Working With A Web Developer Versus DIY Website Creation –  A Few Things to Consider:

These days do it yourself website creation is easier than ever before!

Thanks to popular services like WordPress, Wix, and Squarespace anyone can create a relatively functional and attractive website at a substantially low cost. For business owners who have to launch on a shoestring budget and aspiring entrepreneurs who have more time than they do money to get their concept off the ground – times have never been better.

With just a bit of hard work, and sometimes put into learning the free website design platform of your choice, you CAN design your own website! Can being the keyword here. Because – and here is what everyone seems to be wondering – should they be creating their own website?

Now, if you look at it from the perspective of a traditional web designer, one whose livelihood depends on a constant influx of business owners who are buying their websites – the response is likely a pretty plain no. That is of course unless you really cannot afford their 2000 to 5000 dollar price point, then, by all means, go ahead – build your own website – you weren’t going to be a customer anyway.

Finding good information about when you should build your own website and when you should hire someone to build it for you is hard. Website designers will always go against it. The free/affordable website building services will, of course, say “go for it” – and finding someone to truly outline the pros and cons, well that’s just going to require some deep fishing.

Even in our case, where provide content marketing services and work with both DIY website solutions and website designers depending on what the client wants, find that giving a concrete response to this question: “Should I make my own website?” to be difficult to answer.

Around here, we do often joke that anyone and their kid sister could create a website in this day and age because of all the great options that are out there to do so!

This isn’t really meant to discount the skills of a web designer but instead to drive home the truth about how easy to get a website up and running if you really want one.

That said, also are very realistic when looking at the desire and skill level of the average person, just getting into online marketing. From what we’ve gathered, many people who sit down to put together their own business website from scratch spend a lot of time playing and never really end up with what they envision.

In a consultation scenario what we tend to do in order to meter whether or not the website is going to be simple DIY – or be outsourced to a reliable designer is by asking the following questions.

What Is Your Budget for Your Entire Online Marketing Strategy?

What we don’t like to see is anyone’s entire online marketing budget being eat up by an expensive custom website.

Getting a sense of what the client is hoping to spend on launch and then a month to month on marketing typically gives us a pretty good idea about whether the site is going to be a do it yourself-er or end up outsourced to a designer whom we trust to give a reasonable price. There is also considered to be made about the in-between option, which is that we do it in-house and create a simple WordPress Website running a Divi Theme ( or something of that nature ) that the client then updates and manages on their own.

Alternatively, there are also freelance designers out there who will set up and put together very nice looking Wix or Squarespace websites and these will usually cost a little less than a built from scratch site.

Will You Be publishing Content For Your Online Marketing?

Content marketing is obviously our area of expertise! In order to have a proper content marketing strategy you need to be able to update your website and publish new content, this functionality is one of the big things that we care about.

Now we’ve heard horror stories of web designers who STILL ( can you believe it ) lock their clients out, charge them a monthly maintenance fee and invoice them for any changes. And if blog functionality ( for content publishing ) was never part of the original conversation, the client won’t have any way to update the website and put their new content on it.

Frankly, we can’t have this. If the plan is to produce and publish content. For example; a commercial blog strategy. Then the website has to be optimized for content publishing and frankly, the cheaper websites like WordPress are already designed for just that.

If the blog functionality is going to be an expensive add on.

Or if the web designer doesn’t give their clients access to the back end.

That’s really not good, at least in our opinion.

If you are having a website designed and you want to be able to publish content on it and change the way it looks depending on your current marketing campaigns, this is something you really need to be clear about when talking to your website designer.

Is The Daily Website Traffic Going to Be Substantial?

As much as we would all like to imagine that everyone will be visiting our website every day because it is just that awesome, the reality is that daily traffic to commercial websites is typically low. ( Less than 100 visitors per day )

The chances of a commercial website going viral and being crashed by a sudden wave of traffic are highly unlikely. And, although some shady people who provide hosting in addition to web design services will try to convince you otherwise, you don’t need to splurge on hosting – at least if you aren’t a substantially large brand. Average hosting packages – the ones that typically come with these affordable DIY websites are sufficient. If traffic surges do occur ( say on the day you published an awesome new blog ) then the hosting that you pay for should be able to handle this. If by some insane chance your website becomes an overnight sensation you can upgrade your hosting package to handle this and it shouldn’t matter really whether your site is a DIY or was put together by a website designer.

However, anticipated traffic numbers do matter when deciding between web design and are you really gonna do it all yourself. Larger websites, with e-commerce and a lot of custom functionality, may be better left to a web developer who has experience putting these sites together and making sure that they are secure. That said, small e-commerce can actually be put together pretty well by using add-ons like Shopify and Woocommerce.

What it comes down to is anticipated traffic, the size of the e-commerce and the complexity of the overall website.

DIY Websites versus Custom Web Design: The Debate Continues…

The debate about whether or not business owners should be making their own sites or hiring a professional web design service could go on forever. The questions we have shared above are good starting points for anyone who is on the fence about this – and frankly, its mute discussion because what it comes down to is, what do you want to do?

If you are absolutely hands off and want all aspects of your online marketing handled for you. This includes your website as well as your content, conversion funnel design, social media advertising then there is a way that can all be done. However, the less involved you are as the business owner the more it is going to cost. If budget isn’t a concern, then put down a deposit for the whole buffet and let the professional handle it. Do know that at the end of the day ( with a website and a content marketing strategy)  you’re looking in the 10,000+ price range….

If that is not do-able for your business where it is at today, then we would suggest seriously considering DIY ( affordable options ) for your website and taking your budget and investing in quality content creation – and making sure you have set aside a healthy monthly marketing budget for S.E.M and social media advertising – after you have designed your marketing content.

What really matters?

At the end of the day the way you “put” your content online isn’t really substantially important. What matters is the content! What does it say about your business? How is attracting people to your website? And what is happening with those people once they get there? As far as we are concerned content design is the most important part of any online marketing strategy but, as you know, we are content people.

We firmly believe that content is where the most consideration should go because everything else ( your website host, social media profiles etc ) are just “delivery mechanisms” – which although important in their own right, are not the place to begin the conversation about your marketing. Instead, develop a content plan and then decide on the best way to deliver it to your audience – DIY makes content publication and marketing possible for ANYONE, but a polished professional website ( designed from scratch ) could be something that you invest in down the road.

Who Wrote This?

My name is Brandie Peters, and I am the B and the P in Creative Marketing Strategies. In 2012, I started my career online as a content writer and later began consulting and developing strategies. My passion is digital story telling using content and social media! I am also an avid Facebook Live Broadcaster and I still blog just for fun!

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