Should you build your own website or hire a designer? This is such a great question and one that I know many of you have asked yourself at some point. If you're ready to create or up-level a website for your small business, knowing a few of the pros and cons of each can help you make this big decision.
For the last 5 years, I have built my business by creating custom websites for my clients. However, there have been many times when I recommended the DIY route instead.
Here are my top questions to consider:
WHAT IS MORE IMPORTANT TO YOU, TIME OR MONEY?
The choice here really comes down to time vs money. If you hire a designer to create your website, you're obviously going to spend a lot more money to pay someone else to do it for you. However, if you decide to DIY, you will be spending the time creating it on your own. Do you have a tight (or nonexistent) budget? Then going the DIY route will be your best choice. If you've been in business for some time and are ready to elevate your brand and online home, you might choose to hire a professional instead.
HOW IMPORTANT IS IT FOR YOU TO BE ABLE TO MAKE WEBSITE UPDATES ON YOUR OWN?
Of course, you're most likely saying that this is important to you, but hear me out. I'm referring to updates like text edits, photo swaps, creating new pages, etc vs adding new content (like new blog posts). If you want full control of making these changes without having to hire a web designer to do it for you, the DIY route may be a good option for you.
When you have a custom website created for you, you're not really learning or getting familiar with the platform it is built on. So when it's time to make any edits or changes, you will probably feel a bit uneasy about it and just prefer to hire out. If you build your website on your own, you will be learning what to do along the way. So you'll be much more comfortable getting into the builder and making the necessary changes when the time comes.
HOW QUICKLY DO YOU NEED TO LAUNCH?
This one is tricky because both routes can honestly take quite a bit of time. On average, I spend 3-4 weeks on my custom website designs. If you DIY, this could take anywhere from one week to many months. This will depend greatly on how simple you keep things (I recommend no more than 5-6 pages to launch with, and then adding more pages later). Doing it yourself will require some time for you to set aside to learn the ropes of your website builder and implement what you learn. One way to fast track the DIY option is to have someone guide you through the process and to start from a strategically designed website template.
WHAT KIND OF FUNCTIONALITY DO YOU NEED?
If you're getting started with your first website or just need something basic, then DIY is definitely the way to go. Most of my clients who need special functionality, long-form sales pages, 3rd party integrations (courses, shops, memberships, etc) or other techy things usually prefer to hire me to design their website.
DO YOU ENJOY LEARNING NEW THINGS?
If you're the type of person who has a love for learning- I encourage you to learn as much about your website as you can (whether you hire out or DIY). The more you know about your website and the platform you choose, the more you will enjoy working on your website. You will obviously need to learn more if you DIY, because you'll need to learn how to create your website and how to maintain and update it. If you don't enjoy learning new things or just don't have the time to put into it, hiring a website designer may be more appealing to you.
SHOULD YOU BUILD YOUR OWN WEBSITE OR HIRE A DESIGNER? PROS + CONS
PROS of DIY
DIY will save you thousands of dollars
You'll know the ins and outs if the platform, so making updates will be a breeze and you won't have to hire out
You will have full control of your website design and won't have to go back and forth with a designer
You could potentially launch your website faster than if you have it custom designed
CONS of DIY
It will take some time for you to get familiar with the platform and to create your website
You'll most likely need to purchase a template or theme to start from
Without any guidance or step-by-step process, you could become overwhelmed and end up putting it on the back burner
PROS of Hiring a Designer
You won't have to dedicate time to learning how to build a website
You're not interested in design and can hand the creative reigns over to a designer
You won't have to worry about incorporating any advanced functionality
You can work on other things in your business instead of working on a website build
CONS of Hiring a Designer
It will cost you a lot more than if you DIY
You'll need to spend some time finding a designer who resonates with your style or values
It can take a couple of months before launching
You may not feel 100% connected to the design since someone else designed it for you
NOT QUITE READY TO DIY?
Don't waste any more time trying to do it yourself, and instead hire me to do it for you!