Build Your Own Website or Hire a Web Developer?
Before You Decide, read...
As a freelance web developer and small business owner myself, i heard many small business owners and startup companies make many mistakes when deciding to create a website for their small company.
We all know the old saying: "You get what you pay for". Nevertheless, many business owners (who are supposed to know better) are ready to "save money" by hiring one of those so called "marketing companies" like YP (by the way, they flood your mail box with dozens of emails every week and make unwanted calls every single day! Don't you hate that also?) that called them and offer to create a "free website" by signing up to one of their "special offers", which by the way, will tied them up for a year or two years contract, paying after the free trial, something around $100.00/month or even more, in some cases more than $400.00 a month. They will tell you that the $100.00/month is just to cover hosting and marketing costs.
But wait, that's not all! They will also charge you for every call or order you get from the website (Didn't they tell you that it was your website? and that it was free?, not such thing as free, isn't it?)
Usually this free websites, are just a couple of pages, built with XHTML and tables, (which are ancient technology) and NOT MOBILE FRIENDLY at all, which means that your website is going to look terrible on mobile devices. But we will talk about that some other time.
But, is it really $100.00/month cheap? Well, it does not look bad at all, it's just a $100.00/month and you can just get off of the deal if you don't see any calls or new leads coming in, right? NO! You usually signed a contract and are asked for a credit card number. So, it really won't be easy to get off of the deal. Some already know that by experience.
You Decided to Sign Up with One of those Marketing Companies, or Use a Website Builder and DIY.
Anyway, you decided that $100/month is not that bad.
Some prior clients of GDProwebdesigns.com realized after a year or two, that their really free website had cost them more than what a PROFESSIONAL WEB DEVELOPER would have charged them for a custom website design and development. And it's usually true if you decide to hire a freelance web developer to create your website for your company. This won't necessarily hold up, if you go with a web development company with established offices and paid web developers, specially around the Greater Boston area.
The cost of that website goes way up if you consider the time you wasted having a website that is actually not bringing any new clients to your business.
The reason a cheap website won't usually get you any more business is because, those companies don't put any effort in writing any useful content for your website, and neither put any effort in optimizing your site for the search engines, and all they do is to list your website in free business directories, or their own directory. After all is a very affordable website, right?
Also from our customers experiences, they list your business with Google Places and then if you want to list your business there, well you won't be able to, because someone else already verified it, and they won't give you the right to manage your own business. We have seen it happened!
What happen next is that you will hire, hopefully, a freelance web designer or developer and create your custom website. Other times what will happen is that the business owner will think that maybe they will be luckier with another one of those marketing companies, and if that doesn't work either you will try another one and that will make the matter bad, really bad for your company, believe me. Because now, there will be more than one website online with the name of your company (we have seen it with more than one client) and Google bots are thinking that maybe, your business is not a trust-able one, and will really hurt your business online.