Remember the early days of small business websites? It’s always been possible to build a site yourself, using a bunch of free HTML editors or even just Microsoft Word. Possible doesn’t mean advisable though, and some of the results were pretty horrific. That’s not really a big surprise of course. When you’re running a building, plumbing or electrician’s business that’s a full time job on its own; you don’t have the time to learn web design as well. Unfortunately potential clients don’t always see it that way, and if your business has an unattractive website that’s going to give them a bad impression. Unfair, but that’s life.
Luckily things have got a lot better in the last few years. There are all sorts of cheap or free software packages that let you build a professional-looking site right out of the box, without complicated coding. You’ll find ready to use modules for every function you could need, going from image galleries and contact forms to sophisticated online store and payment systems that let you sell pretty much anything you want over the internet. It’s a world away from hand-coding HTML in a text editor or dragging clunky site elements around in FrontPage. Now your options go from WordPress, which is an easy to use system with loads of custom themes and plugins available, right up to professional site building packages like Adobe Business Catalyst. Business Catalyst is a real gem; there’s practically nothing it can’t do when it comes to company websites or online stores.
This is where you need to ask yourself a question though. The chances are you could learn to use Business Catalyst by playing with it for a weekend, and put together a workable site for yourself. Is that the way ahead though? The chances are it probably isn’t. Yes, you’ll be able to build a much better site than you could five years ago. The trouble is so can everyone else. To stand out from the competition – which is what it’s all about – your best bet is to hire a professional Business Catalyst developer to do the job for you.
There are a whole bunch of benefits to getting a developer. The biggest one is the quality of site you’ll get. What would you say if someone hired a web developer to build their house? Chances are you wouldn’t be that impressed at their choice – that’s your job, right? Of course it is, and you’d do a much better job of it than a web developer will. The same goes for a website. That’s what web developers do; they’re the professionals, just like you’re the professional builder. That’s going to show in the quality of work.
Then there’s the time you’ll save. Yes, you won’t be paying someone else if you do it yourself, but it’s going to take time and time is money. Even with a platform as good as Business Catalyst there’s a lot to learn, and trial and error isn’t the fastest way to do it. In the time you’d spend building your own site you can get on with your real job and earn more than the developer will cost you.
Business Catalyst is the smart way to get your company a professional-looking site that will bring in customers and get you their business. It’ll do that even better if your site makes the most of the platform – and that means hiring an expert.