Should You Build Your Website or Hire a Professional?
Should You Build Your Website or Hire a Professional?

It’s time to upgrade your website. So should you DIY or hire an expert?

When it comes to upgrading your website, you have two choices. You can DIY – keep the process in house and use a relatively easy ‘paint by numbers’ web platform. Or, you can take the hands-off approach and enlist the help of a professional web developer to design and build you a website that’s a little more high-spec. 

So the question is – which is the right choice for you and your business?  

Budget 

As with most things in business, a decision about a new website will likely come down to money. Yes, hiring an agency or freelance web designer will cost more than keeping the process inhouse. And for those who just need a simple website as a reference point for customers, it may not take much to put something together using a platform like Squarespace, Wix or WordPress. 

But on the flipside – time is money. So if your time could be better spent bringing in more profit for the business, is it really worth being distracted by a project that could drag out longer than you want it to?  

It’s also worth noting that the expression ‘you have to spend money to make money’ is quite valid here. A professional website may use more than budget allows, but one that is done with all the right SEO requirements and lead generating content – it could end up paying for itself in no time.  

Capabilities & complexity

Most DIY website platforms allow for a variety of capabilities, which can help you to create a website to be proud of. And depending on your business structure, you may not need a whole lot of complexity – sometimes being clear and concise is the best way to get your message across. 

But – if you’re a large online retailer or offer a service that people sign up for on your website (and require logins etc), then it may be a little difficult for you to achieve everything needed for it to function effectively without the support of a professional.  

Getting the right results

A website is so much more than an attractive design – sure, it’s important, but there is a lot behind that as well. Your website needs to have a purpose and a strategy behind what you want it to achieve for your business and it also must have all the correct SEO (search engine optimisations) to ensure that once it’s live, it can perform well and be found by the right customers.  

A lot of DIY platforms do have built in SEO assistance, guiding you to create metadata, alt text, page titles etc, but just be aware that it’s easy to get frustrated by all those little details. So if you do DIY, make sure you focus on SEO best practices. 

And when it comes to strategy – you could always hire a consultant to help work that side of things out before you get started, if you’re set on designing the website yourself.   

Making design decisions

Design requires decisions, so if you are going to DIY – planning what you’d like your website to look like is crucial before you get started. Otherwise you risk just sitting there trying out every different kind of template available! 

So one of the most efficient ways of deciding how to move forward with design is to not worry about reinventing the wheel. Research a whole heap of websites both in your industry and outside, and find something you like. Then focus on creating something similar – within your own brand guidelines of course. This is not about copying content or imagery, but more about getting the format of the website right, which you then customise with all your own business messaging. 

When you work with a designer or agency, you’re still able to have some input into the design, but they generally do take the lead after talking to you about what you want to achieve.    

Ongoing support & maintenance

A website will never be static. Employees move on, new services are offered and blogs are created (well, they should be). And if you DIY, then of course you’ll be able to do all of that yourself. But if you outsource, you will incur extra fees when you want to make changes. 

However, things like maintenance and security may be something you prefer to not have to worry about, and a web agency will take care of that for you on an ongoing basis. 

While all of the above may seem like it is biased towards hiring a professional to design and build your website, that’s not the case. The reason there are so many DIY platforms available out there is because a lot of people do want to do it themselves – and if you’re really keen on that, then go for it! 

Here at Freeparking, we help small businesses build their own websites with Sitewiz. With a simple, drag-and-drop interactive dashboard and over 100 premium templates to choose from, no design or technical skills are necessary. And – there’s a free 1 month trial to get you started.

 

By Erin Harrison, Guest Blogger
Erin loves all things content and digital marketing. She has been freelancing since for-ever-ago and there is almost no industry Erin hasn’t carefully crafted content for – across both print and online.

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