One question I’m often asked is, “Hey Nate! What software do you use to design your websites?” By nature, most entrepreneurs are hands-on people and like to try to do things themselves first. Hey, I’m no exception to the rule. In fact, as I look back on the growth of my business, there are certain things that I definitely shouldn’t have done myself, such as licking 2,000 stamps for a direct mail campaign. Yeechhtt! Gross! It’s an interesting cycle we go through as we search for the most economical way to effectively grow our businesses. From what I’ve seen, the “What web design software do I use?” question is part of every entrepreneur’s search for the perfect low-cost website. You’re not alone in that search. Here’s how it goes. . .
Most entrepreneurs and small business owners quickly come to the realization that they need to a website. Here’s how the process goes. And, hey, I’ve been through this cycle myself so if this describes you, I’ve been there myself.
I love stories! Let’s take an entrepreneur named Jane, and follow her through her search for an aggressive online presence. Jane is an accountant with her own small business and has decided she needs a website.
First, Jane goes to all the do-it-yourself website creation companies out there where you pay anywhere from $10-$60 per month to create a website for your company with pre-built templates. She signs up for an account and starts shuffling through the templates, and picks out nice one with a blue background and a picture of an office building at the top of the page. It doesn’t really represent her business and she can’t put her logo on the page but she feels it’s good enough.
Jane spends all of her spare time for the next week and a half trying to learn how the template builder works and trying to get her website to look just how she wants it. On day 10, she’s run out of patience and decides to leave it how it is and hope for the best. She’s a little hesitant to send prospects to the site because it’s kind of home-made looking and doesn’t really represent her business but she does it anyway.
After a couple weeks, Jane’s business has been stagnant, and she’s thinking it’s because she’s sending her prospects to a cookie cutter website that looks like everyone else’s home-made cookie cutter website. So, she starts to look at other do-it-yourself website creation companies to see if there are better templates out there. . . maybe the $19/month company has better templates than the $10/month company. So, she makes the switch. . . and goes through the same cycle of choosing, learning how it works, and trying to customize it with no results.
It’s at this point that Jane starts thinking that maybe she should look into getting a custom site done. So she talks to some web designers and asks the question, “What web design software do you use?”. Well, from her previous two experiences with building websites, Jane thinks that professional web design software will build her a professional website.
So, Jane buys the same web design software that the pros use. It’s kind of expensive but she figures it’ll be worth it. Well, after downloading the software for 4 hours, she installs in on her computer. Then, after opening up the software, her face goes white as she quickly realizes that the software is not going to build the site for her. In fact, it occurs to her that asking a web designer what software he or she uses is like asking a car mechanic what tools he uses, buying them, and hoping the tools will fix the car for her.
Now, she has decision to make. Does she spend the next couple months learning how to use the software and basically learn to be a web designer while her accounting business suffers? Or, does she hire someone to just build a professional site for her?
Jane goes on Craigslist, asks friends, and family members, and starts looking for the cheapest web designer she can find. After all, she just spent all her money trying the home-made site services, and buying the expensive web design software, plus her business has been suffering from the time she’s been taking to sort out the website. So she finds the discount web guy who says he’ll do her site for $199 and make it perfect. Well, unknown to Jane, the $199 web guy is a college student that build his brother-in-law a website for his tree cutting service once and that’s about it. So the cheap web guy builds Jane a site that looks almost as good as the do-it-yourself website she had build herself months ago. She bites the bullet and pays the guy.
Well, now she’s back where she started. She now has a homemade looking website, expensive software she’ll never use, a dragging business that she hasn’t been giving proper attention to, and a big fat headache. Now, Jane has a decision to make. Should she hire a trusted professional to build her site exactly how she envisions it or keep her “new” website that looks like it was built in 1992?
As humorous as it may seem, believe it or not, this is a very real and very common scenario my friends.
Had Jane, simply hired the right person to build her site from the beginning, she probably would have had her site live online in about a week with no problems. She would have saved about $1700 on website creation software, do-it-yourself trials, and bottles of ibuprofen. And who know how much money she lost by minding her website instead of her business. Had she hired the right person, her site would have been clean and professional right from the start and she would have been able to confidently send her prospective clients to her website for information.
Wow! What an adventure!
So the moral of the story is. . . before you launch a new website or get an old one upgraded, talk it over with a professional web designer that you can trust. A good web designer will be able to take care of your needs a let you know know what your best options are within your budget regardless of whether or not he or she gets your business.
I know, I know. . . you still want to know what web design software I use don’t you?
Well here it is:
And, of course, there’s no way I could end this post without a plug for my web design and SEO company: Integrity Online Marketing – a Honolulu web design company