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Q: I have an idea for a new business venture. I want to explore the options of getting a Website built. Is it cheaper to do it myself? Should I obtain software? Or should I go through a company?
— T. Wood, Philadelphia
A: Whether to build your own Website or hire a professional to do the job depends on the answer to this question: What is the objective for your Website? Some are very easy to build, while others require a high level of technical skill.
Almost anyone can create a Website. You can choose from a wide variety of Web-editing programs and online Website builders that require no programming skills and are quick and easy to use. The programs will guide you through a step-by-step process to create a site that suits you and your business.
Do-it-yourself Website builders can produce a great looking site, but will it add value to your new business venture? This is where a skilled developer can help. Expect to pay several thousand dollars to get a sophisticated Website up and running. However, some companies will charge little or no up-front costs to build your site in exchange for a contract that pays them a monthly fee. Before you choose a company to design your site, ask for references and look at the sites it has created.
Either way, you should plan out the purpose of your Website carefully before you sign any contracts or spend any money.