Any small business especially a start-up will benefit from managing their website in-house, as we discussed they have to do more with less. So let me explain what I mean about managing the website in house. I am not saying you should design your own website, although you could pretty easily. Most companies choose to have a web developer build their site, but if you go this route, make sure that you can manage the site. This will mean that you can update pages, products, add new pages and any other maintenance functions on your own.
In order to manage your own website you have to be able to write about your company and industry with clarity and professionalism. This is how you will create the content and manage the messages on your site. I personally just started writing at work, about our products and company, at first it was intimidating. Mostly because I am not a writer by trade, over time I have developed my own style. My recommendation is to start small, start with the parts of your business that you are most passionate about.
You will also need to understand how html code works and how to use. The best part about html is that you can find out how to code something really quickly by using Google search. I had my first exposure to website building in 1998 at Cal State Sacramento. Back then we were building websites on a Unix server, it was interesting to say the least. Today it is much easier to build a page or edit html. My recommendation would be to start with an online html editor like this one. Once you start to master the art of html, you can purchase more advanced software, I use Adobe Dreamweaver. This way you can modify and use your existing page template to build new pages. You will only use your developer for more complicated changes on the site.
The last and most valuable skill that you can teach yourself and your team to do is use a camera and photo editing software. This is the most crucial piece to managing a site. You will have product changes and add new products and services. I recommend buying a decent camera; I personally use a Canon t4i. It’s a great camera that is easy to use and takes good pictures. You will need to learn a little bit of software, I use Adobe Photoshop for editing photos. I worked with a friend to learn Photoshop and I use my camera as much as possible at work and at home. Mastering the camera is primary; using Photoshop is a little easier, because you can access online videos to learn new techniques in the software.
These are just a few of the ways you can streamline some very important tasks, getting them done in house and right the first time. Nobody knows your products, services or company better than your team. Why not let them handle these tasks in-house.
Feel free to comment and let me know about your personal experience with these skills.