So you want to have a website for your business. This is just the right thing to do because having an online presence can help grow your business tremendously. Not to say that in order to use all the free and pay online marketing tools available today, you will benefit from having a website.
What are the options for creating a website?
Do it yourself
In today’s market there are options available that make it really easy for you to build your own website. Depending on what you need and the complexity of your business website, this might be a good option for you.
If you want to build an ecommerce website, or a complex site with a lot of functionality or you can’t find any already built template that can suit your needs, most likely you are going to need to hire an expert.
If you think your site will be simple to do, you’ve seen templates on the web that you like and you are up for the challenge, we show you some good options at the bottom of this post.
Hire an expert
In many cases you just don’t want to invest the time needed in building your own website or you just need too many customizations, functionality, shopping cart implementation… This could make it a big challenge for yourself.
In these situations hiring an expert might be the only choice. But who do you hire? We’ve heard about graphic designers, web designers, web developers, web programmers, design agencies… The hole thing can get very confusing.
What about the cost? How much should you invest on building your website? If you google on this topic, numbers are all over the place, from free to thousands.
Let’s try to break it down so we are in a better position to understand what exactly we need.
Defining your site’s needs and structure
Before we can start talking about who do you need to hire to build your website, it’s important to have a clear structure and business plan in mind. Ask yourself these questions and write them down:
- Who is my target audience?
- What is the look and feel I want my business site to have?
- What do I want to achieve with my website?
- Do I want to sell products or services?
- Do I want to be able to manage my website once is finished?
- What pages do I need to have?
- What functionality my site needs to have? Do I need a contact form? Users interactions? Ability for users to search features?
- How do I want to handle the SEO of my site?
- What online payment methods do I need to offer?
- What will be the domain name for my website?
- Where do I host my site?
You do not need to have answers for all of these questions right away, but is something that will make the process of building your website a lot easier.
DIY Easy Website Builders
We put together some options to build your business website on your own. All of these options are easy to use, get’s you up and running in no time and hosting and domain names are already provided. Since there is a lot to cover here, we have put a list of pros and cons for each one of these in another article: Best Website Builders of 2017. Price, Pros and Cons.
Strikingly: Prices go from $0 to $16 /month
Wix: Prices go from $5 /month to $25 /month
Squarespace: Prices go from $12 /month to $40 /month
WordPress.com: Prices go from $0 to $24.92 /month
Weebly: Prices go from $0 to $49 /month
Who to hire to build a website?
Let’s consider two options here. You can hire an Agency or a Freelancer to build your website.
In short a website will require two different works – design and development.
Web Designer, Web Developer or Web Programmer?
When considering a freelancer, it can get confusing when we don’t understand the different job titles. Here is a background for you:
Web Designers: Can design your website. They will draw the pages layout, add colors, branding elements and images. A good web designer will have good knowledge of User Interface (UI) and User Experience (UX) and can apply these concepts to the design. Some web designers will have basic understanding of the code (html and css).
Web Developers: They can take a design and implement through code into the site. They are website builders. Web developers can also add functionality to the site, contact forms and front end visual interactions. A good web developer will have both – sense of design (UI/UX) and programming knowledge. Most developers will be able to create the design and build your website.
Web Programmers: They can add robust functionality to the website and complex user interactions, especially server side or database driven. They can build a website from scratch and also take a design made by a designer but they usually don’t have a sense for design aesthetics or UI/UX concepts.
Depending on the complexity of your website you might need to use one or more freelancers, but most if not all of the work can be usually done by a Web Developer.
Marketing – Design Agencies
Let’s talk a little bit about using the other options – an Agency. There are advantages and disadvantages when using an Agency to do the work.
- They provide everything you need to build your website, designers, developers, programmers and sometimes, they also provide other services, marketing, SEO, social network…
- Once you find the right Agency, you are done, searching.
- Cost can go through the roof.
- Communication gets more complicated and most of the time, there is no direct communication with the designer or developer.
- The whole process will take longer
When choosing a Freelancer or an Agency to build your website, consider the complexity and amount of people you will need to build it. If you have a good amount of budget and you are going to need a lot of people to build your website, an Agency is probably a good option. If you just need a web developer and have a small budget, finding a Freelancer should work just fine.
How much does it cost to build a website?
This section will probably require another full article. There is no standard prices at all and prices vary depending on who and what is needed to build your website. Obviously, the most affordable solution will be the DIY options mentioned above. Building a good, quality and professional site is not easy and it requires a lot experience, knowledge and time. Keep this in mind and don’t trust prices that are too low.
Let’s try to break down the cost for type and complexity of the website you are trying to build.
Hourly cost for a web designer/web developer range from $40 to $150 or more. Depending on the size and complexity of your website it could take from 80 hours to 320 hours, based on this prices can vary from $3,200 to over $50.000.
To this cost you will need to add other associated costs like: host, domain name, ssl and any premium templates, images and tools that you would like to use.