Assuming you or a friend have technical skills and some spare time, you can create a web site for your
company for as little as $20. Professionally developed web sites start at about $1,000 but can reach into
the tens to hundreds of thousands, depending on the complexity and amount of information your company
needs to present.
When determining the cost of a web site, you must also take into account recurring costs such
as hosting, secure site services, and site updates which over time can amount to more than your original
design and development costs.
The "do it yourself" web site
Yes, it's true. You can create a web site for your company for as little as $20. As a matter of fact, there
are many things you can create for your company at a minimal cost: business cards, brochures, logos, et cetera.
Unfortunately just because you can, doesn't mean you should. The main problem with these
"do it yourself" solutions is that they often don't provide the same impression that professionally created
If you need business cards for your son who is starting a lawn mowing service in your neighborhood, the tear away
laser printed business cards available from most office supply stores will work just fine. But, if your company
is providing products and services to Fortune 500 companies (or wants to), your investment in quality
professionally created business cards is well worth it. You don't get a second chance to
make a first impression.
The other problem with "do it yourself" materials is that they take time. In the case of a web site, you'll
need to learn the language of the web, image editing, graphical design, etc. Do you have the
time? Can your business wait while you learn?
A professionally developed web site
Even though you can get a very basic professionally developed company web site for as little as $1,000, your company
may have needs that increase your initial investment requirement. So what are you getting for your money?
A professional web design firm will take the time with you to determine your needs and desires and advise you on the use of
appropriate Internet technologies. As part of this process, the firm should also be able to advise you against
certain technologies or features that are inappropriate or not valuable to you.
Should you have online ordering?
Should your product manuals be available online?
Should you provide pricing information on your products?
Is Flash or other types of multimedia applicable for the types of visitors you expect?
Do your customers have special needs, like disabilities, that will require special attention when designing your web site?
A good web design firm will take care of the mundane and sometimes complicated details (like hosting, domain name selection/registration,
search engine optimization) leaving you time to focus on your business. What is an appropriate domain name for your company?
Will having more than one domain name increase the traffic to your site? Which search engines should you register with?
How many keywords should you target and which ones are best? Should you participate in link exchange programs?
For companies with a well defined brand or identity, the web design firm will ensure that your web site carries on
the theme you have created with your other marketing materials. In the case of companies without distinct
branding, the web site designer will assist you in creating one that is consistent with your company's guiding
A quality web designer will also look for opportunities to use the Internet and your web site to save you money,
increase the level of service you provide to your existing customers, and encourage potential customers to utilize your
unique product or service.
Ed Ferking is the President of
F3 Computerized Solutions, a web site design and consulting firm specializing in
providing innovative solutions to business problems. F3 Computerized Solutions can be reached by telephone at 813.413.4558.