Monday, May 2, 2011

When it's time to turn to a professional

The proliferation of templates for building websites makes it easy for the small business person to build a website. Templates are great for getting your business up on the web. Some also allow you to set up virtual shopping carts to sell products, in addition to forms that provide your customers with a way to contact you.

Templates can be a great, cheap way for a business to start out on the web. But websites are time consuming. And templates are not designed to go beyond the typical cookie cutter framework.

I often hear the same story when I'm out consulting. A business owner is enticed by a template and starts building a website. More often than not, the site that is planned is a larger one than would be recommended for a beginning webmaster. The business owner runs into time constraints. The template either does not meet with needs, can't be adjusted, or stops working all together so the business owner hires a student to take over the site. The student has a bit of coding knowledge but no practical business experience or expertise on the particular template. As the owner gets more impatient with the project, the student takes off to bigger and better things and the site is left undone, in limbo, halfway on the net, costing money but making a poor representation of the business online. Half done sites can pose a business risk.

A tech savvy business owner can develop a professional looking site. It takes time and patience. A small site that offers customers a contact form but doesn't offer online sales can take a minimum of 40 hours to design, code, and test properly.  It may mean calling in a professional for help with placement, advice, and photo optimization. Search engines need to be notified and site maps need to be made.

In the end it may be better and more cost effective to call a professional to set the foundations properly and get the site you dream about.

No comments:

Post a Comment