Building a Web site is easy. Building a good Web site is hard. There's a difference between a site with a simple design and one with a cheap design . . . and if you're here on Company.com, you've probably been around the Internet long enough to tell the difference.
A bad Web site sends a terrible signal about your business. A cheap, cluttered Web site with misspellings or display errors can harm the appearance of legitimacy of your business. Because it's easy to just throw a site online, a bad site can make a business look like a fly-by-night operation and drive customers to the competition.
The first question to answer: what do you want your Web site to do for you? Ask yourself if the site will simply be a brochure for your services – the online equivalent of a sign in the window of your store. Will you need to update the site frequently? Will you be hosting a social media conversation online with chat boards and connections to Facebook, Twitter or MySpace? Do you plan to sell your products or services online? Understanding your site's purpose before designing your site will help you handle planning.
You'll need a domain name and a hosting contract. The domain name is your Web site address, like Company.com. Domain names registrars like GoDaddy.com and Register.com charge $10 or less per year for the service. Your Web site will usually run on servers operated by a Web site hosting company, at least at first. Hosting companies charge $10 a month or less to make your site available.
Most hosting services offer some Web design help, either with free templates or Web design software. If all you need is a dead-simple Web site posting your contact information, background and services, these tools should probably get you through. But if you want your Web site to be a competitive advantage for your business, you probably need a professional designer. A simple design might cost $600, if you supply all the graphics and text. Expect to pay at least $1500 for anything good that's more complicated than a blog. We can help with that.