A few weeks back I wrote a blog post on getting a domain name. What a domain name is, how to register one, and what you can do with it. The next big step would be to have your own website. A place you can call your own home, where your clients can learn more about you, see your homes for sale, get in contact with you, or even search in your area to purchase a home with you.
If you missed the domain name blog read here: Get Yourself a Domain Name – Tech Tips
So now that you want to make a bigger leap into the internet and have your own website we need to go over your options and what each option can bring you. Because there are many options to choose from when you want a website it can get very frustrating. What do you need? What do you want? What is the goal? I will lay out a few options for you and try to help you choose the best option for what will work best for you.’
Before jumping into the list of what the options are we have to quickly touch on one subject. The Internet Data Exchange or IDX for short. This is a service that is needed to have users search for homes on your website and see what you have for listings. The IDX service can be purchased separately from your website, purchased with your website, or even come with a website option.
Build Your Own
There are places on the internet where you can build your own website using the tools given to you by the website company. Using the tools provided are just as simple as clicking and dragging boxes to a blank page. You want a photo here, grab the photo box and place it on the page where you want it. Need a paragraph there, grab the text box and drag it onto your site where you would like it. These types of websites, wix.com is a perfect example, are quick ways to get a website up and running. Little to no customization other than using the tools and boxes provided. With a service like this you would have to purchase an IDX solution for searching and listing that would work with the website builder.
Just the Web Space
Website space is just that. You are renting space on a server where you can put just about anything you want on it. These types of options are usually set for expertise level. This option means that you have a complete blank canvas and you can do a whole lot more in what platform to use to build the website and how much customization you have. You can use anything from straight HTML programming to more advanced systems like WordPress and Joomla. These systems have functionality built in to them, but you would need to know how to create templates for the website and design elements to display information. You would have to purchase an IDX solution for this, and some offer plugins that work with systems like WordPress.
Real Estate Web Services
This solution, while might be the easiest and quickest, might cost the most money. These are companies that offer you a full website complete with custom design and maintenance. They have teams of people that will work with you to create your vision and make sure that everything runs smoothly. Most of these companies offer a full IDX solution that includes the design and website and are on hand to give support when something needs to be changed or fixed. They usually charge a one time setup fee and then you pay by month.
I can’t fully tell you to do one option over the other. It all depends on what you want out of your website. If you are looking for easy and only want information up on a page somewhere on the internet then go with an easy build your own. If you are looking for complete customization and branding, and have some knowledge in programming, then a web space provider is the way to go. If you are looking for a fast deployment with no hassle of setting it up and designing it, and having someone there to support it then real estate web services are for you.