The truth is that web design and development is not rocket science. Most of us have the capacity to learn all kinds of skills, given unlimited time. The question you should ask yourself is, “How do I want to spend my time? Do I want to learn web design and development or do I want to invest that time into running my business?”
We have compiled below a list of factors that should go into your decision whether or not to try building your website yourself.
Factors to consider when determining:
should I build my own website or hire a developer?
How computer savvy are you?
Drag and drop software can make building a website seem easy, but to make it look good, work well, and remain secure, you need strong computer skills. At the minimum, you should understand HTML and CSS, image editing, web hosting, domain names, databases, backups and updates, and FTP.
How much time do you have to work on your website?
Whether you hire a web developer or build the site yourself, a significant amount of time will be spent compiling, writing and editing the content for the website. Many of our clients have difficulty finding the time just for the task of content creation. Can you afford the additional time required to learn how to build a website?
For your website to drive business and stay relevant overtime, you will need to stay on top of web standards and best practices. Ongoing maintenance will be required to keep your site functioning and in good standing with Google and other search engines.
How well do you understand marketing/advertising?
Your website is an essential tool in your marketing arsenal, and, in many cases, it will be the first contact a potential client has with your business. Having a solid understanding of basic marketing principles will help you to present interesting and compelling information that fit the needs of existing and prospective customers.
What image are you trying to convey?
If the purpose of your website is to build credibility and develop your reputation as an authority, DIY may not be the way to go. A professional web developer understands how users think and what functions they expect. They will be able to translate your business philosophy, its goods and services, into a strong online presence.
How well do you understand search engine optimization?
Let’s say you’ve built your website and it’s live. How will people find it? Making your site easy for users and search engines to understand is critical to your site getting found. Without adequate SEO, many sites remain invisible.
If you are looking to save a couple of bucks by doing it yourself, in the long run you may lose money on the deal.
- Sites created with free drag and drop tools are notoriously behind technologically, which means your site will likely need to be rebuilt sooner.
- A site you build yourself is unlikely to be search engine optimized, making it harder to find.
- You can waste countless hours that could have been invested in your core business.
- There is more to building a website than the initial construction.
The web is a constantly changing beast. As developers ourselves, we spend a good portion of our day learning about new technologies, keeping up with web standards and best practices, and researching Google’s latest requirements.
When you hire a good web professional, you aren’t just buying a website, you are also getting access to the knowledge and skills that they have been building throughout their career.
Finally, hiring a developer to build your website doesn’t mean giving up day-to-day management of its content. A good developer will build a site for you that is easy to update. You’ll be able to add new content as frequently as you wish, without having to reach out to your developer each time. Then, when there’s a need to add functionality or special features, your developer can handle the “development” so you can spend time doing the things you do best.
You want your investment, be it time or money or both, to satisfy your own aesthetic sense and to help your business grow. A good developer can be your partner in achieving that goal.