Choosing a Website Developer

Years ago, a Traditional Website Developer was the only choice.  Now, a business owner has options!  And making the right choice when it comes to the developer of your website is a very important decision, indeed.  Here are some basics to get you started.  In today’s world of technology, there are basically three ways to devleop your website:  (1) hire a Traditional Developer (2) purchase a do-it-yourself software package or (3) choose a turn-key solution provider.

A Traditional Developer will typically develop your site by using a lot of programming and code that is far beyond what any business owners even cares to begin to, or needs to understand.  After all, your business is YOUR BUSINESS, not the details of how to develop a website.  In general, a Traditional Developer will give you exactly what you want in exactly the way you want it.  The drawbacks to using a Traditional Developer are primarily cost and timeframe.  This is likely your most expensive option, and you will also be at the whim of the timeframe and workload of your developer not only for the initial site design but also for future changes and updates to your site.  Nevertheless, if your needs are complex and, for example, you need your site to “talk” to other sites and interact with other software programs used in your office, then a Traditional Devleoper is likely your best option.

You could also go to the local office supply store and buy a “do-it-yourself” webpage design software program. This will provide you with a website at the lowest cost, but likely will box you in to a limited type of design that has a “standard” look similar to other pages developed with the same software.  Also, there is a learning curve to learning how to use the software, and you will still need to educate yourself on and discover the appropriate way to host your site.

Finally, there are several Turn-key Solutions available in the marketplace wherein you can work with a development consultant the will help to understand your needs and use a website development software package to not only develop your initial site but also to help you maintain the site in the future.  A Turn-Key solution has much less limitations (though there are still some) than the Do-It-Yourself options while also being more cost effective than a Traditonal Developer.

SPECIAL NOTE:  Beware of a “freelancer” who has done nothing more than purchase a do-it-yourself package but is trying to pass himself off as a Traditional Developer.  You will likely pay Traditional Developer fees and get a very basic and lackluster webpage with no features.

Doing your homework is important to helping you make the best decision.  Being an informed consumer is better for you and your developer.  For more detailed information on how to make the best decision, consult Tom Elliott’s book, Website 411, available by following the link to the right.

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Published in: on February 8, 2008 at 4:48 AM  Comments (4)  
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4 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. This is really important advice, Clem! Whenever you are making any business expenditure, big or small, it is always wise to do your “due diligence” and check out ALL of your options so that you can make an educated decision and one that will work the best for your business needs. Obviously, this would apply to your website needs as well and you’ve done a great job of explaining the pros and cons of each type of website developer. What may be perfect for one type of business may not be the right fit for another. This is valuable info to help in making that decision!

  2. Of course it’s a great stuff to find a professional Web developer to design the website efficiently. Often an online business relies on website and web page i.e., in turn web designer and web developer. If both of these guys work heartily a owner will surely be profited.

  3. […] to Host: An Important Choice As discussed in Choosing A Website Developer, there are some options when deciding how to begin developing your online presence.  Depending on […]

  4. This is good information. I’m glad I found it. Thank you for providing this. I provide professional web design services and solutions and can relate.


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