As a small business owner sometimes looking for the right website solution for your company can be a dizzying experience. Having a well built website is key to having a strong online presence, but with so many options it can be hard to even understand what the important choices are.
In reality there are only two solutions.
1. Have a local webmaster or web company make you a custom website to your exact specifications.
I find a little over half of my clients go with this option. With this route you’ll know exactly who you are talking to and what you’re going to get. However, these websites always take longer to create and are more expensive than the second solutions, which is –
2. Use a free or cheap national website creation/branding company to allow you to create your own website.
There are hundreds of these tools available; many even cater to specific business types. For example if you’re a veterinarian you’ve probably heard of VetStreet, or if you are a dental or medical professional you may have seen Televox and Sesame built websites.
So that sounds great right? Website companies that create solutions catered directly to your type of business. What’s the catch?
The fact is, these companies allow you to set up a site, choose a template, and… then what? Then it’s up to you. You write the content, you supply the pictures, you make the updates, you are now the webmaster. And if you want to install any third party apps or widgets, sometimes it’s doable (for a price) and sometimes you’ll be told “it isn’t supported on our infrastructure”.
There is of course something to be said for this quick and simple solution. If you are just getting your feet wet into putting your business online it’s better to have something online than nothing at all. But ultimately, our suggestion is to invest the time and money on getting yourself a custom built website. Having a flexible website crafted to deliver your specific message is much more powerful in the long term and more importantly will show your clients you’re invested in delivering a quality product.
The best part is, local web companies thrive because of their customer service. This means you’ll be able to have a single point of contact to answer all your questions. Beginning your search is easy too. Simply go to Google and search for “web design company” followed by your city and state. Good hunting!