According to media sources such as the BBC there is a growing trend to the creation of local website. These websites are geographically focused and deal with a variety of topics that effect just local areas. These websites are typically run by local people with local knowledge. An example of such a site would be for the town of Loughborough in the UK. If you are thinking of setting up such a site there are a variety of ways of achieving this. You could buy a franchise, employ a web designer or do it yourself.
Buying a Franchise.
Companies such as ‘locallife’ or ‘bestof’ sell franchises for people to create content on their site based on geographic area. The advantage of these is that typically you do not need to by proficient in web design as everything you enter goes into predetermined templates. Also you have the advantage that you are buying into a brand. The disadvantage is that because of the characteristic template structure there is less adaptability to your specific needs. The cost of the franchises can also be prohibitive. With initial costs of over 10,000UKP for a small town the amount of advertising revenue to cost just the initial outlay, let alone the ongoing costs may prove to be prohibitive.
Employing a web designer.
This avoids the initial franchise cost; however your money will be rapidly spent on designer’s fees. Good web designers don’t come cheap and beware of ongoing costs. What may seem to be a small addition to the sites functionality may prove to be very expensive. You do retain however the ability to have the site crafted exactly the way you want it.
‘Home’ Made Site.’
This version requires you to be typically very competent in web designing and also how to interact with databases, especially if you want to add even basic functionality to the site. If you go down this route then try to make sure that you can use the technology before launching your site before creating it on the go. You avoid the initial franchise costs and web designer’s costs, but might find yourself spending a lot of the time writing code rather than creating content or promoting your site.
Whichever method you choose you must be prepared to put in long hours to create something that people will want to return to.