Now that you’ve worked out your website’s purpose, your next step is to decide whether to hire a web developer or build the business website yourself. Only you know which option is right for you. Various factors include time and budget constraints, knowledge, and willingness to learn (possibly a lot of) new skills.
Let’s break down both options.
The development of your website is like many things in life: you only get out what you put in. If you choose to outsource your website development in order to walk away from the process, then you’re unlikely to get your ideal website.
Working with a web developer is a highly communicative process. They will need your direction and feedback throughout the build. Not only to ensure the website’s functionality ticks all your wishlist boxes, but that the navigation, layout, and aesthetic is how you want it. Providing input along the way will prevent excessive changes at the end that could blow out your budget. Web developers usually include an hour or two of final changes within their quote—anything more will go down as an additional charge.
If you’re involved in the development process, then outsourcing can be a great investment in your business. A good developer will determine what your business is about at its core and ensure the finished product conveys that succinctly to your customers, while being attractive and user friendly.
Once the website is finished, you will either need to learn how to maintain the website yourself or enlist your developer to make changes as you require them. A word of warning: paying for changes can get costly. It might feel like a hassle to learn the backend of your website now, but it can work out much cheaper in the long run, and sometimes faster, as there’s no guarantee that your developer will make your changes quickly. If updating your own website is something you want to avoid, then find out the pricing and anticipated delivery times for maintenance from prospective developers before work begins.
Do It Yourself
There are many platforms available to help you build your own website at a low cost. Platforms such as WordPress, Wix, Squarespace and Shopify all aim to make website building simple and affordable.
It might be a huge learning curve, but despite the challenge, it can be empowering and exciting to build your own website. Using Wix, Shopify, and Squarespace, you can choose from pre-designed templates that you can customise with your own logo, images, text, and colours. These templates are visually appealing and very user-friendly to navigate.
If your business is more complex than a basic template, you might consider a self-hosted WordPress website. This would still involve a template that you customise, but WordPress has thousands of widgets available for free or low-cost that can enhance the functionality of your website. Sometimes these are user-friendly to install and set up; sometimes they’re more complicated and can drag out your projected timeline for the build.
A bonus of doing it yourself is that by the time your website is live, you are very familiar with the dashboard and backend. This will make ongoing maintenance and changes a simple matter of editing and updating. In the long run, this ease will prove to be very valuable.
The big decision
How do you decide? Essentially, it comes down to time and money. Hiring a web developer is going to cost more money, while building it yourself will cost more time. Check your budget and determine which is worth more to you at this stage in your business.