There are several things you will need to consider before making a decision whether to employ a Web designer or do-it-yourself.

Q: MUST I build and keep maintaining my business’s Internet site myself or pay another person to do the task for me personally?

A: When you say “pay another person to accomplish the work” for you personally, I will assume that you will be talking about hiring a specialist Site designer to do the task rather than your next-door neighbor’s teenage son. If my assumption is correct, then continue reading. If not, go on and flip to the comics section. You’ll get no good from the advice I’m going to give, so you may aswell consult Dilbert for your hot business tips.

In the event you build and keep maintaining your business Internet site yourself or pay you to definitely do it for you personally? Let me reply to your question with several my own. Number 1: Is building and maintaining Internet sites the main element focus of your business? Number 2: Could your time and effort be better spent doing more considerations like, oh I have no idea, running your business? If your answers were no and yes, respectively, you then haven’t any business building and maintaining an internet site.

Remember this: Every minute you may spend on tasks that aren’t related to the main element focus of your business is time spent to the detriment of your business. Put simply, every minute you may spend concentrating on tasks that usually do not donate to the growth of your business and thereby boost your important thing is time wasted.

If you need to become a Web designer, be considered a Web designer. However, if the main element focus of your business is building widgets, it generally does not have a rocket scientist to determine that your time will be better spent building widgets, not Internet sites.

Just to illustrate: I once had an extremely wealthy dentist ask easily could teach him how exactly to maintain his Internet site so he wouldn’t need to pay me to accomplish it. Now my teeth had helped put this guy’s kids through college, but that didn’t appear to matter. At that time he was more worried about spending for changes to his Site than my own oral hygiene. “Sure,” I said, “I’m going to be glad to instruct you how exactly to update your Site, just once you teach me how exactly to clean my very own teeth so I need not pay you to accomplish it.” He got the idea. And he charged me enough for the cleaning to keep his site updated for months. Smart man.

Many companies think they can not afford a professionally designed Site, and that simply isn’t true. As the old adage “You get everything you pay for” is never more true than when put on Site design, having a specialist Web designer do the task for you personally is money well spent. A well-designed Site may bring you a many-fold roi. You can’t say that about way too many other collaterals.

Although it is most beneficial to leave Site design and maintenance to professionals, it is your decision (or someone considered a topic matter expert inside your company) to supply the designer with this content (text and photographs) that best conveys your company’s message to your visitors. A Web site, regardless of how well-designed, is meaningless if it lacks this content necessary to interest customers in the merchandise you sell or the services you provide.

Below are a few questions that, once answered, can help make sure that your Web site’s message is really as appealing as its design. Review these points with the designer prior to the design process begins, as the answers can help determine the direction your Web site’s design should take.

What’s the objective of your Site? Most business Sites have two purposes: (1) to teach the buyer and (2) to market them services or products. In the event that you sell shoes, for instance, the objective of your Site is to teach potential customers on the product quality and durability of your shoes and, due to this fact, to market them shoes. In the event that you paint houses, the objective of your Site is to teach homeowners on why your services are more advanced than other painters and sell them on hiring you to paint their residence. By defining the objective of your Internet site, you gives the designer the info required to create an internet site that best conveys that purpose to your market.

Who’s my market? Your market includes those folks you need to attract to your Internet site: potential and current customers, future and current employees, possible investors and so forth. Anyone who may be thinking about your company and its own services or products is an associate of your market. Correctly identifying your market is vital, as your Internet site ought to be designed specifically to appeal to your market.

Put yourself within their shoes (or before their computers). Imagine your Site through their eyes. In the event that you were visiting an internet site such as for example yours, what would you anticipate to find and what would you be disappointed never to find? Identify your market, then have your Site made to fulfill their needs and surpass their expectations.

What content should my Site feature? Your Site content ought to be driven by the type of your business. If you are an agent, your website should feature photographs of homes you have on the market and information on investing a home. In the event that you own a car body shop, your website might feature before and after photographs of cars which you have repaired. Be sure you determine the objective of your website, then develop this content to serve that purpose.

What’s my competition doing? The last question you should ask is among the most important: What’s your competition doing on the internet? Do a Google seek out similar businesses and click around their Internet sites. How are their Internet sites designed? What message are they trying to mention? Are they performing a good job of conveying that message and, consequently, selling products? What do you prefer about their Internet sites? What not like? Make note of the items you like and the items you hate, then share your findings together with your site designer.

Remember, you are not stealing trade secrets here. You’re just borrowing ideas.

Tim W. Knox may be the founder, president and CEO of four successful technology companies: B2Secure Inc., a Web-based hiring management software company; Digital Graphiti Inc., a software development company; and Sidebar Systems, a company that creates cutting-edge convergence software for broadcast media outlets; and Online Profits 4U, an e-business focused on helping online entrepreneurs start and prosper from an online, wholesale or drop-ship business.

The opinions expressed in this column are those of the writer, not of All email address details are designed to be general in nature, without regard to specific geographical areas or circumstances, and really should only be relied upon after consulting a proper expert, such as a lawyer or accountant.

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