There are lots of tools out there for you do to just that and they may even be free. But, before you spend countless hours “designing” your website, think about the following challenges you may face. You may even find that hiring a professional is the best road to take, saving you time, money…and your sanity.

Challenge #1—Free means limited

What do I mean by limited? Think of the old saying, “You get what you pay for.” Well, the same is true for website building. Those “free” tools out there that claim to get you the website that will drive your business are very limiting in the features they offer.

For example, you may be limited to just a few pages with words and images, or brochure-ware as we like to call that.  You may find that the ability to actually interact with clients through “subscribe” buttons or “contact us” or any other option, may either require more experience or purchasing additional add-ons for the platform you’re using.

Challenge #2—All those add-ons

Some of the online website creation tools actually require you to upgrade to paid memberships in order to include more functionality, or claim your URL or even use email with your domain name. This requirement or opportunity may not have been obvious to you until you began creating your website.  If all you need is a landing page, then those add-ons may not be what you need!

Challenge #3—Not all of us are designers

Most of these website creation tools do allow for ability to create pages using templates with images and specifically located text.  However, beyond that, you run the risk of lacking creativity on your site, unless you’re a designer that knows how to manipulate the features and structure of the website.

So what does all of this mean?  If you’re looking to create an engaging website that will get you and your business noticed and create sales, be sure to take the time up front to investigate the best option. Be sure to talk to a professional before deciding to go down the road of those supposedly “free” website builder tools. And, bottom line, your website is often times your first impression with many of your prospective customers.  It’s definitely worth the time to do your homework before you invest your time and money.

Case in Point

Jennifer Dodge, owner, Say It Better, began her business with a website she built using an online website builder.  Because the basic features included in the free set-up weren’t enough for her, Jennifer upgraded to a premium membership that included the domain, a mailbox and additional features such as the ability to subscribe to a newsletter.

After several frustrating attempts to create an aesthetically compelling site, Jennifer ended up bringing in a graphic designer to “fix” the website as it was to make it more appealing to visitors. Now, after just two years, she’s actually having the website rebuilt, by a professional website designer, in the manner in which she wanted it originally.

“Granted, I was in a hurry to get my site up,” says Jennifer. “But the result of going the road without any knowledge actually resulted in a website that no one visited initially.”