Should I DIY My Website or Have One Built?

Creating a new website, or updating your old one, can take a big bite out of your marketing budget.  It’s tempting to take it on yourself, I mean, you know your way around a computer, right?  Website builder software like Squarespace, Wix, and Weebly have become popular choices for website do-it-yourselfers because they’re easy to use and inexpensive but are they better than spending the money on a professionally-built website?

Website builders have become straightforward and easy for the average user.  They’re not complex and can be quite inflexible and limited.  Professional websites, on the other hand, can basically be programmed to do anything you want them to do.  So to determine whether or not you should DIY your website, you should look at what you want the site to do.

Is your site simply informational?  Brochure websites are sites that tells what your business does without a lot of bells and whistles.  They don’t need to be intricate or complex so doing it yourself may be a good choice if you’re looking to lower your marketing budget.  You can still make an attractive website that has text, images, and some video.

If you’re interested in consumers being able to purchase your products directly from your site, you need an e-commerce site.  Financial transactions are more complicated and need to be done securely for the safety of your business and your customers’ accounts.  You’ll be able to process customer payments as well as update inventory and for this, although you could use a web-building site, it’s usually best to use an experienced professional.

If your business offers web applications like gaming, file conversion, project management, etc., you should use a professional web developer.  They’re expensive but you don’t want an app that doesn’t work.

Many companies don’t really rely on their website for anything more than getting people through the door and they rarely need to update it.  Other businesses do the majority of their business directly from their website and if the website is down, business is down.  If you’re the latter, hire someone to take care of your website needs.

While you will save a considerable amount of money with a DIY website, they do have their limitations.  They tend to load much slower because you’re sharing bandwidth with other customers using the service so this may limit the size of the images you use because you need a quick load time.  Remember, if your site doesn’t load fast enough, consumers jump ship.

When you use a template to create your website as these web builder services do, you risk having a website that looks just like everyone else who uses these services.  They’re not unique.  With a professional website designer, they can make your website as unique as your company and have more functionality than you could get by doing it yourself.  Some web-building sites will do your site for free but you have to allow them to advertise on your site.

For small businesses, a professionally-designed website simply may not fit in the budget.  They’re expensive, typically $2,000+, but they will save you time that you can use to focus on other areas of your business.