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Website Design Considerations
Q: Should I build and maintain my business Web site myself or pay someone else to do the work for me?
-- Wesley L.
A: When you say, pay someone else to do the work for you, Wesley, I am going to assume that you are talking about hiring a professional Web site designer to do the work and not your next-door neighbor's teenage son. If my assumption is correct, then read on. If not, go ahead and surf on over to Dilbert.com. You will get no good out of the advice I'm about to give, so you might as well consult Dilbert for your hot business tips.
Should you build and maintain your business Web site yourself or pay someone to do it for you? Let me answer your question with a couple of my own. Number one: is building and maintaining Web sites the key focus of your business? Number two: could your time be better spent doing more important things like, oh I don't know, say running your business? If your answers were no and yes, respectively, then you have no business building and maintain a Web site.
Remember this: every minute you spend on tasks that are not related to the key focus of your business is time spent to the detriment of your business. In other words, every minute you spend focusing on tasks that do not contribute to the growth of your business and thereby increase your bottom line is time wasted.
If you want to be a web designer, be a web designer. However, if the key focus of your business is building widgets, it doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out that your time would be better spent building widgets, not Web sites.
Case in point: I once had a very wealthy dentist ask if I could teach him how to maintain his Web site so he wouldn't have to pay me to do it. Now my teeth had helped put this guy's kids through college, but that didn't seem to matter. At that moment he was more concerned about having to pay for changes to his Web site than my personal oral hygiene. Sure, I said, I'll be glad to teach you how to update your Web site, just as soon as you teach me how to clean my own teeth so I don't have to pay you to do it. He got the point. And he charged me enough for the cleaning to keep his site updated for months. Smart man.
Many business owners think they can't afford a professionally designed Web site and that simply is not true. While the old adage, "you get what you pay for" is never more true than when applied to Web site design, having a professional web designer do the work for you is money well spent. A well-designed Web site can bring you a many-fold return on your investment. You can't say that about too many other collaterals. While it is best to leave Web site design and maintenance to the experts, it is up to you (or someone considered a subject matter expert within our company) to provide the designer with the content (text and photographs) that best conveys your company's message to your customers. A Web site, no matter how well designed, is meaningless if it lacks the content required to interest customers in the products you sell or services you provide.
Here's are a few questions that, once answered, will help ensure that your Web site's message is as appealing as its design. Go over these points with the designer before the design process begins as the answers will help determine the direction your Web site's design should take.
What Is The Purpose Of Your Web Site? Most business Web sites have two purposes: (1) to educate the consumer and, (2) to sell them products or services. If you sell shoes, for example, the purpose of your Web site is to educa
About the Author: Tim Knox
Entrepreneur, Author, Speaker
Tim Knox is a nationally-known small business expert who writes and speaks frequently on the topic.
For more information or to contact Tim please visit one of his sites below.