Having a professional website that represents your organization and your brand is something that any serious business or ministry needs to have to effectively communicate their message. If you still need convincing of this, read our article on why creating a professional website is so important.
There is more than one way to tie a fishing knot and there are thousands of options for creating a website. Here is a little bit of advice to put some wind in your sails and help you navigate the online sea of website designers and DIY website creation tools.
1. Hire a Website Design Company
Getting a website designed, built, and communicating your message effectively is no simple task. People go to school for years to learn how to do it right. That’s why our first recommendation is to hire a professional.
- Hiring a professional will help you cover all aspects of the website creation process.Creating a website is a question of branding, design, communication strategy, information architecture, user experience, and technical expertise.
- A professional web designer will help you look professional and help you gain credibility in your market.
- You can focus on what you are good at while your website is created in a timely manner.
- Hiring a professional web designer generally takes the most financial investment (up front), but if you hire the right vendor, you should get a much greater return on that investment. Expect to pay between $3,500 to $10,000 for a branded small business website.
- There are a lot of web design companies out there that do not deliver a quality product. Finding the right vendor is key to success with this option.
If you feel that hiring a professional web designer is the best option for you, we recommend hiring a professional web design company like Holds Worth Design. They are the Christian company that designed and developed the Fisher’s Network from scratch and we think it turned out pretty good.
If you don’t have the capital to invest in a professionally designed site, sometimes the DIY approach can get you up and running with a respectable presence.
- Inexpensive: You can probably spend as little as $8/month to get a website with your own domain name.
- DIY web builders only help you overcome the technical and some aspects of the design challenges related to getting something online. That said, you do have to be fairly technically proficient to get through the process.
- Depending on your service provider, you will still need to coordinate registering a domain name and pointing it where it needs to go as well as the actual building of the site.
- While there are some great looking templates for most good web builders, molding those templates to your branding can be a bit tricky especially if you’re not the artistic type.
- You should expect to invest 40-100 hrs of time get a decent site configured through this process. Even when you get a website professionally built, it can be a pretty involved process working with your designer/developer. When you do it yourself, you will need to figure everything out. This includes your page structures, the actual content, the hierarchy of your messaging, the imagery, how to get the template to compliment your brand, and so on.
Like website designers, there are hundreds of DIY website builders to choose from. After testing some website builders ourselves we found these two options to provide the most cost effective and user friendly solutions:
- Very customizable
- Hundreds of website templates to choose from to help you match your branding
- Very easy to use
- Set up a personal website with your Linkedin profile in minutes and customize it overtime.
Having a strong online presence is a very important to the success of many organizations today. If you can make more money spending time doing the work you are good at, focus on your work and hire a professional to design and build your site. In the end they will produce a much more robust and professional looking website that you can then use to impress and gain traction with your audience. However, if you have a considerable amount of time but not a lot of money, website builders like the ones mentioned above may be your best option.