The value of ‘do-it-yourself’ websites for small business owners

I just got the new issue of BusinessWeek’s SmallBiz magazine and read “No Geeks Required.” This article is all about those inexpensive, pay-by-the-month build-it-yourself websites offered by the likes of Yahoo, MSN, Homestead and a few others.

While small business owners may feel they’re getting a good deal by developing their own sites using these services rather than paying a professional web designer, what happens after their site launches?

Do any of those services consider the importance of optimizing sites for better free, not paid, search engine results? Do they stress the importance of adding fresh content regularly, or of making a site more accessible?

If a website can’t be easily found, or it shuts out potential customers, it’s not really benefiting a business, no matter how easy it was to build. The advice of a good web designer can contribute greatly toward helping a site become successful in the long run – especially after the launch.

And as far as charging super-high prices for the simplest of sites, or taking a month to make a simple edit to a site, that’s just an unfortunate choice of designer, in my opinion. I don’t do that and I know plenty of other professionals who don’t do it either.

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