Build web site using a website builder, or use a web template?
How to get a professional looking website done quickly, while you have little budget and no access to a web designer?
Custom websites development can be very costly to build and to maintain. Even minor changes or updates can become a challenge as not every company has a full-time webmaster.
There are plenty of website builder software, even if you don't know how to use them, you might have heard of Dreamweaver, Frontpage, Adobe Flash, GoLive, etc. Forget them unless you already have the skill and experience.
These are commercial software which usually costs several hundred dollars just to purchase. You would then have to learn the coding and layout design. Not everyone is a natural born web designers, yes for someone who know HTML well, they could build the whole site in NotePad. But you might have a lot more other things to do in additional to just building the websites. So find yourself a suitable website builder software would be very helpful.
When choosing a website builder, ensure the website builder you use is a 'software' not a 'service'.
Many online website builder insist you must build your website by login to their online service, and you cannot host your website anywhere else except theirs. You need to pay a recurring monthly fee, and can never upload the website to another hosting company or to your clients server. As soon as you cancel the plan, your entire website is gone including all your content and images.
Choose a website builder software which can be installed on your desktop, so you and your staffs can all use it to build and edit websites any time, and upload to your own web hosting account.
Choose a website template and customize it for quick launch
There are template sites provides all types of templates including HTML template, flash template, joomla template, powerpoint templates, map templates etc. Costs anything from FREE to $150, you can find thousands of templates on sites such as A4Flash, flash mo, template monster, etc. It might be easy for you just to include your own photos and text, however in order to fully customize the templates, such as change the template layout, logo position, text area size, left column width, add new pages and sections etc, you still need some commerical software such as Photoshop and Adobe Flash to do the work. You would also need some basic HTML knowledge to modify the template, e.g. if you want to insert a banner ad on your site, or embed tracking code from Google Analytics, or optimize your website using meta tags.
You can hire or outsource the template customization job. For example, A4flash provide template customization for templates from any template site. So if you decide to use a template, the total cost should be template, plus the customization service. You should also estimate how often you would need to update the website, and the on-going updating cost.
Completing the planning of your website first so that you know how to choose the suitable website builder or template. Before you choose your website builder, or decide which website to buy template from, you should have your website content including menu structure, text, images, menu items organized and ready to use. For example, if you want to build a website with menus and drop down sub-menus, then you would instantly filter out lots of website builder and templates, which does not have sub-menu support.
Using a website builder or web template can be a much simpler solution to build website, than hiring a web designer. They can be great solution to basic web design needs (basic mean under 50 pages of content and no database back-end). However, even website builder and template machines have become increasingly sophisticated over the years, if you're going to need a website with features such as membership back-end, newsletter, forum, ecommerce, then you still need a professional web development team to help you.
A4Desk website builder can be directly installed on your Windows XP or Vista desktop, and you can use it to build or edit multiple websites any time, and upload to your own web hosting account. There is also no monthly fee, you make an once-off payment for your website only (and you can create a demo website for uploading to any web host for free) and can build any number of websites for you or for resell to your clients.