What do all business owners, entrepreneurs, bloggers and start-ups have in common?
They’ve all asked themselves the very same question: “Should I try to build my own website or should I hire a professional?”
This is a valid question, and I think it is extremely important to fully flesh out the pros and cons of this decision before hiring a designer/developer or tackling it solo.
Here are a few pros and cons you should take into consideration when designing a website.
Designing Your Own Website Vs. Hiring A Professional
Pros of Hiring a Pro:
1. They know what they are doing.
This isn’t their first rodeo. They know best practices, what needs to be done, how best to do it and what they need from you to be successful. Design agencies have extensive experience creating websites for all kinds of businesses.
They may also specialize in web platforms such as HubSpot, Wordpress, Wix, SquareSpace, and Shopify. This means they'll be able to set your site up right and ensure everything works the way it should be. And if something goes wrong, they'll be the ones contacting tech support, not you.
2. They have access to the tools, software and information necessary to do a good job.
A professional already has everything they need to build an amazing website.
- They have the software already purchased and downloaded to their computer.
- They have access to the talent to create the graphics, illustrations and imagery necessary to make your site look professional.
- They have access to an array of people with different skill sets to make sure EVERYTHING on your site is up to snuff (content, 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 problems more quickly and finish your project at a faster rate than you might be able to on your own.
3, The final product is going to be A+ (if you pick the right pro).
As long as you vet out and choose the right professional to do the job for you, the final product you receive is going to be on another level! No one will go to your website and think, “Hmm, looks like they built this themselves.” Which, let’s be honest, even in a world of DIY, no one wants something to look DIY.
Cons of Hiring a Pro:
1. It’s not going to 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, functional website your customers will love. Some agencies charge more than others, but as a rule, agency that offer $100 for a fully built website are probably not going to provide you with the same quality and functionality as an agency that charges $3,000-$5,000.
2. It’s going to take time.
A true professional wants to create a professional website for your business. And that isn’t 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.
Another thing you'll want to keep in mind is that agencies are often very busy. While web design agencies have teams ready to tackle whatever request comes their way, they also have other customers. They have to balance the needs of everyone they serve. So, a task that takes 3 hours to do may be done over a span of 3 days. If you choose to go with an agency, you'll have to understand that they won't be able to drop everything every time you need something updated.
3. You’ll have 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 do a good job.
Make sure you research them, ask for references, and look through their portfolio of work before getting started. Have an in-depth conversation with them to make sure their values align with yours and that the relationship will last. It’s also a good idea to ensure you have an agreement letter or a contract with a list of expectations before beginning a project with any contract worker.
Pros of a DIY Website:
1. You save money... sort of.
Building and designing your own website can save you hundreds, even thousands of dollars. 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, unmobile-friendly website that doesn't work. And if people can't navigate your website, they won't purchase your product or service.
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! Being able to work on a project when you have the time is convenient, but make sure you are giving it the time it deserves. Building a website in the spare 15 minutes you have every once in awhile will end up taking FOREVER and may cause your site to look disjointed or thrown together.
Another benefit of working at your own pace is 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're 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).
Like I said above, you know your business and industry better than anyone else! Which is great, BUT this knowledge can cause you to communicate over the heads of your audience, leaving them confused and uninterested in your business.
There is a concept called the Curse of the Knowledge that my favorite author, Donald Miller, frequently references. You can learn more about the Curse of Knowledge and how it to bridge the knowledge gap, here.
2. Let’s be honest; you aren’t a pro.
You may be a pro at a lot of things, but most likely marketing, website design, content creation and web development are probably not all on that list. And to build a truly fantastic website, you need to be well-versed in all of those areas.
If your viewers 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.
3. Making a website on your own takes a lot of time (and time is money!).
Building your own website is going to be a project that will cost you quite a bit of time. Even if you use a builder like Wix or Wordpress, you'll likely spend 2-5 hours per page. That adds up fast.
What you need to decide beforehand is what is your time is worth? If your time is worth $50 an hour, then how many hours can you spend on this project (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 pro to 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, leave them in the comments below!
And if you think an agency might be the best fit for your business, schedule a chat with ROI Online. We've worked with all kinds of businesses—from one-man shops to Fortune 5000 companies. Whether you need a made-from-scratch website or a complete marketing machine, we have the expertise to help you do marketing the right way.