Website design – do it yourself? Or hire someone to do it for you?

Nothing turns clients away from your product faster than a poorly designed website. Even if you are selling the greatest thing since slice bread, you will lose business if you do not have an intuitive website for your clients to visit. Making it hard to read by using unfriendly colors will keep you from building something that you can retire on. A Website is your storefront. This is going to be the first impression that you make on many people who find you for the first time. First impressions count in the online world as much as the real one, so make that first one count. If you do not have an eye for design, then it’s OK to admit that and hire someone else to do it for you. There’s no shame in admitting it, many brilliant people in life couldn’t paint their way out of a paper bag. The question becomes whether or not you can afford to hire someone to design your site. Fortunately, there are many new sites out there with freelancers who are desperate for work. Sites like www.elance.com, www.guru.com, or www.freelancer.com allow you to post the requirements for your site and take bids from various people from all over the world. Understand that you will get what you pay for, so look for people with the type of experience in your industry that you want. Putting together a list of competing bids may give you a better idea of what’s out there for you. One tip for dealing with freelancers is to give them specifics about the general features/pictures of the site you want designed. Don’t micro-manage their design. You wouldn’t micro-manage the plumber while he’s fixing your sink. You hire these people for their expertise. That isn’t to say you shouldn’t have input, you absolutely should. If you want an icon to be cornflower blue, then tell your designer that! But constantly asking for revisions can be a way for you to avoid actually starting work. Making a good first impression is important, but delaying your site because your gut is telling you something is wrong is just a way to avoid taking a chance. If you want to design the site on your own, there are several FREE web design tools available for you online. In fact, Adobe recently released their original creative suite from 2005 (which includes programs like Illustrator and a previous version of Photoshop) on Adobe.com.  If you have experience with these powerful tools, then you should absolutely save some money and design the site yourself. If you do this, make sure you show it to an unbiased party who will honestly tell you if it is terrible if it needs more work. Designing a website doesn’t have to be a huge headache. Relax and enjoy the creative process, don’t let it or deadlines stress you out, or derail you from the ultimate goal of opening a new business. Starting up a new business is supposed to be an adventure, enjoy the ride!
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