My friend posted a message on Facebook asking if anyone knew a web designer to help them set up a small on-line shop and site.
A couple of guys touted their business and I said to him, do it yourself. He came back to me and said he didn’t want the hassle and didn’t really know what to do.
I pointed out to him that other than the cost of getting someone to design and build a website, ongoig maintenance and hosting costs, you often end up with a whole new set of problems: again being stuck to a template you cant change without paying more, not having the flexibility to add parts as you move forward, your business being in the hands of someone who doesnt understand it and may well have many other higher priorities. Everytime I have had tech work done for me it has been massively under-delivered and been a strain to get completed.
I pointed him out to WordPress and told him to search through some templates. It only took him a couple of days to get back to me with an awesome looking site and a thank you for encouraging him. This is his site http://www.caminoartanddesign.com/-
..am just well pleased my advice was useful to someone!
I don’t necessarily have anything against custom built websites but I know many people who could do just as well starting off using some of the many free tools available to them. Once you have established that people want to see the content of your website (product/service/validation/information etc) then go for something unique. In the meanwhile spend your money on marketing and testing.
Check out my Ultimate Guide to Bootstrapping an On-line Business for more information about that.