The question isn’t whether you can build your site in house, it’s whether you should. It’s easy enough to master the web development basics — a few hours with an HTML book or a web authoring tool is all you need. In fact, most web sites, including any number of business sites, are do-it-yourself projects.
As businesses raise the bar on what makes a “good” web site, however, home-grown efforts are becoming both more complex and more expensive. A no-frills Web site requires some knowledge of HTML, graphic design, and perhaps a bit of scripting. More advanced sites require skilled programmers, multimedia developers, user interface designers, and even database administrators. If you want a full-scale online store — the top of the Web commerce totem pole — you may need some heavy-duty programming, design, and systems integration experts to do the job.
When you think about building your own web site, consider what it will take to keep your site running. Can you afford a full-time database administrator to maintain your online catalog? Will any of your employees know how to create additional graphics and images for your web site? Many sites cost as much to maintain during the first year as they do to build — are you prepared to invest in the staff to handle the job yourself?