Hire a Web Designer or Do it Yourself

HIRE A WEB DESIGNER OR DO IT YOURSELF?

Hire a Web Designer or Do it Yourself?

A common question that is asked amongst small business owners is “should I pay for someone to design and build my website, or do it myself?”. There is no clear answer to this question and although I am going to be biased towards one side of this argument, I do believe that building your own site can be very good.

In this article, we will break down how you can build a website yourself, the benefits and negatives of this. We will compare this to what is usually included in paying for someone to design and build a website on your behalf and the plus and minus of this.

wix, squarespace, wordpress
Branding 101 – http://branding101.com/branding-101-wordpress-vs-squarespace-wix/

How Can You Build a Site Yourself?

There are many options for building your own website, the simplest and most well advertised is SquarespaceWix and those other drag and drop website builders. The second and the one we would recommend is building it on WordPress which is a content management system (CMS).

Drag & Drop Sites

Web builders like Wix offer pre-built themes that allow the user to build websites easily and quickly. They can actually be very useful tools and if you know exactly how you want your site to look they can be very good at bringing your designs to life, with a few sacrifices. However, these sites are also very limited, there is only so much these sites can allow you to do. For a brand new business this might be a very good first step into creating a website for your business, but as the business evolves, it might be worth looking for different options. 

Drag & drop costs

As with almost any service, there is a cost involved. Running a website through Wix or Squarespace, typically cost somewhere from £10 – £25 per month which isn’t bad. The price normally includes hosting, domain and the website itself. However, you may also need to purchase templates and additional features, so keep an eye out for that. 

WordPress Do it Yourself

For anyone looking to build a website we would recommend WordPress as their CMS, it has its negatives, but the positives out weight these negative points by a lot. WordPress allows the freedom to always develop your website, with new plugins and themes the world is your oyster. The negatives are pretty obvious as well, however, with WordPress you need to have some basic knowledge of the technical parts of building a website. This can be learnt pretty quickly, but there is still a learning curve. Thankfully there is a whole bunch of help online and any issue can be solved pretty quickly. 

WordPress Costs

The costs of WordPress is actually free and there are a whole bunch of free plugins and themes that can make WordPress a whole lot better, but you most likely want to pay for a theme and some plugins. This will be somewhere around £100 for the year. WordPress isn’t as simple as Wix as we’ve already stated, with WordPress you also need somewhere to host the website and domain as well. These combined will be around £40 (for average hosting) for the year. So in total the overall cost is a little bit more expensive than the drag and drop sites, but the possibilities are endless. 

Developing a site yourself

Designing and developing a site yourself is a very cheap and affordable way of building your companies online presence. The overall benefit of doing this is the price, however, a self-built website typically looks like someone has built it themselves (who would have guessed it?), some items don’t function right, the overall design is disjointed and there isn’t a running theme throughout it. Keep your eyes focused for attention to detail and look at other websites for inspiration in order to avoid this. Amateur websites are always better than no website, but a professional website will always beat an amateur website.

Pick Web Designer
Unsplash – https://unsplash.com/photos/2xEQDxB0ss4

Web Designer

As a website designer/developer myself, I am obviously biased towards a business hiring a website professional. But I will try my hardest to be neutral on this point and only state from my own experience why a website designer is either better or worst than doing it yourself.

What Do You Get?

A website designer/developer shouldn’t just give you a complete website, they should give you a choice of how you want the design of the website to look and feel. They should also offer more options to you and bring things forward that you didn’t even know existed, adding more than expected and really impressing you, at the end of the day you’re paying them to build a website.

Page Design

When starting the project the web designer should find out what you like in terms of website designs. Sending examples of websites and getting a feel for what the client likes, from this they should then develop mockups or an example. This example shouldn’t be the finished product but helps bring to life the idea and allows you the customer to get an idea of what you might want the finished product to look like.

Website Build

There is a slight difference between a web designer and website developer, a website designer creates the design and the developer typically builds the site. Once the website design is complete, the website builder should build the website according to these designs. They should be almost pixel perfect. A website developer should also do all the boring back end stuff, like creating a subdomain to build the site, install SSL, integrate platforms and far more.

Do they Offer SEO?

A company like Channel Creative build all their websites to best SEO standard, this way they know that a website is not only going to look great but also rank highly. This knowledge of SEO is one of the main reasons that DIY websites typically don’t work, the deeper underlying knowledge of SEO isn’t there.

How Much Will It Cost?

This is a very difficult question that deserves a blog of its own. But a professionally built website can cost anywhere from £750 – £10,000, it all depends on what the customer wants. In many cases, the price can be even lower than that if they’re looking for a single page website, a professional web designer and developer can build that in a few days and make it look great. If they’re looking for a lot of features, an online shop, user login area, high spec SEO with research keywords, content and paid for images this can increase up passed £5,000.

For the most part, your standard website, contact forms, SEO best standards and great design is normally around £750. But you can always get in contact with a company like ours and find out how much we would charge you, just get in contact below.

Web Designer Website

To round up this section, I am going to start with the negatives. A professionally built website is a lot more expensive, but you will get a better looking, working and ranking website for the extra money. The main benefit is that of time and function, a website designer can build a great looking website with limited time and it will be highly functional and reflect well on your company. In the end, if the website has been built to the right standard, you should see an ROI (Return on Investment) within 6 – 12 months of the project finishing, just make sure you keep your site up to date. 

Hire a Web Designer or Do it Yourself Conclusion

To conclude this article, web design/development is a complicated area that not everyone has the experience and knowledge to make their projects work. Our Channel Creative recommendation would be to get in contact with an agency (like Channel Creative), find out the pricing and what they are going to do for you, then try out Wix, Squarespace or WordPress. Most of these websites offer free trials, have a go and if you don’t like it get in contact with a pro.

And to get in contact with that pro use the contact button below. For any more information on website design/development get in contact with Channel Creative below. You can also check out our blogs here.