In today's day and age, a business, no matter how big or small, cannot function without a website.
In all fairness, a website is one of the best ways to reach out to potential customers without using physical means. It gives your customers a chance to learn more about your brand. As such, a professional website is a must for any business.
But, with dozens of website builders available on the internet, many business owners wonder if it's worth hiring a professional web designer or not. After all, you might as well create your own DIY website using a website builder, right?
Well, in some cases it might make more sense, while in other cases, it is best to hire a web developer. So, which one should you pick for your business and why? Take a look at our detailed guide to make an informed choice.
When Should You Hire A Web Designer?
There is no right or wrong answer to the question “Should you hire a web developer or use a website builder to do it yourself?” The answer depends on a number of factors you should consider when making this decision. So, to make things easier for you, let us break it down into easy sections.
First, let us discuss when it makes sense to hire a web designer to build a new website for your business.
1. If You Have The Budget For It
One of the first factors you need to consider is whether you have the resources and budget to hire a web designer. Usually, the cost of building a custom website depends on the individual charges of a web designer. While you might come across some designers who offer budget services, it is imperative to verify their skills and knowledge.
At the end of the day, building a new website will cost you, and you should be prepared for it. Whether you want to start a digital business or a physical one, having adequate resources to start it up is vital.
A lot of business owners wish to learn how to build a new website. However, keep in mind that this not only takes up your finances but also your time. So, do you have the time it takes to invest in gaining knowledge about domain development, hosting, and website building? If not, then it might make more sense to opt for a professionally designed website.
2. If You Want A Professional-Looking Website
While you can try to pick up a few tips and tricks that will help you build a website through WordPress or Squarespace, it takes time and patience to make it look professional. These skills cannot be learned quickly, and most website builders take years to learn how to build a custom, professional website that can be used for marketing your online business.
There is no harm in having a website design that isn't the most professional-looking one on the internet. However, keep in mind that an amateur website design can adversely affect your marketing strategy and drive customers away.
The most talented and experienced web designers are trained to build websites using excellent tools like WordPress and Squarespace. They usually understand how to use these tools to build a strategic custom website design that attracts the right customers to your online business.
Building a good web design is imperative, as this is what will attract potential customers and make them curious about your business. While you can always use a website builder to create a custom template, it will not match up to the quality provided by a professional web designer.
3. Security And Privacy Factors
Most web developers use proprietary software to design your website. These resources may not be available when you want to build your own website using a website builder, making it vulnerable to hackers.
Of course, you can always get trained in these technical matters and create a secure website for your business, but this may be a time-consuming process.
Plus, web developers usually have the skills to build a secure website that isn't at risk of being hacked. In these cases when you lack the technical know-how, it is best to rely on a professional web designer and their team to help you build a secure website.
4. Strategic Website Development
Merely building a website using a website builder can cost you in a lot of ways. While you may be able to create a workable website using WordPress or other tools, a web developer will offer you a brand new template for a business online.
At the end of the day, you don't want your website to look like other competitor websites customers will find online, right? And a web developer has a lot of experience and expertise in how your website should be designed for your customers and industry. Of course, you can use templates to build a website for your brand; however, these templates generally cannot be customised. So, what you will end up with is a basic website design that has all the functionality but doesn't have a personal touch.
When starting a business online, it is best to opt for an agency that has a team of skilled website builders who are trained in web development. These pros will be able to create an entirely new website related to your specific brand that is unique and reflects its ethos.
5. Purchasing A Domain
New business owners often forget that they need to purchase a domain for their website. Inevitably, this will cost you quite a bit. If you are a small business looking to build a website, it may not make sense to opt for website hosting using a domain.
However, if you hire a professional website developer, they will take care of the hosting, development, and domain-related aspects of the site. As such, you can rest assured that you will end up with a unique website that is appealing to the target audiences.
When Should You Build A Website Yourself?
1. If You Have The Skills And Resources
While a lot of business owners may think that they require basic website building skills to build one, there are plenty of other resources you require for website development. To begin with, it is imperative that you have the technical know-how of how the internet works. You also need to have adequate time that you can invest in building the website and creating its looks as well as functionality.
Of course, you will come across several website hosting and building options on the internet that offer ready-made websites for sale; however, they won't be as good as building one from scratch. These readymade websites often lack the zest and personalisation that would attract new customers.
It is also essential to have some knowledge about SEO, as this is something vital that is used to create an online presence. Although you may use all the right tools and website builders, without good SEO, your website will not show up at the top results of Google. So, you need to incorporate SEO tactics into your website design from the get-go.
2. If You Need To Have An Online Presence Quickly
Don't have the time required to allow a website developer to set up a page for you? Well, then the only answer would be to use a website builder to create your own digital presence for your brand.
