Should I make my own website? Or should I hire a web developer?
These are two crucial questions that go through many business owners’ minds. A quick search online reveals many opinions, but you’ll still be wondering, “But what’s right for me?”
So, let’s see.
Should I make my own website?
Many business owners, especially start-ups and solopreneurs, choose the DIY route. If funds are limited and your time’s your own, why not build your own website? And if all you need is a simple web presence or shop window it could work for you.
There are many DIY website builders in Australia to choose from
If you’re considering ‘doing it yourself’, there are plenty of options. Each promotes benefits like these:
- They can be low cost and even, free to set up.
- You can start building your new website immediately.
- Domain registration and hosting in one place.
- A gallery of ready-to-go themes.
- Tutorials to get you started.
- Update contents at any time.
So yes, it is possible to DIY your website by choosing from one of the many providers out there.
If you decide this is right for you, here are a few things to consider before you start:
Choose your ‘guru’ carefully
Too much advice from too many people can cloud your judgement and have you flipping from one idea to the next. So be prepared. Everyone will start sharing their thoughts about your website based on their personal experience or preference. But remember, most advice is subjective.
By choosing one (or two max.) trusted ‘gurus’, you’ll stay focused, be time efficient and avoid unnecessary stress.
Some ‘free’ website builders will advertise their brand logo on your site.
If you’re a small business with big ambitions or, just prefer clients or customers not to know it’s a ‘DIY website’, it’s best to pay.
Think carefully about the right template for your business.
Many DIY website templates are offered by category to help you choose an appropriate theme. While this makes things easy, it could leave you looking like everyone else, which is not the point.
Learning takes… time.
As detailed as they are, tutorials take time to watch and sometimes, more than a little brain-power to connect the dots. Applying what you’ve learnt, and getting it right, takes even more time. So, bear this in mind and don’t put yourself under too much pressure.
Finding and creating the right images take… time.
Once you’ve chosen your theme and set up the basics, you need to source images. Finding the right images with a consistent theme to match your business, isn’t easy. Photos that are ‘free to use’ (‘creative commons licenses’) are great, but consistency is important for your brand image and, building brand awareness. If you need to buy images, you can waste a lot of $$$ and still get it wrong. Truly, a lot. So, take your time and plan carefully.
Creating words and content that speaks your customers’ language takes… time.
Words, language and tone are important, especially when you’re trying to connect with new customers. By getting it wrong, you risk alienating the very people you need to reach. Remember too, that your goal is to sell your products and services and find leads, so your copy needs to encourage action.
Research your target market; read what people are saying and ‘hear’ how they’re saying it (their tone of voice). Then, write accordingly (using the right words and phrases) and keep things concise.
A website that looks good and reads well is just the first part
Most business owners start with the idea of having a simple web presence. If all you need is a shop window then you’re up and running. Great! However, if you’re looking to build brand awareness, attract more visitors and convert them into customers, this is where it gets harder.
Should I hire a web developer?
Creating your own website can be fun. However, choosing fonts, changing colours and watching tutorials is only fun for a while.
Website developers can save businesses time—and money
It’s true. Quite rightly, cost is often issue for most, especially new business owners. We’re business owners ourselves, we get it. But unfortunately, few people know how much time and money can be consumed by doing it yourself until… it’s too late.
Here are some benefits of hiring a web developer
They’ve seen, developed and designed a multitude of websites for businesses across many sectors. From retailers and e-tailers to mid-size organisations and corporates; from small budgets to big, and everything in-between.
Are up-to-date with current trends (and in-the-know about future opportunities) so your business is never left behind.
Know what works, what doesn’t and what’s best avoided.
Have expertise-on-tap across all areas from technical and creative to SEO copywriters and content strategists.
Know the (safest) cost-saving shortcuts that still deliver the right results and more.
Planning and brainstorming
Broader and deeper investigation about your needs (and ambitions) up-front helps not only with your website, but your business overall. It’s a valuable partnership that encourages you to look beyond the present and be ready for the future.
Speed and accuracy
It goes without saying, when you engage experts there’s less trial and error and more action. With a ‘do-it-right’ mentality, your website developer will deliver beauty and brains.
Look great: customised to match (and build) your brand
Be customer-focused: intuitive, seamless navigation leading customers throughout your website, from one page to the next.
Be keyword and SEO-rich: helping search engines like Google and Bing find you faster (so potential customers can too).
Have strategically placed calls to action: encouraging visitors to linger longer and get in touch.
Work! Your website will be fast to load with optimised images; clickable buttons that direct traffic and encourage action; business email and contact forms will be ready-to-go and—working perfectly. And so much more.
So, what’s right for you?
Unfortunately, only you can choose. If your website is less about conversion and more about having a ‘shop window’ or simple web presence, doing it yourself, could work well for you.
If your business needs more, you have bigger ambitions and want things to be right so you’re ready-to-roll and kicking goals faster, consider hiring a web developer. Yes, there are costs involved but customer-focused web developers will work with you to help you get what you need in a way that works for everyone.
What if I don’t know?
We hear you. Then hop online, find a few website developers who sound like the right fit for you—and call. Better to call, have a chat and get the lowdown then spend time second-guessing about what could have been.
After all, a quick chat (should be) free!
Digital Bridge is a Melbourne-based web development agency that’s big on ideas and low on jargon. We specialise in designing, developing and managing websites for people like you and businesses like yours.