n my discussion of html editors, I stress that building a professional web page with good functionality and "feel" is not something that should be left to an amateur. If an organization is serious about their online presence then they need to consider how that presence will reflect upon them when people visit their site. When I am researching companies on the web, my immediate impression of them is formed by the quality of their website. If the site is cheesy and amateurish then, consciously or not, people are less likely to assume the company is professional on first impression. For example, in my extensive search of Web Hosting and Domain Registration companies, I found a number of companies that had decent offerings but their website had that "…I’m running this company out of my basement…" feel. If a company cannot put forth the effort or cannot afford a good website what makes me think I can trust them with my data?

As already mentioned, templates are an affordable method to create a professional and functional web presence. Those companies with little or no web programming knowledge or even organizations that need a stunning, unique website with custom art really should turn to professional web designers.

There are too many quality professional web design firms and individuals to rate or recommend. They are available in your local phone book and can be found in search engines by searching for website design. The best way to evaluate a web designer is to evaluate live sites that they have designed and talk to the customers to find their level of satisfaction.

Keep in mind that pro web design is not cheap. Expect to pay hundred to thousands of dollars for professional web design. If your budget cannot afford a custom site then you may want to consider an intermediate step between do-it-yourself templates and professional web design. TemplateTuning and Boxed Art both offer template customization by professional web designers. Since the web designer is not creating original work, the prices are significantly lower but the customer benefits from the skills of a professional to get the look and feel they need.