If you need to know how to design a web site, your options can be daunting. These options include building your own website with an option such as WordPress or Drupal, using a website template system such as Squarespace or hire a web design firm like Rocket Sled Design and Marketing to build it for you. Each path has its own advantages and disadvantages.
If you are someone who is not easily frustrated, spends a lot of time in front of the computer and likes learning new things, the do it yourself web design option may work well. You have a lot of ways to build a web site including learning HTML, using a framework suc
h as Bootstrap, buying an editor like Adobe Dreamweaver or choosing a content management system (CMS) like WordPress, Drupal and Ghost. These CMS platforms are great for DIY web design. Each uses a web content management system that allows the user to customize the look and feel of the w
ebsite, add content, manage hosting and more. The advantages of these pl
atforms on the surface is cost. Many of the popular CMS platforms are open source which means they are free to download and set up on your own web server. Although you can choose numerous free themes and plugins, many have paid upgrade options that are not. This can get expensive. You will also be responsible for setting up your own web site hosting, managing your domain and email options. These platforms are more options than you can imagine, so the learning curve can be steep. Be prepared to invest significant amount of time if you want more than a basic web presence.
Sites like Squarespace allow you to build a website online. They typically charge a monthly fee that varies depending on your website needs. These websites use ready made templates that you simply populate with your own information and graphics. The advantage of sites like Squarespace and Wix is they are simple and fast to set up. The disadvantage of that like everything else, there is a learning curve and customization can be a problem. I If you are ok with a cookie cutter approach, this may be what you are looking for. I’ve talked to several clients who built their own website quickly with these tools only to be frustrated later when they tried to customize or improve their site.
It sounds simple enough. You simply perform a Google search for web designer and pick whoever comes up first. Actually that’s probably not the best way to pick a web designer. First and foremost, choose a designer or firm that you are comfortable working with. Can they do what you need them to do? Are they patient with your questions? You don’t necessarily need the firm who has worked with the largest clients. You just need someone who is good at building your site, understands search engine optiization and is willing to help your business or organization meet their goals.When you hire a web designer or agency to do your website, check out their reviews on Google and social media. Many can give you the best of both worlds by customizing Wix or Squarespace sites for you or building a WordPress site that you can help manage. The disadvantage and advantage of hiring someone to build your website might be cost. Your probably going to pay more up front for a web designer. But remember, if you are spending every evening and weekend trying to learn how to make simple changes to your site, this may not be a disadvantage. Also, if you use one of the web building sites, your website could cost up to $450 per yer or more. That’s $4,500 over ten years.