We can all agree that every business, regardless of size, should have a website. That’s simply how the modern business world works. The question is: should your small business (SMB) spend thousands on a professional website when you could make one yourself?   A host of companies are advertising their product/service everywhere, from Hulu commercials to ads during the Super Bowl. And there’s always your nephew who is taking that web design course online, right?

Without sounding inflexible, not getting a professional website is a mistake 99 times out of 100 (and maybe more often). Here are a few reasons:

  • There’s no such thing as a free website – Even making your own site will cost you a good deal of time and money. Services that help you create a site always have monthly or annually fees for everything from domain hosting to personalized email and stock images for your site. Making your own site can cost hundreds of dollars per year, and that’s in addition to the cost in time to create content.
  • First impressions are huge in business – When someone finds your website, he or she will instantly pass judgment on your company based on what is seen. Are you sure you want that perception to be based on an amateur site?
  • Who will perform site maintenance? – Keeping up a site takes much more time than just the initial setup.

When You Decide on a Professional Website

Once you decide to get your site professionally done, consider these things:

  • Budget – How much can you afford to spend? Remember, a site will cost you hundreds a year to do yourself, so don’t set your budget at $500 and think you can get what you want.
  • Audience – Who are your customers? The type of company you run, and the people who use your service or buy your products will determine what your website needs to include.
  • Goals – What is the purpose of your site? “We need one,” isn’t an answer. Are you going to sell products online? Are you collecting leads? Do you want to become an authority site?

Unless your business is a professional web design company, going DIY with your website is probably a bad idea. Even if you are a web designer, sometimes a brand needs a fresh set of eyes and ideas.