It is a well-known fact that a successful business depends greatly on how it is marketed. With an ever increasing dependence on the web, the use of a professional website is not only a necessity, but a priority. Although it is a common thought that only large businesses can have top-notch websites, with the tools available today, what seemed impractical, can now be a reality. Best of all, designing an extraordinary website can be done, without hiring expensive web developers to create your site from scratch. Usually the first comment I get from my customers is, “I have the idea, but not the tools.” In this article, I will recommend which tools are the most helpful, and where to find these tools, so that you too can have an amazing website.
So you say, “I have the idea, but not the tools. What are these tools, and where do I get them?” Let me answer that question with a question. Have you ever heard of web site templates? If not, they’re your answer to a professional website, at a very reasonable price, usually around R420.00 to R600.00. A website template is a ready-made website design, created for you to use as the foundation for quick and high-quality web development. There are thousands of templates available online, so you are virtually guaranteed to find something that suits your design, and format needs. It can be as easy as simply adding your text to the template, or rearranging photos along with your text, to produce the outcome you have been searching for.
Finding web site templates is easy, but be aware of the differences in template providers you will come across. Performing a Google or Yahoo search with the phrase “web site templates” will yield several vendor choices and not all of them offer the quality you demand. They all promise the best templates around, but that is obviously not the case. So, how do you find the right template vendor? First, visit some of the sites you come across and examine their templates. You will know you are on the right track if you answer “Yes” to the question, “Am I impressed with these templates?” Always trust your taste.
Next, explore how many templates the vendor offers and how often their database is updated. As a rule of thumb, the more they have the better they are. This helps assure you that your choice will be more unique than otherwise. If you choose a template from a vendor who only offers a few select quality templates then the chances are that a great deal of other customers have chosen that same template. You certainly don’t want a website that is practically identical to dozens of others online. You will also want a vendor who updates their site on a regular basis. Weekly updates are good, but daily updates are even better. This guarantees that they will have fresh templates on a regular basis for you to choose from.
Finally, you want to make sure that your template is editable. This means that your template will come with the appropriate files (PSD, HTML, SWF, and FLA) that will allow you to make the necessary changes to your template. Ask you vendor before making your selection. Most templates come with these files, but it is better to be safe than sorry. You should be able to download your selection immediately or your vendor will provide a link to do so.
Great! Now you have a really impressive template and can’t wait to make the changes that will get you a completed website that blows away your competition. Well, you’re halfway there. You have one more important choice to make. Who will do the editing? You will either have someone internally run with the project or you can hire someone and outsource the job. If you decide to handle things internally make sure you have the necessary software to edit your files and someone who is somewhat familiar with how to do the editing. This is what your template vendor probably didn’t tell you. Certainly it isn’t as easy as purchasing a template and plugging in text. If it were then there wouldn’t be a market for web design and development companies. If you’re confident about handling it yourself then great, but be careful. You might find yourself investing a lot of time and money trying to get your desired results.
Your alternate choice, hiring a development firm, will almost certainly get your site looking and functioning the way you want it, but for a fee, of course. It is easy to find a development firm to handle your needs and you can find several online. Simply search with the key phrase “web site design”. Call, or email a few of them, explaining your situation and needs, and ask for a quote to perform the editing for you. Depending on the amount of editing you will require, you should receive price quotes in the R4000.00 - R15 000.00 range. This is a very reasonable price to pay for a professional website design. Most likely, you will be glad you did.