In a time where the value of a dollar has been decimated to almost nothing and everyone is looking for the best deal, having a website is no longer an option, but a requirement in order to be a successful business. Whether your business is small or large, provides many products and services or is just a small local restaurant, a website adds value to your business. Websites provide potential clients with information about your company, products, and services, all from the convenience of their own home. Think about how many times you have decided to buy something on a whim without doing any online research first. I am sure you don’t, and if you do, it is a rare occasion.

Having a website used to be a luxury that only wealthy companies could afford. With hosting services being at an all time low in price and having a plethora of do-it-yourself content management systems available, obtaining a website has never been more affordable. Also, there are literally thousands of web designers that are starving for work that will create a custom site for next to nothing.

Do you need a website? Yes.

Should you go with the cheapest web designer you can find? Maybe.

Though a website is required for your business this day in age, a poorly designed or developed website is about as good as not having a site at all. A lot of people think they are web designers because they have read “Web Design for Dummies.” The problem is that simply using a cookie cutter website is not enough to compete with the other 100,000 or more websites in your niche.

Websites are a dime a dozen; Should you go for one?

There are a few things that set some sites apart from the rest, such as:

  • Proper onsite search engine optimization
  • Coding that is properly validated
  • Social networking sites need to be connected
  • The website should be responsive
  • It should be a custom designed just for your business
  • Visitor interactivity should be implemented
  • Menu system should get the user around the website with ease

Most professional web design companies will offer all of these key elements in even their most basic of web development packages. If they do not, you should probably move on to the next company. Web design companies can charge anywhere from $10 per hour to $100 per hour making it imperative that you find a company that will work with your budget requirements. Having only a few hundred dollars to spend is not going to get you an Amazon type of site, but should get a 3 – 4 page website which will likely meet your needs. Also, a lot of web development companies have combined web design and web hosting in order to simplify your purchase and make things more affordable for you.

Shop around. Find a company that has plenty of proven and documented experience, an extensive portfolio of work they have completed, guarantees their work, and offers a price point that you can afford. You need to get online, and waiting really is not an option with thousands of new sites launching weekly.