TRADITIONALLY, to have web presence, one needed to hire a webmaster who was trained in HTML code and/or using Adobe's DreamWeaver, Photoshop and other supportive web designing programs. These applications have moved from a CD you could purchase for $800-$1500 to the new subscription model, where you pay a monthly or annual fee for the product. Currently, for just subscribing to DreamWeaver, you will pay $240 annually, (Monthly Plan is $30/mo.) If you want to also subscribe to use the other 20+ Adobe products such as Photoshop, Illustrator, Flash Professional, etc., you can subscribe to this package at a rate of $600/annually (or $75/mo.).
THE CAVEAT: if you stop paying the subscription, you cannot use the software to edit your website.
The alternative is to hire a skilled web-designer who has experience with graphic design, you can expect to pay around $60-$100+ per hour, depending on their expertise. BUT, once your website is up, you are now dependent on the webmaster for any edits, including small ones. And you are tied to your web-designer's time schedule that may not provide the flexibility you need.
A NEW WAY: Web-hosting websites that provide templates to create and manage your own website are giving business users another option. www.Weebly.com, www.Wix.com and www.SquareSpace.com are examples of such services. There are others too. Each has their strengths and weaknesses. I have found that those website that have more creative designs, are NOT always user friendly and do require either some knowledge/expertise, or the willingness to watch and read their tutorials to learn the how-to's. Your computer knowledge (photo editing, learning curve) usability (can you create without getting frustrated), cost and customer support will determine which services is best for you. Most allow you to create a free website or a trail version, so you actually can test them out and compare them before you make a decision. Sometime usability trump a "pretty" design. But, if design is extremely important to you, then be prepared to spend extra time learning how to customize the template. Be flexible, as there are limitations using this method, but for a "starter" website, and for small businesses and non-profits, this is a cost effective way to go until your business grows. And, you control the website: you edit, you change the design using design templates, you add and remove elements. Another benefit is that these web-based web-creators can change to meet new trends and security issues.
THE CAVEAT: When you sign-in to edit your website, you may find that the web-creator has been redesigned -- or features removed, or added -- all requiring you to "re-learn." A bit frustrating when you just wanted to make a few changes.
I Can Teach You how to use these web-creating website services to create YOUR website. I can teach and assist you with:
Naming your website
Your layout choices
Design elements to include
Preparing and uploading pictures
Managing your website
Getting "traffic" on your website: Search Engine Optimization (SEO) techniques
Important things to remember
Check out a DreamWeaver website:www.NovatoLiveWell.org This is one of the first website I created using DreamWeaver in 2006. When I upgraded from Dreamweaver Version 8 to CS4 in 2010, it was a big leap that created conversion problems that I could not resolve. Then, I upgraded to a new laptop and the Dreamweaver version was not compatible. I did not want to spend a lot of money to upgrade the software, yet again. I need to find time to transfer this website to a new online webdesign service, but it is a big job that I have not had time to do. PROBLEM WITH OLD WEBSITE SOFTWARE like DreamWeaver is that they are not "mobile friendly." In 2015, Google changed its algorithms for searches results and gave preference to websites that were "mobile friendly": allowing text and images to resize to fit smartphone and tablet screens. Now my DreamWeaver website is NOT mobile ready and it has dropped off the top of the Google search results list. Not good for business.
In the coming year, I plan to create a blog to inform my clients and others of current computer and device related topics. I will be using the free WordPress.org software.