There is no getting around the need for an online presence. In fact, some businesses are foregoing the brick and mortar because the Internet provides fewer overheads and more reach, depending on the market and niche. An online presence covers several platforms with a host of social media options, but the one that never fades with popularity is a website where you own the domain and the site.

For entrepreneurs and smaller companies the first question is often: “What’s the bottom line cost?” It’s not quite that easy. If you’ll give just a few minutes to read this blog, you’ll have a better idea at deciding what’s best for you.

There are three main elements that go into building a website: design, content development & management and site development. 

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Design

Let’s start with the design. As a branding expert I look at the client’s company identity, their story, what makes them unique and stand out from their competitors. I consider their clientele, the market and niche. I want to understand how their world works and what makes them successful. Part of this is also understanding their competitors, what they do, how they do it and what has worked for the. This is set against a backdrop of years of education and experience in rightly understanding the current trend, what makes design successful in how and what it communicates, and how their demographics engage with it. The choice in colors and fonts, the way photos are edited, the voice of the content and how demographics respond to it make a difference in good design and cheap design. This directly connects with the content development.

Content Development & Management

On smaller jobs content development is the client’s responsibility. This can be a huge benefit for clients who have professional photography experience, skilled writing abilities, and an administrative aptitude. It’s juggling many moving parts and forming content into appropriate dimensions of length of text, as well as the appropriate visual content for illustrative and photographic brilliance.

However, for those who do not hold this skill set having a project manager on the team is vital. Depending on the need and the goals, additional support in copy writing and editing, and in the visual content—photography, illustration, infographics development, and so forth—are brought on board.

For an example of how critical this part of website development is allow me to share a brief story. One of our clients was an advanced software company. They blew their competitors out of the market, but their brand identity didn’t match their value and depth of expertise. New clients would not know from appearances just how great they were. Their website content and design was developed by the founder, a brilliant technology guru. He knew the depth of detail and capacity like nobodies business. The problem with their website was it didn’t appeal to their clients. It was an overload of details, tech lingo, and design that wasn’t current. Rather than a friendly handshake and smile on the first introduction to their blue collar, down-to-earth clientele it was like an intimate life story on the first date. Helping them find their voice in content, design and brand was an amazing experience of journeying with them into a discovery of a new professional identity. We still receive thanks for the impact it’s had for them in business.

Development

Often the most misunderstood part of the process; the development (programming) is what makes it. With the vast array of technology—desktop, laptops, smart phones, a load of platforms and browsers—it’s not as easy as drag and drop. It takes skill and expertise to make responsive sites that any piece of technology will be able to rightly see and engage. There is a process of debugging and problem solving that is essential to making it all work.

I’m grateful to have the most amazing programmers in my corner who know the ins and outs of technology and can fix just about anything. From web hosting, to development, programming, problem solving, email set up, video/audio libraries, e-commerce platforms, and ongoing maintenance these guys and gals are the unseen heroes of the online world. I personally choose to live with their expertise to make things great. It saves me a wealth of time, stress and frustration.

Understanding What’s Right For You

If monetary cost is your bottom line and the other investments of technical training, design skill and time are not a hurdle for you, the best option for you is to use a self-building site like Wix. You will have complete control and responsibility to create your own content, edit your photos, to troubleshooting the technical side, to write and proofread your text, and to capture the ‘voice’ you’re looking to project to your clients through your content development. These sites have predesigned templates you’ll train yourself on how to use and edit yourself. Keep in mind they have limitations.

However, if your time is too valuable for the investments of self producing a website, or you lack the skill and aptitude, there are two options we can provide for you:

Custom Built with a Pre-Designed Template

This is the most economical way to build a website for entrepreneurs and smaller businesses that want to keep the budget reasonable while getting the full range of support needed. Costs will vary based on what’s needed, but the starting rate is typically around $1,500.

Our designer team purchases a pre-built template with their expertise in matching functional need with beauty of good design. Next, they provide the customization of headers, logo locations, layout sections, and other design details, which are coordination with content development. This option also provides options for shopping carts, video libraries, contact forms, email subscription pop ups, blogs, email set ups and a plethora of other possibilities. Finally, our tech heroes develop the site, test it, and get you live. We can even provide ongoing maintenance and problem solving.

Custom Built Website Design

A custom built site leans heavily on targeted design and user-experience functionality. As I like to say, it’s the dance between functional and beautiful that makes it stand out as one of a kind. For businesses have the resource to build genuine and unique online presence, it’s the way to go in developing a site that is fully you.

Our creative team provides a full range of expertise. Rates usually begin upward of $5,000 for a custom site, which is well worth the investment if you are a company looking to break into the next level of professionalism and branding.

How Can We Help Make You Great?

Now that you have the scope of what it takes to build a website, and perhaps a better idea of what you need, would you allow us the opportunity to talk with you about your needs? Just click on the contact us page and send us a note.