Template based Web sites: Fortune Small Business

FSB had another great tech piece, this time about building template based Web sites.
The writer, Alan Cohen takes a look at Homestead and BigStep. He wanted a Web site with a Web cam for his fake Pizza Parlor but these sites couldn’t do that for him. So he settled on making a Web site for his doll collection. He wanted a few pages and a catalog of 25 dolls. A local design frim would charge him $2,500, plus another $500 to $1500 for a shopping court – that’s crazy and way too much!!! (in my opinion)
Homestead would have cost him $400 for 3 pages and $40 more per item for a shopping cart. Bigstep would cost him $600 including e-commerce!
In short he went with Bigstep but was dissapointed in the end as the Bigstep guy helping him with his site was very busy juggling 30 – 40 other Web sites.
In the end, Carl, the Bigstep designer provided a very simple site that the FSB author could have done himself but did spend time on the phone showing him how to use BigSteps tools (newsletters, marketing, etc).
In short – if you’ve got a drop dead simple site use a cookie cutter type template service – you’ll save money and be done in minutes. If you’re needs are more complex and you do not have a lot of time or expertise – hire someone to do it for you and get exactly what you want. If you can take the time to learn – you can build your own with Microsoft Front Page, Dreamweaver or some other tool and then have a professional add certain parts to it as needed – like I’ve done with Smallbiztechnology.com