Twisting your handle-bar mustache, you think to yourself....

I'm pretty good with computers and I'm a smart guy/gal. I even have some web software. Who needs a web designer?...

Let me tell you. Being that I am a web designer, I like to feel needed....By everyone. However, I'm willing to admit that maybe a few of you (seriously.... like 3 or 4) don't need me. Just be smart about your decision. Much more money may be lost by trying the easy, inexpensive way first, realizing that it isn't working, and then going with a professional web designer after all. The bottom-line is this: If your budget is very limited and your web site expectations are quite modest, invest in Macromedia Dreamweaver and give it a try. If your web site is for any type of professional company or organization, invest in a web designer. If you can't afford a decent web designer, you should do without a web site for a while. A bad, makeshift web site will do horrors to a company's image and to business. In this case, it's better to have no site at all.

If you've already decided to ignore my warnings against doing it yourself (then shame on you!), and are looking for some web-editing software, I would recommend Macromedia Dreamweaver. Dreamweaver offers a much higher level of design and is just as easy to learn the basics as other web editing software and if you decide to go with a web designer in the distant future, it may be more compatible for you to make simple updates to the site using Dreamweaver versus some other programs.

All that said, this advice only applies to those with very tight budgets and fairly low expectations. If you can afford a web designer, I suggest you set a budget for your web project and then start shopping around. You won't find a quality designer for much less than $400-$500, even for the most basic 4-5 page site. The cost could vary quite a bit based on the size and features of your desired site and the quality of work provided by the chosen web designer.

BEWARE OF ADVERTISED BARGAINS! Think of it this way: Web design is a service, not a product. Have you ever heard of a bargain electrician or a bargain plumber? Maybe this guy costs less because his bum-heinie peeks out above the tool belt and I have to look at it while he works, you think to yourself.

Not likely.

Like everything else in this world, you get what you pay for and, if you have to see your web designer's butt-crack for any reason, I suggest you take your business elsewhere.