In true wild, wild web style, managing website design and development has endless possibilities. Websites can be built using do-it-yourself tools, freelance graphic artists and developers, or top-dollar agencies. There is no wrong or right way to build, design, or develop a website. However, there are steps to effectively managing website development that bridge the art and science to help ensure that the “measure twice, cut once” philosophy is intact so the site is sound, scalable, and requires minimal backtracking.
Spare yourself, your organization, your web designer, and/or your programmer any do-over work. Take responsibility for your website’s development process. Nobody cares more about your organization’s marketing and business success than the leaders and marketers within the organization. A website is a marketing tool fi rst. The following will give you tips on how to best ensure your website works.
Do It Yourself or Hire a Professional?
Many times the cheapest path is the only path. Organizations with small budgets have to start somewhere, right? For most, having any web presence is better than none at all. Do-it-yourself free or low-cost templates can be customized with copy. Many hosting providers have drag-and-drop website templates that are easy to use.
The downside of these low-cost templates is that they can look generic, which may have a negative impact on your site’s credibility. Sometimes a little more investment can make a big professional payoff. Many DIY templates are difficult to modify or add features to like web analytics or other more sophisticated options. Also, when websites are built on templates, the biggest risk is that any design work will have to be relaunched if the organization moves to another web designer or platform. But even with templates’ downsides, a quick template-based website with great content can provide invaluable information to serve and support your web marketing objectives.
Some web template companies and even some web hosting companies (like GoDaddy.com and Register.com) offer their own web designers who will customize websites for an organization. Do note that if a designer is not experienced, all the planning in the world is not going to cut it. Sometime marketers get what they pay for (or what they don’t pay for). Ask for samples of work before moving forward with any web designer, and choose wisely.