According to “Entrepreneur” magazine, every business – regardless of its shape, size or the products and services it sells – needs to have a website. But if you’re less than tech savvy, how do you start the process of building your own website? Luckily, there are four or five different avenues that you can take when building your own website. From hiring a web design firm to take care of the process for you to going it alone, you can get a website up and searchable on the Internet in a matter of days. Don’t be intimidated by all of the high-tech jargon and programming worries. Match your skill level to a builder and you’re on your way to website mecca.
If you’re a complete beginner when it comes to web applications and the Internet, it’s best to use a website builder service. Google has a comprehensive web building and hosting service that allows you to choose a domain name and use templates to basically create your website using fields that Google has preselected. It’ll take a few minutes to enter in your company information and choose the overall look and design of your site, but it’s simple and it generates a professional-looking website with nearly zero web design experience – a complete savior if you don’t want it to look like your preteen son did the design work.
If you’re a little more experience with the Web and you have a small amount of HTML experience, you can create your own site and domain using a template service. Templates are basically websites that have been designed from start to finish without any indentifying factors, such as content, titling and pictures. You can download the template and open it in a design suite like InDesign, where you can them manipulate the website to make it more personal for your business. It’ll take more time than a stock site, but you can really get a more professional look that way. After you’ve changed the code to reflect your own company, you can then purchase both a domain name and hosting through any number of service. You’ll then use a tool to upload the HTML from your design suite into the hosting service to go live.
For the most personalized site, you’ll need some serious web design skills. Starting from scratch requires major HTML and coding knowledge, especially if you want special features like Flash. Of course, if you or a partner has the skills, you can use InDesign to start a blank template and then code away for your dream website. You can also hire a designer to take care of this process for you, but be prepared to pay up for the services.