Not sure what's involved in getting a web site started? Well, there are really only three ways to go about it. In this article, I'll provide an objective review of strengths and weaknesses of each approach.
(a) The DIY solution: Create and maintain your web site yourself by using software such as Microsoft FrontPage or by writing HTML directly.
(b) The half-n-half solution: Have an external party create web site. You then do regular updating of site yourself.
(c) The full outsourcing solution: Have an external party create and update site.
(a) THE DIY SOLUTION
ADVANTAGES * This is cheapest solution. You don't need to pay any fees to consultants. * If you enjoy being creative this could be an enjoyable and rewarding activity. * You'll have complete control over your web site's "look and feel." * There's no chance of a consultant handing you a site that isn't what you wanted.
DISADVANTAGES * DIY sites often look amateurish. This can turn away customers. * DIY sites often have poor navigation controls. In a well-designed site, user should be able to find what they want in seconds. Achieving this is not as easy as it sounds. * You'll need to obtain some suitable software and then spend time learning how to use it -- perhaps a lot of time. * You will need to learn arcane secrets of effective META tags, JPEG compression, browser compatibility, FTP clients, loading speed and more if you want site to perform well.
SKILLS NEEDED * Patience: This will all take time. * Good PC skills; e.g. a familiarity with both text and graphics applications. * Technical skills or willingness to acquire them. * Graphic design and page-layout skills.
(b) THE HALF-N-HALF SOLUTION
ADVANTAGES * You'll need far less technical knowledge. * The graphic design, page layout and navigation elements of site will all be done for you thus avoiding many of pitfalls that strike amateur designs. * A consultant will probably produce site faster than you can. * If you have skills (and desire) to update site yourself, this may be best trade-off between price, speed and professionality.