Sure, it may not turn out as professional as one built by pros, but, it should have all the functionality required for a starting page.
So, those looking for a starting digital page at the earliest can opt for a web hosting service that will guide them through the process of building an SEO-optimised website for their business.
3. If You Want To Learn About The Process
There are a lot of business owners out there who wish to be part of every process related to their business. These dynamic individuals are ready to invest their time, money, and skills into the process of website building, taking it up as a Do-It-Yourself project.
If you are one of these people, then going through the website building process instead of hiring an agency or a developer may be the right step. Not only will this give you a chance to learn more about the process, but it also brings the opportunity to build your own online business presence from scratch.
For most people, this gives them an intense sense of satisfaction and gratification.
4. If The Website Is Not Too Complex
One of the primary things you should remember when building your own website is to keep it simple in the beginning. The more complex you try to make it, the more difficult it will be. Moreover, the results may not be as satisfying as expected, which can be quite disappointing to deal with.
For starters, choose a simple domain name that is catchy and easy to remember. You can also experiment with various website builders till you find the right one. This kind of DIY project can be quite exciting and an excellent learning opportunity.
5. If You Have Experience With WordPress
If you're building a DIY website it is good to have a basic understanding and knowledge of WordPress. Without this, you will find yourself stuck and unable to build a workable page. Most WordPress websites use simple drag and drop options to create web pages, so it should not be too complicated to understand.
That said, it is imperative to have some basic knowledge of this tool to be able to create a good DIY business page.
6. If You Are Tech Savvy
The best part about drag and drop website builders is their simplicity. Most people would take approximately a few weeks to learn the process and get started on their website design.
However, you must know at least the basics of coding, how to use a Content Management System, and have some understanding of web development to be able to build a DIY website. Those who do not consider themselves tech-savvy will have a challenging time building DIY websites and should look to hire a professional instead.
How To Find The Right Web Designer For Your Page
So, now you know the various factors to consider before choosing to build a page on your own or hire a pro. Have you made a decision yet? If you have decided to go with a designer, great! But now, you may be wondering what the best way is to choose the right one for your needs.
Well, here are some factors to consider when hiring a professional designer.
1. Experience Level
One of the crucial factors you should consider before hiring a professional designer is to verify their experience level. Ask to see their portfolio and templates so you have a better understanding of their work. Not just that, you can even ask them to create a sample web design before hiring them.
It is also important to check whether they have adequate skills and an understanding of WordPress and other Content Management Systems. You can choose to hire them by going through an agency or finding one online.
2. The Time Taken For A Project
This depends wholly on the time frame within which you want to see a working website built. It is always a good idea to ask the professional how long they typically take to build a website.
However, make it a point to ask them specifically about the project you are hiring them for and how long it would take to be set up. This will give you a better understanding of their skill level, tech knowledge, and how long you'd need to wait for the website to be built.
3. Whether You Want A Customised Page
Now, this is another essential factor to keep in mind when hiring a professional designer. If you want a customised page or landing page to be built for your business, ensure that the individual has enough skill and knowledge to set it up.
Also, it is best to ask to see their previous projects so you can learn more about how they work.
4. Your Budget
Let's not forget - every business should have an allocated budget for each process. Ideally, you should look for an agency or a designer according to the budget you have set aside to build a digital presence.
Keep in mind that in most cases, a web developer will register a domain name as well as purchase hosting for you, taking one major concern off your plate. However, this could cost you extra, so ensure that you discuss these charges beforehand to prevent ending up with a surprise.
5. Customer Reviews And Feedback
Most professional designers should have a strong online presence where they market their services to potential customers. Whether you choose to look for a professional from online sources or an agency, try and look up their work online.
If you do find them online, make it a point to go through their customer reviews and feedback. You can even go a step further and speak directly to some of the customers to get genuine feedback about their work. This is a crucial step in the process of finding the right designer for your business.
Who Will Design Your Website?
With that, we have finally reached the end of our comprehensive guide. We hope this helps you decide whether to build a website on your own or hire a web developer to do it.
Whichever you decide, ensure that you weigh the pros and cons of both. Before we sign off, we have one last piece of advice for you - when building a DIY website, try and opt for a simple, unique, and attention-grabbing domain name for your business. Remember, you also need to factor in the usability and speed of the website, as this heavily impacts conversion rates.
It is best not to go for complex names that potential customers will find hard to remember. Well, that's all we have for you today. We wish you all the best with your online business. Let us know in the comments below what unique domain name ideas you have.
Also, would you rather hire a designer or opt for a DIY website? Don't forget to share your choice!
Danny is head of web design at sitecentre™ and uses user-behaviour metrics to improve UX/UI and accelerate conversions. Using his unique combination of skills, Danny is able to deliver award-winning websites to SMB’s quicker whilst delivering better results.