Radio Station Website Solutions: How to Choose the Right Path

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Are you looking to do something different with your radio station website?  Or are you just starting out and finally realizing the importance of an active online presence?

Today, we’ll explore five avenues you have for creating and updating your radio station website: doing it yourself (DIY), using an off-the-shelf template, using an online website builder, hiring a professional web designer, and partnering with a specialized radio station website service like Skyrocket Radio. Let’s look at the pros and cons of each one so you can make the best-informed decision.

Option 1: DIY (Do-It-Yourself) Code/Hosting

Pros

  1. Cost-Effective: Lower upfront costs make this an accessible option.
  2. Full Control: You dictate every aspect of your website, from design to updates.
  3. Customization: You choose the features and appearance of your site.
  4. Skill Building: Staff can acquire valuable web management skills.

Cons

  1. Time Commitment: The initial setup and ongoing updates can be labor-intensive.
  2. Technical Hurdles: Issues may arise requiring specialized knowledge in coding or cybersecurity.
  3. Quality: Without professional help, the final product may lack polish.
  4. Ongoing Maintenance: You are responsible for updates, security patches, and bug fixes.

Option 2: Off-the-Shelf Templates/Plugins

Pros

  1. Quick Setup: Pre-made templates and plugins allow for a faster launch.
  2. Lower Costs: Generally cheaper than hiring a professional designer.
  3. Ease of Use: Templates and plugins often have user-friendly interfaces for updating content.

Cons

  1. Limited Uniqueness: They are not built for YOU.  Your website may look like others using the same template.
  2. Feature Limitations: You’re restricted to the templates and plugins’ features. It’s very difficult to find template authors willing to make custom changes.
  3. Compatibility: Not all templates support advanced features like live streaming or ad modules. Some templates are not compatible with specific plugins.
  4. Ongoing Maintenance: You are still responsible for security patches and bug fixes.

Option 3: Online Website Builder (Wix, Squarespace, Weebly)

Pros

  1. Quick Setup: These platforms are designed for quick, painless website launches.
  2. User-Friendly: Intuitive drag-and-drop interfaces make it easy for anyone to update content.
  3. Moderately Priced: Often cheaper than hiring a designer but more expensive than completely DIY.
  4. Less Maintenance: The platform keeps things safe and secure.

Cons

  1. Limited Flexibility: You’re confined to the templates and customization options they offer – most of which are general-purpose.
  2. Design Eye Needed: Although the interface is easy to use, most people do not have an eye for creating attractive designs that resonate with your audience.
  3. Ongoing Costs: Most come with a monthly or annual subscription fee.
  4. Generic Feel: Your site may look like many others. This isn’t good when trying to make your online experience mirror the vibe of the radio station.

Option 4: Hiring a Professional Web Designer or Agency

Pros

  1. Quality: Designers offer a professional-grade website tailored to your needs.
  2. Advanced Features: Complex features like live streaming can be built into the design.
  3. Initial Timesaving: Designers handle the setup of everything.
  4. Staff Training: Some designers provide training to help your team manage updates.

Cons

  1. Higher Costs: Custom design services come at a premium price.
  2. Dependency: You may need to consult the designer about significant changes.
  3. Ongoing Maintenance: If the designer or agency makes security patches, you’ll pay a monthly or per-update fee each time. Otherwise, it’s your responsibility to maintain security updates.

Important note: Hiring a cheap overseas developer is an extremely risky option.  You might get a website tailored to your needs and be happy for a short period.  However, that good feeling will fade quickly when you realize the developer is gone for good and your e-mails and phone calls are never returned.  You’re not likely to find someone overseas willing to work for you long-term, even if they agree initially.  They are off to find their next big client.

Option 5: Partnering with a Radio Station Website Provider (like Skyrocket Radio)

Pros

  1. Industry Expertise: Features and designs created explicitly for radio stations.
  2. Affordable: Competitive pricing covers set-up, hosting, and maintaining security updates to ensure the website functions properly.
  3. Focus on Content: The service handles the technical side, freeing your staff to produce quality content.
  4. Support: Ongoing technical support is a part of the service, typically a call or e-mail away.

Cons

  1. Limited Customization: Some design and feature limitations may exist.
  2. Subscription Fees: Monthly fees are required rather than a one-time fixed amount.

Conclusion

All five options require your staff to take an active role in updating and maintaining the website. DIY gives you full control but demands time and technical skills. Off-the-shelf templates offer a quick, cost-effective start but with limited features and uniqueness.

An online website builder can offer a user-friendly interface but can be just as limiting. Hiring a designer or agency provides a high-quality, custom website at a much higher cost. Partnering with a radio station website provider, like Skyrocket Radio, offers a balanced, specialized service for radio stations, covering most needs at a competitive price.

Your decision will depend on your team’s skills, time availability, and budget.  Don’t just let budget dictate your path.  If you’re comfortable doing more of the technical aspects of running a website, then DIY or the template path might be your avenue.  The developer/agency route may be the way if money is no object.

If you decide on a website service provider offering barter, estimate precisely how much revenue you’ll give up versus the monthly fee service.  Sometimes, the amount you lose each month in barter may be more than you would spend on a monthly fee.

Our recommendation is clear, but we’re happy to advise no matter your route.  Feel free to contact us with any questions or help starting your website journey!

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We want to help your radio station grow and succeed online.  That journey starts with an amazing website that keeps visitors coming back often.  Reach out to us to start your path to online success, or schedule an appointment to see our tools in action.