You have something to sell or a message to spread and you want a website. What should you do? Should you pay a lot of money to hire someone to do it for you? Or, should you learn the art of web design yourself. There are pros and cons to both sides of the fence.
The Do It Yourself Web Designer
If you do decide to learn building a website as a do it yourself project, you can save some money and gain some knowledge. Web design programs are out there that are boxed solutions that you can use to create your own brochure-ware type website or even a robust online store. There are products that you can buy for cheap or on the higher end that can help you manage and create your website. You could even go with an open source platform like OS Commerce. Those with a bit of a technical aptitude might find the process interesting and fun.
The downside to this is that many of these web design software products either are too advanced for the novice user or are too simple and not advanced enough for the purpose you want it for. You could find that you are frustrated easily by the technical aspects of the software being above your comfort level or could find that the web design software does not have all the bells and whistles that you were expecting for. A word of caution: Do not bother signing up for a free community website that's hosted by someone else. The publishing on the website might be super simple but no one is going to take you seriously if you have a free website and are trying to promote a business on a professional level. A simple and hosted point and click website is OK for playing around but not for a professional business.
Hiring a Pro Web Designer
Hiring a web design company can be a great way to get a professional looking website and even your own online store. The downside here is that some of these sites charge a lot of money and when you're a beginner web entrepreneur you might not have that kind of cash floating around. If you want professional results but do not want to pay a fortune, you might choose to look for a freelancer. You can find them on webmaster forums and online bidding sites where you can create a service request and allow professional freelance web designers to bid on your business. This can be a great option as you can control the pricing and see a professional web designer's portfolio of work before you use their services. Some website owners do part of their web design. You choose the web designer that's in your price range and that provides the quality you want. A word of caution here is that you do not want to go based on price alone otherwise you may be unhappy with your results.