Building a Business Website: Should You DIY or Hire A Web Developer?

Building a Business Website: Should You DIY or Hire A Web Developer?

Building a Business Website: Should You DIY or Hire A Web Developer?

 

Until recently, an owner who wanted to create a website for their business had little choice but to put all of their eggs in one basket and hire a professional web developer and/or designer to create their website. But in recent years, taking a more hands on approach to building your own website (even with minimal development knowledge) has become a reality thanks to website builders such as Wix and Squarespace. And whilst the thought of building your own website may scare you, if you can manage to use everyday programs on your computer such as Microsoft Word and PowerPoint, the likelihood is you are capable of using a website builder to build your own website.

 

Before deciding whether to take on the creation process yourself or hire a developer, there are some factors you should consider:

 

How Tech Savvy Are You?

The beauty of drag-and-drop website builders is that they allow you to design, edit and create a complete website without the need to understand or touch code. Sure, it may take some time (and the use of online ‘help’ resources) to learn how to master the website builder’s editor, but with a little bit of patience and perseverance, anyone with reasonable computer skills can create a beautiful, functional website.

 

If you do have some web development knowledge, and are confident with handling code, you may prefer to build your website on a more powerful content management system (CMS) such as WordPress. Many hosting companies offer one-click WordPress installation, which reduce the time and technical difficulty of the installation process. With a huge selection of pre-designed themes (they determine the design and layout of your website) and plugins (elements and functions you can install on your website such as forms or pop-ups) to choose from, it is possible to create a WordPress site on your own.

 

Whilst website builders and WordPress bring the website-building power back into your hands, it should be noted that the DIY approach is best suited to brochure-style or informational websites- where the purpose of the website is to promote your business or service. If you require more advanced features on your website such as a database or log-in functionality, major 3rd-party integrations, or a highly complicated eCommerce interface, we recommend enlisting the help of a web professional.

 

How Much Time Do You Have to Create Your New Website?

 

As laid out in The Ultimate Guide To Building Your Website, there is more to the website creation process than just building the site. You will need time to research, plan and build your website, prepare content (textual and visual) and perform ongoing maintenance of the site.

 

For this reason, it is crucial you are honest with yourself about the time you are willing to invest in this project. If you are fully dedicated to building the site, it can probably be completed using a website builder within a couple of days to a couple of weeks (depending on the number of pages, amount of content required and complexity of the site). But realistically, you have more to manage than just the new website- so be prepared to schedule your time accordingly and productively if you wish to DIY.

 

Depending on their demand from clients, a professional developer can take up to a month, or even longer, to complete a new website, so you will need to be patient. The benefit of employing a professional to manage the development side of your website, is that you can free up time to work on other aspects, such as writing content, sourcing images, creating an impressive logo, setting up your business page on social media and more.

 

TIP: If you do wish to maintain control of the website creation process, you can ‘outsource’ certain tasks such as content writing, logo creation and more. Freelancer marketplaces such as Fiverr and UpWork offer search engines for ‘by-the-hour’ freelance workers from around the world. Check out our Freelancer Marketplace Comparison to find the best marketplace for your business needs.
fiverr
Find freelancers with a range of expertise on Fiverr

What is Your Budget?

The core benefit of creating your site by yourself as opposed to hiring a professional developer (as with most DIY projects) is the financial saving. Hiring a web developer to perform the entire website creation process (website design, building the site, set up hosting, site QA and more) will usually start in the thousands of dollars depending on the platform you prefer to use (a website builder such as Wix or WordPress for example) and the experience of the web professional.

 

If you choose to use WordPress, installation of the platform is free, but you will pay a monthly fee for hosting ($3-$10/month) and a yearly fee for the domain name ($15-$20/year). The cost of using a website builder to build and manage your website usually starts at $12 a month (hosting included) plus the yearly fee for the domain name.

 

If you build your website by yourself, side-by-side WordPress works out cheaper than a website builder. But unless you are skilled at website development, you will likely require the assistance of a web professional, in which case, you will be looking at development fees of thousands of dollars for the creation of a website and hundreds to thousands of dollars for ongoing maintenance.

 

If you don’t have this kind of budget, building your website by yourself on a website builder is the best way to proceed. Luckily most of them offer a free trial so you can test your chosen platform before securing it for the long-term.

 

DIY vs Developer: Head to Head

 

 DIY Web Professional
Development experience
  • For Website Builders: no coding experience required
  • For WordPress: some coding knowledge is required
  • You don’t need experience with web building platforms
 Time
  • You will be required to invest a lot of time
  • You need to prioritize your time for planning, building and QAing the site as well as content development (as well as your regular day-to-day tasks)
  • You can invest less time by hiring a developer
  • Spend more time on developing content and other marketing channels, not to mention growing your business
 Budget
  • Starting at $50/year for domain & hosting
  • May need additional budget for content, logo, one-time development assistance etc.
  • Starting at $50/year for domain & hosting
  • For a good developer to build your website: several thousands of dollars.
  • Ongoing development work: hundreds to thousands of dollars
 Customization
  • Customizations will be limited by your skills and potentially the website builder you use
  • Customization is limitless (when developer builds site on WordPress)
Content writing, logo design & additional website-related tasks
  • Complete yourself at minimal/no cost
  • Hire a freelancer through a marketplace at relatively low cost
  • Professional content writer will charge an average of $50 per 500 words
  • Professional logo design will start in the hundreds of dollars

 

Thanks to the technology behind today’s advanced website builders, practically anyone who can use a computer can build a website. And with the numerous resources available through freelancer marketplaces such as Fiverr and UpWork – or through internal marketplaces such as the Wix App Market – reaching out for assistance during your site creation process needn’t come at a high cost. Unless you require a highly flexible website with customized features and designs, we encourage you to give building a website yourself a go- the results will surely please you.

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