Do you remember the early days of web development? Back then, building a website took expensive software, knowledge in HTML code and a lot of time. Today, there are many “do-it-yourself” website builders such as WordPress, Wix and Squarespace that is making it easier and easier for the everyday layman to create a functional and beautiful website. This leaves business owners with a choice – do they create a website themselves or hire a web professional to do it for them?
There are pros and cons to both options and the best decision is going to be different for each business. First, you need to consider your budget, computer skills and how much time you have up your sleeve to complete the project.
The Case for DIY
The number one benefit of building your own website will always be the low costs associated with this method. Businesses are able to build websites within WordPress or Wix very affordably by using a pre-determined theme or template. All that is required to find a template with a design you like and install it.
Sometimes, there can be either a recurring fee associated (either monthly or annually) with these DIY templates (especially if you want more flexibility over the design). Other expenses include hosting the website and registration of the domain name.
Is it really that much faster to update?
You’ll also see some people say that another benefit of going the DIY route is that it’s faster to make changes to your website in the future. While this used to be the case, it’s not anymore.
Traditionally, making a change to the website needed to be done by someone who had access to the host server and expensive programs such as Dreamweaver. For this reason, all changes (including that one small typo on the homepage) needed to be sent to a web developer. This added time and expense.
Since then, platforms have been built that allow a client to access and change the content and images on their website through their internet browser, without the need to do any complicated coding. Any website we build for clients today can be easily edited and changed by that client, without it needing to come through us.
The Case for Hiring a Web Developer
It’s often said that a business owner’s most valuable resource is their time. Many website builders claim that it takes no longer than 20 minutes to install a website and get it going. This might be true when deploying the website, but it’s the following steps that slow you down. Customising the website with your logo, sliders, images and content is fiddly and time-consuming. Depending on what platform and theme you’ve chosen to build your website, even basic steps like changing the colour scheme or header of the website can become complicated.
Going DIY could still be an option for those who have time to spare (or those that have employees or family members who have time to spare). However, if you already don’t feel like there are enough hours in the day to get everything done, hiring a developer can save you days of time.
Hiring a web designer to build your website means that you will end up with a custom design that is tailored to meet your brand’s requirements.
Think back to the last time you visited a website that you liked. Can you pinpoint exactly what it is about that page that made it “a good design”? Graphic designers can. Not only can they easily create something that is visually appealing, they also understand the psychology behind a good design. What’s going to encourage your visitors to navigate further through the website or pick up the phone to call you? Replicating this within the constraints of a website builder can often be difficult.
A Web Developer will stay up to date with technology
When hiring a web developer, you’re hiring an expert in the field. Technology is constantly changing. Many years ago, when we first started learning web design, we needed to learn:
- What is a domain name?
- What is hosting?
- What is HTML code?
- How do I protect my website from hackers/viruses?
- How do I upload something via FTP?
As technology changed, there were more things we needed to wrap our heads around in order to stay up to date:
- What is Search Engine Optimisation?
- What is mobile responsiveness?
- What are SSL certificates?
- Why on earth does Google care about mobile responsiveness and SSL certificates? What does this mean for our ranking in Google?
- What are the new ways to protect my website from hackers/viruses seeing as they have now developed the technology to get around all the old methods?
All this information can be found online so it is possible to research and learn all this yourself. It just takes time. Much longer than hiring a professional who has already learnt this.
To sum up:
At the end of the day, the right choice will come down to your skill, budget and time.
It is possible to create your own website for practically no monetary cost if you are technologically savvy and have the time up your sleeve to nut out the kinks as they arise.
However, the guidance and knowledge you get from a web developer is second to none and will save you a bucket load of time down the track. It results in a website that is specifically built for your business and its needs.
If you have any questions or would like more information on whether Bizboost is the right choice for your business, contact us here.