Should You Hire a Web Designer or DIY?
It's the year 2017, and by now every human being should own a cell phone, a hover board, and a website. If you're a business owner, online presence is mission critical. Online shopping is expected to grow to $370 billion in 2017.
One question eventually comes up:
Should I hire a web designer? Or should I build a website on my own?
Let's look at the pros and cons of each scenario...
Do It Yourself (DIY)
Save Money (Maybe)Cost is always a consideration for business owners, and building a website for your business is no different. If you have some computer skills this might make sense. If you just need a simple website to mark your presence on the internet, it's not too difficult to purchase a domain name, set up a Wordpress blog, and get up and running. This can save you some money if that's all you're looking for. But if you're looking to do all the graphic design, website development, and SEO on your own, it's possible that your website may be taking away from actually doing your business. You might save some money, but be aware that depending on what you want to build, there may be a steep learning curve.
Design ControlIf you choose to build your own website from scratch, you will have absolute control over the appearance and content of your site. You don't have to worry about a designer spending time and money building something you don't like.
Learning ExperienceThere is a lot to learn when building your own website. You might learn a lot about HTML, CSS, SEO and maybe even touch typing. Just be careful not to follow the rabbit too far down the hole. If it's something that sincerely interests you, great. Just remember not to lose focus. Remember, a taxi driver doesn't have to build his own taxi from the chassis up.
Potential Higher Cost (Time and/or Money)If you don't know exactly what you are doing when you start out building your own site, it is possible you will have to pay a designer to come back and fix your broken site later, adding a money cost to the time you will have already spent building a defunct website. Many SEO features must be built into the site from the ground up, so if these SEO features are overlooked, you may have to rebuild your website later anyway.
Lack of ExpertiseYou don't know what you don't know. It's easy to overlook crucial elements of web design if you don't know to look for them in the first place. An example of this is Wordpress plugins. There are thousands of plugins out there, and if you don't know what to look for by name, essential features might be left out of your site.
Singular PerspectiveSometimes it's good to have another knowledgeable set of eyes look at your website. Maybe your color scheme is off, or certain design elements aren't working on your website. You might miss it, whereas a web design expert might catch it.
Working with a Professional Web Designer
Instant ExpertiseUnless you already have a lot of experience building websites, it will take some time to learn the fundamentals. Whereas a professional web designer is ready to start today. For example, iGem Studios has a 30 day turnaround policy, to get your website business ready as soon as possible.
Idea Sounding BoardWith a professional web designer on your team, you can bounce your ideas off each other and find a practical, working solution. A web designer will be familiar with best practices, and be able to tell you what is possible and what is not.
On Call Web SupportIf you have a “webmaster” on your team, you will always have technical support available if your website goes down or if you need a web page updated. This is especially true if you have content that needs to be updated regularly.
Unexpected CostsBefore breaking ground on your new website, make sure you work out the price with the designer. Create a contract if necessary. If your web designer quotes you an hourly rate, make sure they give you an estimate of how many hours are necessary to complete the task. Also, make sure you establish a billing cap.
Differing VisionsSometimes a client and web designer don't see eye-to-eye. That's why it's important to look at the designer's portfolio to get an idea of their design style. Also, send the designer some samples of comparative sites, so the designer has an idea of what you are looking for. Make sure the designer gets your final approval before implementing any design.
Not Happy with Final ResultsSometimes, a designer might not deliver what you were expecting. Make sure everything you expect is laid out clearly in writing. If you are hiring a designer for SEO, keep in mind that it may take up to 30 days to see any noticeable changes in search engine ranking. This is because search engines rank sites using an index of websites, rather than a live scan. When the search engine refreshes its index, you should start to see some results.