There are upsides and downsides to everything in life, and nowhere is this more apparent than in the site building community. For years, people have had two choices, and for years to come, they will have the same two choices: sitebuilders or open source content management systems (CMS)? To determine which of these two is the best for you, you have to understand a bit about each one, and also know where your own skills and interests lie. If you are ready to start your own website and want to know the easiest and/or the best way to do it the way you want to, stick to the following guidelines:
If you have limited knowledge of web programming, use sitebuilder. In so doing, you will have to make a few concessions, but in the end, your site will be up and running within minutes instead of days. Many beginners prefer sitebuilder because the templates are all there and as easy to use as a word processor. The downsides of sitebuilder, however, is that there is very little customization that you can add beyond what the tools themselves allow. Still, it’s a safe way to get a decent looking site up and running in no time. However, for the more professional minded, it may be better to adhere to guideline number two:
If you want a fully customized web experience but don’t have the knowledge to make it happen, either hire someone else to build a site from scratch or learn an open source CMS. Open sources CMSs are free to use and free to modify. If you take the time to read up on programming language, you will see that it is not as difficult as you think it is. But if you just don’t have the patience for it, then there are many freelance programmers looking for extra money, who would be more than happy to write your own code for you. Of course, the more complicated the website is, the more expensive it will be. And that brings you to the third and final guideline:
Determine the kind of site that you want and need. While you may want a flash site filled with heavy graphics intensity and a variety of other bells and whistles, then you’ll need to be ready to pay extra. If your audience is not the flashy type, you could be throwing away your money. Start with your audience. No one knows them better than you. Research them thoroughly and don’t make another move until you have a firm grip on the situation.
Your site is the cornerstone of your business, a representative of your passion. Treat it well by making it look the best that it can be at all times.