Photo via sh1mmer
If you’re making a substantial investment in your website for the first time, you’re probably thinking that you should hire some professional help. After all, you hire professionals to do almost everything else your business needs, whether it’s your taxes, legal services, or upgrading your Internet access.
But while it’s easy to find and hire an accountant, a lawyer, or an Internet installer, figuring out who to ask for help with your web site is a bit trickier. Not only do you not know who to ask for help, you don’t even know what you should expect them to do for you. Here is our quick guide to who’s out there in the world of web site builders. While we won’t recommend specific companies here, you can consult our service directory for a list of people who can help you get started.
When you’re making a new web site, looks matter, and web designers help make your site is attractive to your customers. From designing logos and buttons to choosing color palettes and column formats, web designers help give your site the distinctive look that will be visually appealing and memorable. Some web designers also consider factors like user experience and search engine optimization when they’re making your website, so you’ll have more than just a pretty site when their finished. Many web design firms also offer web development, as certain design decisions—like using custom themes and content management systems—require special code in order to work properly.
Web developers are the programmers who build the code that drives the web. If you’re creating a custom website, or even adding a custom feature, like an online store, you’ll want to hire someone who can do the behind the scenes work necessary to keep your site secure and stable. While not everyone needs a web developer, their services are critical for any advanced web work.
Some web developers produce free, open-service applications, such as the content-management system WordPress. While you’re not directly paying for these applications, they’re available because developers are willing to work on them for free.
Social Media Management
Whether you’re making a website for your cupcake business or your law firm, you’re probably going to spend some time thinking about social media. While one might be tempted to think of social media as something that a web firm is responsible for, you’ll probably want to divide the work in two. Use the design firm to integrate your social media channels into your website, and then hire a copywriter or social media manager to produce the content, maintain relations with your customers, and keep track of your online reputation. While many people end up doing this work in house—read “by yourself”—you’ll want to budget your time, or one of your employee’s time, accordingly, as maintaining social media accounts can easily eat up five hours a week if you do it right.
If you want to justify spending extra money on social media, consider it as part of your advertising budget, an ongoing expense that you need in order to keep your site viable rather than something you set up and quickly forget.
Web Hosting Companies
Once you’ve hired a web designer and developer, you’ll need to choose a web hosting plan. With HostNine, you have a wide range of plans to consider, from inexpensive shared hosting plans to high-end dedicated server plans. The choices you make when you design and develop your website will likely determine which hosting plan you need, but, fortunately, your hosting costs will be just a fraction of what you spend to create a high quality website.
Start building your site today!