll take a while to learn HTML and build Web pages, but you will save lots of money. Whole Web site design by a professional can cost a few grand. More importantly, knowing HTML, even just basics, will help you run your business more successfully. For example, you don't have to wait for your designer to get around to it every time you make changes on your site.
Tips for Hiring a Designer
If building a Web site is still too much for you, then you will need to hire a designer. In that case, make sure you will get a usable Web site--one that generates income. Making a usable Web site is tricky. For example, you have to make your Web pages visitor- and search-engine friendly. No matter how good your Web site is, no visitors means no sales. Furthermore, getting the #1 position on every search engine listing won't help you make money if your site isn't visitor-friendly.
Don't assume Web designers know all of that. You have to tell them what to do. One way to communicate that message is to draw your design on a piece of paper, including all the details, from size of font to ordering processes, and show the designer your drawing (the blueprints). When the designer makes the Web site from your blueprints, you will have the usable Web site that you want.
You pay designers big bucks, but they may keep the copyright of your Web pages because they created them. In that case, they can put you in trouble in various ways. You cannot make new pages by copying from existing pages, since the designer owns the copyright. Also, you can be banned from using your Web site anytime. Straighten out this issue before hiring a designer. If you have trouble getting the copyright, find another who gives you all the rights.
Knowing HTML helps a lot in running your business, but don't push yourself too hard to learn. You can hire a Web designer whenever you need one. Should you hire someone, make sure you will get what you want--a Web site that makes you money.
© July, 2002