All businesses look at cost as a part of the consideration when looking at any form of advertising or expansion. When it comes to websites, some small businesses will consider using the desktop publishing software that came with the computer or an on-line website generator to build a DIY website for their business. In doing so they think they can save on the costs. In this article, we consider the question for the small business owner: "Is a DIY website really worth it?"

The website is often the first point of contact a potential customer has with your business - it needs to reflect the same level of professional commitment that your business offers. A bodged website gives potential clients the impression that you might not put the best into the work they are paying you to undertake!

Count the time required to build a DIY website

Building a website takes a time commitment. If you consider the time you need to take away from your business to prepare all of the text, design the layout, program the site - or lay it out on a desktop publishing program, link all of the pages, set up your site with an ISP, upload the site and so on, you are probably looking at more than a week where you are building a website and the business (or whoever is trying to build the site) is not earning anything.

The maths is actually quite simple and it nearly always works out cheaper to pay a web developer than to build your own website.

The right tools for the job

In your own business you will use specific tools that are necessary to undertake the work properly. A craftsman will have physical tools whilst a professional will have an arsenal of methodologies and software to get the job done.

A web design business will have the professional graphic tools to manipulate images to produce something unique and fast loading for your website. The web developer will have professional software development tools to effectively produce a quality website and just as a craftsman knows his way around his toolbox, the web programmer and designer knows which piece of software to use and how to get the most out of it.

Invaluable design experience and knowledge

We have all seen business websites that look as if they were designed by a bored student as a part of their GCSE coursework. As a craftsman or professional, you are all to aware of the mistakes amateurs make in fields related to your business. It is the same in the world of websites! You want your website to show you off as a professional business.

A professional web designer will be able to work with you to incorporate what you need into the website and ensure all of the little details that make the website stand out are addressed, just as you take pride that your work reflects your level of craftsmanship or professionalism.

A website is more than just the look and the sum of its parts!

A website is not just an image projected onto a computer screen, but the coming together of many background processes. The underlying computer code that generates the HTML page needs to be efficient and to meet standards so that the web page works on a range of web browsers and operating systems. You might need an underlying database to generate parts of the pages or a range of modern effects to enhance the overall site. The page should meet certain accessibility standards for users with disabilities and you will certainly want your site to be picked up by the major search engines.

At Maweb, we build websites to meet, and where possible, exceed standards. All of our websites pass through W3C verification and meet accessibility standards. Our web development is based on more than 15 years of website development and a computer programming background dating back to the 1980s, grounded on Malcolm's MSc degree in Computer programming with an internet focus. All of this is pulled together to build quality business and charity websites.

We started off by asking, "Is a DIY Website cost effective?" At Maweb we don't believe that the DIY path is a realistic or economic option for small businesses. Get in touch with us at Maweb to start the discussions on how we can produce a professional, quality website for your business at a very competitive price.