If you are going to design your own website, it is important that you take some time to familiarize yourself with the process. There are several steps that you can take to ensure that your site will be successful. The first step in building your website is to decide how to get it built.

The easiest way to get a professionally built site is to contract the work out to web site professionals. Prices for this service can vary as widely as $50 for a simple site designed by a web design student. Prices can shoot up into the thousands of dollars for a complex ecommerce solution that includes a flash introduction and plenty of custom graphics. Advantages are a great custom site designed especially for you. A disadvantage is not having complete control of our site. It can also be difficult to make changes to your site at a later date.

If you decide that you would like to skip the professional help you an build your own website with many different methods. The easiest method is with an automatic site builder that many web hosts offer. The advantages to these site builders include short turnaround time. May web site builders offer many professionally designed templates that make it quick and easy to get your web presence online. The main disadvantage is the limited number of customization that is available with this option. You also run the risk of another business selecting the same template, making your website seem plain and boring. There is very little specialized knowledge required to build your own site with a site builder.

If you want more customized options than you get with a site builder but still want ease of use, you can use a WYSIWYG web site editor like Dreamweaver to build your site. This process is a little more complicated than designing with a site builder. You must start with blank page, but you do not need to have any knowledge of coding. You should have a basic knowledge of web programs and you should also know basic web design their such as tables and their use in designing a site. Another option which requires little to no knowledge of how to build websites is to use Microsoft frontpage to create and publish your website.

Disadvantages to this approach is the steep learning curve for the software as well as the expense of the software license. Web design and graphic software can run into over $1000 per license, so you might be better off to contract a professional is cost is a consideration for you. Advantages include complete customization to your site as well as site scalability as your business and website grows. It is easy to make changes to your site.

If you would still like a fully customized site, but want to skip the high cost of web design software, you can design a site using HTML. HTML can have a steep learning curve, but your site can be completely written in your computer\'s notepad program for no cost. Your site will be completely custom and it will be easy to change the site as your business or website grows. It can take a long time to get completely comfortable with HTML and hand coding your own site can be a trial and error process. If you are working on a deadline, this might not be your best web design choice.

You an also build your program with a graphic program like Fireworks or Photoshop. The level of customization is not as great as with a dedicated web design program, but there is much more personalization options available with a graphics program than with a site builder. These programs are great for websites that will be heavy on graphics and photos with very little text. Text formatting in a graphic program is spotty at best.

Graphics programs cost a lot, almost as much as web design programs, but they can be used for many different purposes. They can also be bought in conjunction with other programs so you can save money.

Getting your web site up to speed doesn\'t have to be difficult or expensive. You can make choices that will make it easy to get your website up with whatever is important to you. If your budget is a priority, you can work for yourself with a cheaper option. If time is of the essence, you can have a site up quickly with a site builder program.