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First Impressions : Do-It-Yourself?

By Tom Stone
Posted Monday, June 21, 2004

There are some truly gifted artists providing unique internet experiences now. There are also some truly boring templates that many web “designers” are assaulting the webscape with right now.

If uniformity or invisibility is in your business plan, then I recommend picking one of these. Of course, most web design firms simply won’t allow a solid online price quote, or even a firm up front bid, so consider the risks when facing those scenarios.

Web design software has made it feasible for small businesses to design their own sites. However, this also creates the need to pay someone else to manage a site that they didn’t create, nor received payment for its design.

On the other hand, using a pre-screened professional web design service has several significant benefits that are easily overlooked if focused upon the prospect of a fat price quote on custom work. First of all, if your business is relatively new, you MUST consider how stretched your time already is, and realize the true value of that time. Squeeze in the learning process of new web design software and multiply that time element by the number of late night hours troubleshooting a new server (just to begin with); and you're likely to wish very quickly you had just trusted your brother who claimed to know exactly how to publish a website. (That's a whole other story.)

Web design firms have the latest software, have bagfuls of tricks, and will usually deal with any glitches along the way, unbeknownst to yourself: THE CUSTOMER!

Save yourself lots of headaches by previewing whatever samplings of work you can before further considering who will be your Clearly communicate the intent of your site-to-be, get quotes and deadlines in writing, and don't settle for anything less than your vision.

About the Author
Chairman, Georgia New Business Association; Co-Founder


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