- Internet Presence -

Building small biz website

Cory Brown | | July 18, 2017

Your online presence is a critical investment. In today’s digitally powered market, websites are the first impression a business makes. Getting it right is vital. Knowing your options when building your site is the first step in the process. Small businesses have three solutions to choose from.

The Do-It-Yourself Solution

You might be creating DIY- creating and managing your own website. This solution works great for website hobbyists and brand-new businesses without a set budget. If you’re not worried about driving leads, saving money is great. But you won't be saving time. Even the simplest sites require hours of routine upkeep. Let's look closer at the pros and cons:

PROS:

  • Low, fixed cost.
  • No vendors or agencies to research, hire, and work with.
  • Total control over the process.

CONS:

  • Time and effort required to learn the DIY website Content Management System (CMS). Of course, that assumes you know what a CMS even is!
  • A professional look isn't simple to achieve. It may take specialized tools like Adobe Photoshop, or require skills involving HTML and CSS.
  • Web design and development is going to take time, and that’s time away from your business, and very likely your family.

Setup Costs: $0
Monthly Maintenance Costs: $40.00 (Hosting + Newsletter)

The Custom Website Design and Development Solution

If you are a small business looking for a professional website, you’ll work with a website design and development company. That works great for projects like e-commerce, which need dedicated engineering for many technical details. But you'll usually pay a high development cost to launch your site, then either spend time updating the live site yourself, or spend money paying your developer to handle that for you. Here are the details:

PROS:

  • Helps meet complex business and technical requirements through custom solutions.
  • If your marketplace demands unique, cutting-edge design, working with a talented designer is a tremendous advantage.
  • Personal attention will be at the highest level. You'll be attending meetings about your site and meeting the people who make it.

CONS:

  • Cost: typical projects range between $5,000 and $25,000. That's not including cost-overruns, which as you well know are the rule, not the exception with creative and technical types.
  • Most web design and development agencies do not update sites. If you want to make future changes, you'll have to pay -- or worse, do it yourself!
  • At the lower end of the price range, the agencies usually aren't full-service. You may need to find your own copywriter, or do this yourself.
  • Time: you'll have to attend meetings, review work and ensure the project is on track and on budget.

Setup Costs: $9,100.00
Monthly Maintenance Costs: $835.00 (Hosting + Content + Updates + Maintenance + Analytics + SEO + Newsletter)

The Pronto Solution

Another option is choosing Pronto. We provide complete services that are designed to make it easy and affordable for a small business to improve its Web presence. We cater to a broad range of businesses and organizations, and are experts at understanding the specific needs of various marketplaces. When your website is completed, we provide ongoing support and updates, and offer some or all of our services on a pay-as-you-go basis.

PROS:

  • Low, fixed cost.
  • Full service, from hosting, to design, to support.
  • We update your site and keep your content fresh.
  • All the advantages of a one-stop shop.

CONS:

  • Might not be able to meet all your custom requirements or integrate unique software.
  • Website templates might not be fully customizable.
  • May not be a full-service marketing agency.
  • We work with long term contracts -- ask us about that up front.

Setup Costs: $500.00
Monthly Maintenance Costs: $247.00 (Hosting + Content + Updates + Maintenance + Analytics + SEO + Newsletter)

Which option is best?

There is no one answer for everyone. For some businesses, no site at all or a one-page DIY website might be best. However, a company with more complex business or functional requirements might want to invest in a custom designed website. For the majority of businesses who fall in the middle, the best idea is finding a good turnkey agency that builds and maintains your online presence for a fixed price.

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