Approach #1. No Website
- Pros - No payment for a domain name, no ISP fees, no worry about keeping it up-to-date or checking on statistics - i. e. no fuss or bother with the Internet.
- Cons - Embarrassment when people ask for your website address. Lack of credibility for your business in the minds and eyes of those who search for your site. Lack of the fun and pride that come with having a website.
Approach #2. A Free Website with Site Building Tools
- Pros - No big expenditure of funds. By following directions, you can have a decent website up and running within a short amount of time. The building tools and templates will help you with your decisions.
- Cons - Free sites often include advertisements which will detract from your own content. Free sites are obviously “free" so don't give the impression of a credible business presence. In addition, many are database driven, so won't be picked up by search engines.
- Pros - You will save money and learn a great deal about how the Internet works and doesn't work. You will feel a great deal of pride in your accomplishment and also be able to maintain your website on a regular basis.
- Cons - You will be amazed by the number of hours it will take to learn how to use any of the authoring tools. I know they say that FrontPage is easy - not if you want to have an extraordinary, non-amateurish looking and working website. Moreover, will you know if your website looks “homemade?"
Approach #4. A Family Member/Friend Made Website
- Pros - Again, you save money. A family member/friend has your best interest at heart. If they are a professional designer, you may be in for a treat and a website that will please you and your visitors.
- Cons - If, however, you are displeased, how will you tell this family member/friend without losing their love and/or friendship. Will they be willing to maintain the website? How comfortable will you be telling them what to do and not to do?
Approach #5. Novice Website by Some Do-Gooder
- Pros - Again you will be saving money. This may be a novice who has just completed a course and wants to create your website for his or her “portfolio. " Or, it may be someone who is starting out and charging much less than the going rate. Or someone who feels that everyone should have a website (YES!), so will help you achieve that goal.
- Cons - Oftentimes, even though the novice means well, they just don't have enough experience with the wiles of the web. In addition, if it is someone you know well, how are you going to tell him or her that the site really looks and navigates like a novice put it together?
Approach #6. Professional Website by a Professional Designer
- Pros - You are paying for a professional website, so you can make sure that you get a professional website. Before hiring the designer, check out his or her prior work, ask questions and get all of the concerns answered up front. You will have a signed contract to guarantee that everything goes as expected. You will experience the fun and credibility that come with a website you are proud of.
- Cons - For a top professional designer, you will need to spend some money. Plan to set aside somewhere between $1,000 and $3,000 depending upon the size and complexity of the site. How many pages? Do you want a shopping cart? Interactive forms?
Chris King is a professional website creator / designer, storyteller, writer, free agent, and fitness instructor. You will find her business website at http://www.creativekeys.biz where you can sign up for her monthly Internet Tips E-zine. In addition visit Chris’ information website at http://www.creativekeys.net and her blog at http://www.curiositycubed.blogspot.com