If you are setting up a new business, one of the first things that you will need to consider-and one of your potentially largest expenses-is setting up a website.
Web space is critically important for those who are selling products, particularly if these products can be sold online. You have the potential to reach thousands of customers if you have a great site and products or services that relate to many.
Even those with a brick and mortar business can benefit from a good site, offering information, directions and newsletters, which are a great tool for bringing business back on a regular basis (I’ll touch on the excellent benefits of a great newsletter in a future post).
Oftentimes my clients are interested in having a site set up that they can make changes to, whether they want to update pictures, alter content on a regular basis, or take over some of the administrative tasks. Lately, the proliferation of blog formats has made web designing a great area in which to do this.
Blog platforms such as wordpress can be used by business owners interested in doing their own updates. By hiring a web designer who can create a custom template for your company, you can get a site that looks like a professional business site (meaning one that does not resemble your typical blog) with the added bonus of being able to easily go into and change content on a regular basis.
The main control panels are easy to use, even if you do not have a ton of computer experience. In addition, your designer can create a template that allows you to not only change content on one part of a web page but on several, so you can actually have the site set up the way that you want it set up.
The beauty of these programs is that they are free! You still have to pay for hosting and the domain name as you would with any web site, and of course you will need to pay a designer to customize a theme or to create a unique theme (which I would suggest, based on what you want your site to resemble), but the use of the structure is free. So once the site has been set up and dropped into a CMS you can use the features of the program for free.
This means that the site will cost you the same that it would cost you were you going for a ‘regular’ website-which can start around $500 and move upward depending upon what you are looking for-but once the site is complete you will have ultimate control when it comes to modifying the content and photos. In the past, this would have been done by a designer if you were not quite computer savvy, and at $25 an hour or more this is a fee that can really add up over time.
I’m guessing that the field of web design will be moving more toward content management systems over the next few years, particularly in the business world where companies want to add new items to their sites on a regular basis. If you’re looking to have a site designed in the near future, I’d highly recommend doing some research and talking to a designer who is experienced creating websites using a content management system based system.