As a small business owner, it can be very tempting to make your own website instead of paying a designer to do it, but is it the right choice?
In this article, we’ll discuss some of the pros and cons of making this decision for your business and some of the real world examples of the two outcomes.
The basic reasons to have a website
Before we dive into the pros and cons of the modern day storefront, let’s establish some of the core functions of a site and why it’s a necessary element.
- A website allows your customers to access information about your website easily from any location and at any time. Unless you are running a business that runs outside of the public view, (selling drugs), this is a great asset. Don’t sell drugs.
- People can learn more. Have you ever been scrolling on Facebook and seen the infamous “Learn More” button? Well, us humans prefer to do business with companies that we like. A website’s about us page is the second most visited page…interesting huh?
- Receive inquiries via the web. As our communities become more accustom to doing business online, our websites play the role of messenger. You can receive inquires from the public from people that prefer that method.
- It serves as a visual gallery to showcase your work and further compel those that are on-the-fence about reaching out to connect.
- It saves your staff time by answering frequently asked questions instead of having to pick up the phone for the 20th time and telling someone your hours.
- You can position it to be the center of all your marketing effort. Brand recognition is important, but 87% of adults research companies before the deal is done…where do you think they are searching? Hint: It starts with a G and ends with an oogle.
As professional web designers, we could get really specific about other reasons, but these 6 cover the major benefits.
Building your website yourself
Building a website for your business can be extremely rewarding and you might just fall in love with the process. It’s not for everyone, but when you take the time to learn web design basics, you can create a stunning representation.
The pros of DIY
- You are in full creative control of the design of your website. The look and feel of it all can be exactly what you’re envisioning for your business.
- You can save money by doing it yourself.
- No worrying that working with other people that you might not get along with.
- You can patch one together fast.
The cons of DIY
- You might not be capable of the professional visual appeal that customers expect.
- If you aren’t familiar with the basics, you’ll miss the components that make websites convert visitors into customers.
- You might not know how to install analytic coding.
- Your design could lack SEO (search engine optimization) and hurt your chances of showing up #1 in Google.
- It might load slow if you don’t know how to compress code and images.
The path of the DIY website is a double edged sword for business owners. The ultimate questions coming down to if there is perceived value in the cost.
A website designed by a professional has extensive checklists for a reason. However, if you’ve got the time and a good internet connection to Youtube, DIY might be worth a try.
Building your website with a professional
Hiring a web designer is a big decision for any business owner. There is no standard certification in the profession, so you don’t want to end up with a lame duck that looks pretty but won’t float.
Let’s take a look at some of the pros and cons when you chose to go with a pro.
The pros of a professional designer
- If vetted, your design will know how to build your website for both your users and for search engines, without compromising aesthetics.
- You’ll get that clean, crisp, fast loading website that the big brands have. Awww.
- You can view detailed analytics that tell you who, what, when and how about your customers, very insightful.
- It will be professionally built to convert. This means that a good design team uses persuasive text, images and video to get people to take an action you want.
- Security. It’s built into the checklist of a pro.
The cons of a professional designer
- The cost of a professional designer might leave you with sticker shock. Depending on the scope of work, a professional website can range from $500-$10,000, with the average local business website hanging around 1.5k-3k. (According to DesignRush)
- You won’t be getting an instant website. There are some companies that do websites within days, but if its super quick, you can be assured that it’s a template they just plugged your info in. Why pay for that?
- If you choose, unknowingly, a poor designer, you’re stuck with an under-performing website where potential goes wasted.
Conclusion: What's right for you?
There are many apparent pros and cons to each side of the decision of should you make your business website yourself or should you hire a professional designer.
The reality is that no matter what you decide, having a digital representation of your company is paramount in today’s world and it’s only trending up.
Is it worth it to have a pro designed website?
Considering the level of complexity that goes into creating a website that pays for itself over and over again, it’s our advice to either spend ample time learning how to do it right or invest in your company’s digital assets.