When it comes to building a website, most individuals and small business owners think you either have to do it yourself or hire someone to do it. Web builder software is often the better option for this group by far.
Even if you're a seasoned web professional, you should know what web builder software can offer private individuals and small businesses. Designers regularly waste time fielding inquiries from small-time website owners who don't realize the time, effort, and therefore cost involved in making a website from scratch. Or your brain may be picked endlessly by a would-be developer. Recommending a good web builder program is a great way to help this group--you can even monetize these non-prospects by reselling web builder software or referring it as an affiliate.
The 3 Web Design Options
DIY (design it yourself), usually using software such as Dreamweaver or FrontPage.
Pay someone else to design it.
Use a "website builder" that includes everything you need and builds the website based on a setup wizard that asks questions about your website goals.
Most people just stumble into one of these three options without really comparing. In fact, if someone is even considering whether to try to do it themselves, hire a pro, or use a website builder program, it's extremely likely they really do need to start with a website builder program. After all, with the small investment required by web builder software, you can easily decide to go the DIY or professional design route later. But the money and time spent on professional services or DIY cannot be un-spent.
If you don't have the web design skills that would lead you to make your own website without questioning, or the budget to hire a designer just as easily, your time, money and other resources are probably better spent on other aspects of your website--such as promoting it, planning it, or getting content for it.
Website Options Comparison: Cost
: Cost of software (Dreamweaver, the most popular, runs about $300) + many hours of your life--what is your time worth?
Web Designer: $500-$5000
Website Builder: $100-200 (if a software package); $15-40/month (if a subscription service)
DIY: Depending on your skill level, a week to a few months.
Web Designer: A few weeks till completion (but little time on your part).
Website Builder: Five minutes to an hour (depending on how much you want to play with the options).
Graphic Design: Most people who build their own websites use graphic design templates, or at least ready-made graphics. But there's still the problem of how to bring the elements of the design together into an attractive whole.
Web Designer: If you want to be taken seriously, a graphic designer will go a long way. Still, many people manage to sabotage the designer's work with too many demands. Also, some designers are really programmers rather than graphic designers, and will use templates anyway. In the end, though, the biggest drawback is cost: graphic designers can do it better, but can you afford them?
Website Builder: The advantage of a website builder over DIY templates is that the builder will save you the time of coding the website to stitch all the parts together.