I`m trying to determine whether I should hire someone to build my website or just use the site builder tools offered by sites like Go Daddy and Yahoo. I`ve been working on a web page between my studies, personal life, and preparation for relocation. However, I`m wondering if the special touches a designer can add
would be better.
What do you guys suggest?
Hiring a designer, or much more importantly, a technical person to upgrade and customize your site certainly carries advantages but hides problems of its own. Here are some simple rules of thumb:
1) Always ask for a portfolio of sites they`ve made. Contact their previous clients for a detailed reference. The designer you`re talking to may have only played a minor part in a site in their portfolio and you`d never know. If they don`t provide a portfolio or references, be wary.
2) To customize and design a small site should cost no more than $1000. The only justification for a higher price is either ongoing support or a high degree of expertise that they are willing to lend you on a continual basis.
3) Make sure you know exactly what your designer is doing and keep in close contact. Knowing the technical details means you won`t have to pay another $500 to access a website file on your own website. It`s important to work with your designer although you don`t want to crowd them.
4) Know the technical expertise of who you`re hiring. A designer can just be someone who creates graphics while a more technical webmaster will help upgrade your site with features that drive real revenue. There`s no shame in having a template if your site runs fine and is easy to use. It`s always better to hire someone with technical expertise who can help install add-ons to your site as well as troubleshoot problems with your host.
5) If you`re willing to manage your webspace yourself, I recommend shopping around for a cheaper host than GoDaddy or Yahoo. Doing so however, will mean less support from your host (although I`m not sure how good GoDaddy or Yahoo`s support is) and more autonomy on your part. Learning basic webspace administration isn`t too hard but it leaves little margin for error.
"Forget inspirational quotes to keep you going. If by doing what you do, you get an hour every day to relax, be with the ones you love in comfort without doing wrong, then it is all worth it." -Anon.