How big do you want to start your website?
What’s your budget – money and time?
What business are you in?
You don’t have to start with a big splash. For some people/businesses, it’s easy and maybe less intimidating to start with a single page contact-oriented site. This gets you past the overhead of creating a theme for your site – colors, design, and some basic content. It enables you to begin collecting some metrics to look at the traffic your site generates.
For others, it’s important and required that you start larger (especially e-commerce). Maybe you’ve dragged your feet or have a site that needs to be updated, refreshed, grown.
Having said that… you can start anywhere. There is value to a basic contact website. I can’t remember the last time I opened a phone book, preferring to search the web when I’m looking for an address, phone number or hours.
In most industries, there is greater return on your investment if you look beyond the basic contact info to product/service descriptions and client education. This provides more relevant content so will improve your organic placement on search results and create a relationship with your clients or potential clients. Relationship marketing is a valuable use of your web presence. Organic placement is where you fall naturally in search results.
One caveat. When you’re hiring a pro, it’s usually more cost effective to plan ahead. Iterating can cost more in terms of context switching – the time it takes to get on the schedule and reacquainting the writer/designer/developer with the project. Speak with your designer/developer about this and get their suggestions. If you know you’re going to be doing an e-commerce site, it makes sense to map out a course or just to start with that end game. Begin with the end in mind.
Starting on the web shouldn’t be intimidating, but I understand that it may be. If you’re hesitant, find someone you trust to help. Even just as a sounding board. That is a great first step to remove the magic!
Once you’re comfortable, it’s a budget issue… time & $$.
It’s possible to start with dipping your toes and then you can slide into the shallow end before just cleanly diving off the high board.