Should You DIY Your Website or Hire a Pro?

 

For small businesses looking to create a website, the number of available resources can be overwhelming.

We understand these challenges because we’ve been there…

Design Powers began as a full-service graphic design firm in 1996. We didn’t have a website because the process felt daunting and expensive.

There are plenty of DIY website builders to choose from and countless numbers of online articles to assist you in the website design and build process, but…

Where do you start? Who do you hire? Do you do-it-yourself? How much should it cost? What platform is the best?

These are questions you’re probably asking if you’re debating DIYing or getting a professionally designed web presence.

Depending on who you ask, there are MANY conflicting opinions that leave you confused, googling around for answers, or worse — paralyzed.

You know the reasons why you need a business website and that having your business online brings benefits, but it’s hard to distinguish what’s best for you and what’s simply a waste of time.

Here are some considerations that will help you decide if you should DIY or hire a pro.

 
 

Do-It-Yourself (DIY)

Many entrepreneurs and business owners choose to use web builder tools for their website because they are cost-effective and easy to use content management systems. You also have control over your design.

Budget

Perhaps the biggest incentive to DIY is cost savings. Web builders have affordable annual payment plans with hosting and domain name registration included. You won’t have monthly maintenance fees because security is included in your subscription. DIY is great for getting you up and running without breaking the bank.

Time and Energy

DIY builders love to advertise their products as “build a beautiful and stunning website in a day”, but if you’re not the web or tech-savvy type, using a builder will take some time, patience, and willingness to learn. Once you get past the learning curve, you’ll be able to use the builder with ease, but for those with time constraints and commitments, your website build could be a rather time-consuming project.

Customization and Complexity

DIY builders have restrictions on the extent to which they can be customized. This is great because you won’t be overwhelmed with endless options. If you don’t need anything too complex with special functionality or lots of customization, like simple e-commerce or a brochure site, this could be the right solution for your business.

Security and Support

Since web builders are closed source software your website is safe and secure from hackers and bugs. Most companies offer some kind of customer support, knowledge base with tutorials, and community forum where people can post questions and answers.

Your Skill Level

Website builders are extremely easy to use after you get used to them and don’t require any HTML or CSS coding knowledge. If you’ve got the design and tech skills a DIY site is probably your best bet.

Design and Strategy

All web builders are set up with pre-designed templates, but your brand shouldn’t look like everyone else’s. You’ll want to customize your template to make it your own unless you’re not concerned about a unique look. If you’ve got design and marketing experience you’re good to go. However, if that’s not your expertise consider hiring a pro to help brand your business and website for optimal customer experience and conversion.

 
 

Professional Web Design and Developer

Hiring a designer is often a good choice for your business. Your site is a major business marketing tool, so it only makes sense to hire a designer to ensure it’s is attractive and competitive. When you work with a professional you get the benefit of their experience and expertise.

Budget

Hiring a pro will be an investment upfront, but the increased likelihood of success it offers outweighs the initial cost. A custom brochure site can cost anywhere from $2,500 and up. A nicely designed mobile-friendly website with custom branding and all the features a small business needs will cost around $5,000 and up. If your site requires complex functionality and development or high-quality e-commerce features the price could start at $7,500 and up. Your site development will determine if you’ll need monthly maintenance to make sure everything runs smoothly and that typically starts around $50 and up.

Time and Energy

Perhaps the most invaluable reason to hire a professional is that this will end up saving you time and stress. Not only can a website designer build your site quickly and efficiently, but they can also set up website functionalities like an appointment scheduler or contact form that will eliminate the need to book appointments via telephone and back-and-forth email which will help your business run more efficiently.

Customization and Complexity

When you hire a pro they will create a custom website that meets your specific needs and designed to achieve your objectives. Your site will reflect your brand in the most attractive way possible. You’ll have access to an expert with years of experience, creative ideas, and technological know-how.

Security and Support

Contrary to what many think, a website is never complete. Websites need fresh content to keep them relevant. Open-source software, like WordPress, is more vulnerable if you don’t keep the plugins updated. While closed source software has dedicated teams to keep things secure. A pro can help you figure out which platform is best for your business needs and may offer monthly support post-launch.

Your Skill Level

This is one of the biggest reasons to hire a web designer. A website will require several features including, proper heading elements, image optimization, code or plugin knowledge, responsive design, and SEO. Pros have the know-how and experience to get your project done well. Hiring a web designer will give you a high-quality site that’s both dynamic and attractive.

Design and Strategy

A well-thought out and researched digital strategy will give you the foundation for long term success. A digital strategist will keep your goals in mind, consider your business model, and design for your target audience. They may set up search engine optimization to increase your search results and potential to attract customers.

Still not sure or somewhere in between?

Choosing between a DIY and custom site comes down to what you’re looking for, how much time you can devote, your skill level, your budget, the functionalities you need, and how customized you want to get with your branding and website .

If you fall somewhere in between DIY and hiring a pro, a hybrid option that has a bit of both DIY and expert assistance could be one way to go.

Before you get decide talk with an expert and evaluate your options. We created the Power Plan to help small business owners figure out exactly their website needs and to get an actionable plan to get started.

Hopefully, we provided you with enough info to determine if you should DIY it or hire a pro. Let us know in the comments!