Should you DIY your website build or hire a professional

There are hundreds of website builders and countless online tutorials to help you design and build your website, but….

Where do you start? Who do you hire? Do you do it yourself? How much should it cost? What platform is the best?

These are the questions you are probably asking, and depending on who you ask, you will get so many conflicting opinions that you may end up with decision-making paralysis. As there are so many considerations to consider, the below pros and cons will help you decide if you should DIY or hire a professional.

Things to consider if you Do-It-Yourself

Many entrepreneurs and business owners choose to DIY their website build because it is cost-effective and gives you full control over your design and website. Below are some pros and cons to this option:

Cost

Pros: Most web builders have affordable annual payment plans with web hosting and domain name registration included, you also won’t have any site maintenance fees as these are also included which makes this option great for getting up and running without breaking your budget.

Cons: If you need extra functionality or your business or company doesn’t fit the website builders’ cookie-cutter-type standards it can get really expensive and time-consuming to add it to your site.

Time and Energy

Pros: Most website builders advertise their products as ‘easy to build a stunning, beautiful website in the shortest time possible’ but if you aren’t web or tech savvy (or you don’t have an artistic bone in your body) the website building process can be a very steep learning curve and will take some patience and the willingness to learn to get your site looking good and running. However, once you get past this you will be able to use your chosen site builder with ease.

Cons: Most business owners and entrepreneurs tend to be rather busy people, most have time constraints and other commitments and don’t have the time to learn and build a website. Building your website from scratch can be a time-consuming project. 

Customisation

Pros: All website builders have restrictions on what can be changed on their templates and functionality that can be added to your site. This is great as you will not be overwhelmed with options and if you don’t need anything too complex with special functionality this offers a perfect solution.

Cons: You may find that your website needs special functionality (such as stock management integration or a custom payment solution) which your chosen website builder can not give you or costs a small fortune to implement.

Support

Pros: As website builders are closed software your website is generally safer and more secure from hackers and bugs. Most companies also offer some sort of customer support, community forums and tutorials which can help you with any issues you may come across.

Cons: Sometimes, despite doing everything right, things can go wrong. If they do it can be very time-consuming to find help and can sometimes incur extra costs to solve.

Design

Pros: Most website builders come with a variety of pre-designed templates, colours and built-in functionality. This makes the design process painless and fast.

Cons: You will need to customise your website to align with your business branding and marketing, if you don’t you could end up with a bland-looking or generic website that scares away customers.

Summary:

Website builders are easy to use once you learn how to use them and you don’t need any coding knowledge to build your site. If you are web and tech-savvy and have or can make some time then DIY is your best option.

Hiring a professional Web Developer/Designer

Hiring a professional web designer/developer is often a good idea for your business. After all your business website is a major marketing tool that should be attractive and competitive. When you work with a pro you get the benefit of their knowledge and experience.

Cost

Pros: Hiring a professional increases the likelihood of your website being a success. You should get a nicely designed mobile-friendly website with custom branding and all the features your business needs along with decent maintenance packages.

Cons: Quality design and web development services are not cheap, but they look good and work great.

Time and Energy

Pros: A professional saves time and stress, plus they can design and build a website quickly and efficiently. Not only that, but they can also set up certain site functionalities which can help your business run more efficiently 

Cons: Sometimes it can be hard to find the right professional for your business/project.

Customisation

Pros: A pro will create a custom website that meets your specific needs and is designed to achieve your goals. You will also have access to an expert with years of experience, creative solutions and tech know-how, essentially they will handle everything while you focus on running your business.

Cons: Depending on the customisation and functionalities that your site needs this may increase the cost of the project.

Support

Pros: Professional designers and developers will be able to advise you on the best CMS platforms to use, they will also be able to keep your website as secure as possible and well-maintained. Most professionals will also be happy to offer tech support on an ongoing basis.

Cons: Most developers/designers use open-source software, which means that you will have to pay for maintenance.

Design

Pros: Most professionals will take into account your digital strategy, marketing goals and brand identity when designing and building your site which will give you a strong foundation for long-term success.

Cons: With a good developer/designer on board you can get overwhelmed with all the design options, that being said a pro should be able to tailor your design options and help you decide on which direction to go in.

Summary:

If your website requires several features and custom functionality such as image optimisation, payment platform integration, code or plugin knowledge, responsive design and SEO, then getting a professional to design and build your site is the best option for you.

Choosing between a DIY and custom site comes down to what you are looking for in your website, how much time you can devote, your tech skills, your budget and the functionalities of your website.

If you fall between DIY and hiring a pro you can always consider a hybrid option, maybe you just need help with making your site responsive or adding new pages and content, or you could just need some maintenance for your site if so drop me an email and we can discuss how I can help you.

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