A few years ago just the thought of having one’s own online site was big, fat, scary and VERY expensive. Today, not so much. Now it’s hard to find a sensible argument against having a website and online presence, if you want your business to stay competitive. The impact of the Internet in the marketplace today is undeniable. To avoid it is akin to running a business out of a cave. These days, it’s get on the web or go back to the Stone Age.
Sure, years ago websites were costly to create and maintain, putting them out of the range of many small businesses. Today, the cost structure has changed dramatically as websites have proliferated and become a critical aspect of business branding, interface and competitiveness.
In just the past ten years the increasing sophistication of web software plus competition in the marketplace has had a huge impact on the cost of web design, bringing it down, down, down. While early websites (circa 1995 to 1997) for small businesses (including hosting, email services and about fifteen pages of content) ranged in cost from $7,500 to $12,000, today the same range of services can be had for approximately $2,000 to $7,500. For individuals seeking to create their own sites on very limited budgets, there are even “build your own” site options that can get a modest, one page site going for prices starting at a few hundred dollars.
What’s the key to getting a great site and getting the most out of your businesses’ budget? Research is the key. Look into all the free options you can find like open source software like Ares Galaxy for file sharing and the xvid codec from xvid for movie editing and viewing. The great thing is that these days, that’s almost as easy as a mouse click. A quick online search will find a range of choices for web design, hosting and maintenance services. Check out online samples to see which ones speak to your company’s needs. Then start clicking, get that site going and get your business online and buzzing. It’s doable and today, it’s also affordable.