The temptation to do a Website on the cheap can be overwhelming. The casual, non-technical Internet user may find it hard to see why they should pay hundreds of dollars for a website, when they get one for free with their Internet service. They have people on staff that are good with computers and can handle putting the Website together. Those employees know the company, so should be better for the job than somebody from the outside. These may seem like valid reasons for not choosing to have an outside company design and maintain your Website, but consider the following:
- Ease of use is not easy to design. Nothing is more frustrating than going to a Website and not being able to find what you are looking for. Chances are that a person not educated in information and interface design is going to make some serious errors in designing a Website, which will lead to negative user experience. Studies have shown that a negative experience such as this does reflect negatively on the company or brand associated with the Website. You can be seen as the best in the field at your core business, but a poorly designed Website can undo this reputation, or at least prompt your customers to question it.
- Websites made for free look it. Unless you have someone on staff that is experienced in graphic design, your Website, created in-house, is going to look cheap. Like it or not, appearance does effect the way current and potential customers evaluate your organization. An unprofessional looking Website can affect your credibility in the eyes of your customers, and influence the overall feeling they have about your company.
- Web Design is an inexpensive professional service. Thanks to the Dot Com crash a few years ago, the Bay Area is awash with unemployed Web Designers. It has never been less expensive to have a professionally designed and maintained Website than it is now. If you don’t have plans to upgrade your Website, chances are a number of your competitors do. Have you looked at your competitors’ Websites lately? How do they compare with yours? Are you willing to give them that edge?
Conclusion – It’s better not to have a Website at all than to have one reflecting less quality, expertise and effort than you put into your core business.