The Pros And Cons
‘Should I set out to design and build my own website or should I engage the services of a professional?’
All business owners, entrepreneurs, bloggers, and start-ups have asked themselves the same question.
It is a very logical question, and I think it is of major importance to fully flesh out the pros and cons of this commitment before hiring a designer/developer or going it alone.
Designing and building a website is like riding a bike. For me!
Here are some pros and cons you should think about when designing a website.
Designing Your Own Website Vs. Hiring A Professional.
Pros of Hiring a Professional:
1. They know what they are doing.
This isn’t their first time. They know best practices, the crucial elements that must be in place, the most fitting way to do it, and what they need from you for it to be successful. Design agencies have considerable experience creating websites for all kinds of organisations.
They also specialise in web hosting platforms. This way they’ll be able to set your website up correctly and ensure each element works the way it should be. Then, if something goes wrong, they’ll be the ones contacting technical support, not you.
2. They have access to the necessary tools for the job, suitable software, and the knowledge necessary to complete the task.
A professional already has everything they need to build an astonishing website.
They have the software already purchased and downloaded to their systems. They have already established access to the talent to create the graphics, illustrations, and imagery essential to make your site look professional.
They have access to an array of people with different skill sets to make sure every facet of your website is up to scratch. Copywriting, SEO, analytics/reporting, development, etc.
They also have a team of experts under their belt. As a result, they will be able to deal with difficulties quickly and efficiently, completing your project at a faster rate than you might be able to if you’d tried yourself.
3, The final product is going to be top-notch – if you choose the right professional.
As long as you select the most suitable designer to do the job for you, the end result you receive is going to be on another level! No one will go to your website and think, “Looks like they knitted this themselves.” Which, let’s be honest, even in the realms of DIY, no one really wants something to look DIY.
Cons of Hiring a Professional
1. It won’t be free.
Hiring a professional is going to cost money. What you have to decide is if the money you pay is worth the value of a great-looking, fully-functional website your customers will love. Some agencies charge more than others, but as a rule, agencies that offer £300 for a completed website is not going to provide you with the same quality and functionality as an agency that charges £1,000-£3,500.
2. It will take time.
A professional wants to design a truly professional website for your organisation. It’s not going to happen overnight. A project like this will take time, multiple revisions and edits, as well as your input before it is complete. As a result, you shouldn’t expect your website to be finished in four weeks. Especially if you make a lot of changes to the content.
Something else you’ll want to keep in mind is that agencies are often very busy. While web design agencies have teams ready to get to grips with whatever request comes their way, they also have other customers. They have to weigh up the needs of everyone they serve. So, a task that takes 3 hours to do may be done over a spread of 3 days. If you choose to go with an agency, you’ll have to appreciate that they won’t be able to drop everything every time you need something updated.
3. You’ll need to weigh your options.
A big con of hiring a pro is that a lot of pros are cons. Not everyone who says they are a web designer actually knows what they are doing or has the skills and experience needed to complete the work.
Make sure you research them thoroughly, ask for references, and look through their portfolio of work before getting started. Have an in-depth discussion with them to make sure their values align with yours and that the association will last. It’s also paramount to ensure you have an agreement letter or a contract with a list of expectations before beginning a project with any contract professional.
Maintaining a healthy and prosperous relationship with your web designers
Pros of a DIY Website:
1. You save money… or do you?
Designing and building your own website could save you hundreds, even thousands of pounds. But make sure you ask for your customers, employees, and friends’ input on the website instead of just doing what you think looks good or functions the best.
If a website was cheap but doesn’t perform well, it ends up costing you more money than it saves. Nobody wants to visit a slow, unattractive, website that doesn’t work and is not mobile-friendly. And if people can’t navigate your website, they probably won’t buy into your products and/or services.
2. You get to work at your own pace.
If you decide to become a DIY website designer, you can do so at your own pace, which is nice! Having the ability to work on a project when you have the time is convenient, but make sure you are assigning it the time it deserves. Building a website in the odd 30 minutes you have every once in a while will end up taking a lifetime and may cause your site to lack cohesion.
The upside of working at your own pace is that you decide what’s a priority. You won’t have to wait as long for task turnaround. Unless, of course, you get super busy. But at least you are your own boss!
3. You know your business best.
This is your baby. You know your business better than anyone else. So when you make your website yourself, you can skip the learning process that you have to go through with agencies. You don’t have to spend weeks explaining what your business does. You already know that. And you know what your customers need, so you can make strategic decisions to help them as much as possible.
Cons of a DIY Website:
1. You know too much. You are too close to see the big picture.
As I said above, you know your business and industry better than anyone else! This is fantastic, but this understanding can cause you to communicate over the heads of your target audience, leaving them perplexed and disinterested in what you have to offer.
2. Be honest; you are not a pro.
You may be brilliant at a lot of things, but most likely marketing, website design, content creation, and web development are probably not all on that list of fine achievements. To build a truly great website, you need to be outstanding in all of those areas.
If your visitors are going to a website that looks or sounds amateur, it will remove credibility from where you actually deserve it, with your products and/or services. This may do more harm than good.
3. Making a website yourself takes a lot of time, and time is money.
Creating your own website is going to be a project that will cost you a great deal of time. Even if you use an online builder, you’ll probably spend 2-5 hours per page. And that adds up fast.
What you need to decide before you start is what is your time is worth? If your time is worth £50 an hour, how many hours can you spend on this project, whilst not running your business, before you have actually wasted money on what was supposed to be a cheap solution?
Build Your Website. Grow Your Business.
So what’s it going to be? Are you going to be a DIYer or will you hire a professional to design and build your website? I suggest you read over this article a few times, make notes and come up with your own pros and cons before making a final decision.
If you can think of more pros and cons that should be included in this list, I’d be interested to hear them.
And if you consider that an agency might be the best fit for your project, call them now for an informal chat. I’ve worked with all kinds of organisations, from individuals to large multi-national corporations. Whether you need a small brochure website or a complex eCommerce solution, we have the expertise to help you.