A digital presence is one of the keys to your business’ success, no matter what kind of business you run. We’ll help you decide whether to make your website using a website builder or whether you should hire a designer to do it for you.
Your website can do a lot for your business’ success. On the other hand, not having one (or having a subpar one) brings no value to your business and can even be detrimental.
If you’re looking to create a new website for your business, you’re probably wondering whether you should hire a professional or try and create it yourself using a website builder.
What does hiring a web designer mean for your bottom line — and is it worth it in the end? Considering all the costs small business owners have to deal with, we can help you take this concern off your plate.
There are a few factors to consider when determining whether to build your website alone. You’ll have to ask yourself a few questions to assess your technical skills, budget (both money and time), as well as the reward of doing it yourself or enlisting the help of a pro.
If you think you have the technological savvy and are up to the challenge of building your business website, consider these factors.
Consider These Factors When Building Your Website:
- Industries that allow you to build your own site
- Your skill level and the site’s complexity
- Budgeting the time to build your site
- Budgeting the money to build your site
- Other factors to consider when building your site
We’re going to cover how to honestly answer these questions so you can get a good idea of which approach will be best for you.
Industries That Allow You to Build Your Own Site
There are instances when it makes sense for you to build your own website right off the bat. One case is if you run an e-commerce store. There are website builders out there designed to help you create your online store.
Those e-commerce website builders include platforms such as Shopify, Volusion, and Square. All of those sites help you create an online store using a number of templates. Those sites also make sure you’re abiding by applicable regulations and security measures for payment processing.
Huge brands like Khloe Kardashian’s Good American denim line and the millennial fad sock seller Bombas use Shopify’s services to build and host their e-commerce websites. If you chose to work with them, you’d be in good company.
What are your thoughts about Bombas’ UI? Shopify and other e-commerce platforms offer an array of templates for you to choose from.
Another instance you might want to consider when building your own website is if you’re looking to create something simple and informative.
If your goal is to help current or potential customers get information about your business to bring them to a physical location, such as a restaurant, you likely don’t need all the bells and whistles of a custom-built site. If simple is what you’re going for, you can create that yourself using a website builder.
Your Skill Level and the Site’s Complexity
One of the most obvious pain points in building your own business website can be your skill level and tech-savviness.
You’re going to need to examine your skill set and willingness to learn new skills when deciding whether to build your website on your own or hire someone else to do it for you.
This will also highly depend on how complex of a website your business needs because the more complex the website is, the more sophisticated skills will be necessary.
The good news for those who want to build their small business website on their own is that there are website builders out there that make the process intuitive and easy, once you get the hang of it.
Weebly, Sitey, GoDaddy, and Yola are just a few of your options for small business website builders, and Weebly is free.
If you have the basic SEO, design, photo-editing, and rudimentary HTML skills, you might be able to figure out your website with no help.
But, if you don’t have those baseline skills, you have to be willing to learn and build on the skills you do have, or hire someone to help or do it for you.
If you opt to hire someone, the burden of learning new skills will be off your shoulders, but you’ll also be missing out on an opportunity to learn.
If you need custom functions that don’t come pre-built with the website builder you choose, you’ll probably need to hire someone to help.
It would take a lot of time for you to learn to create chat functions, animated graphics, or any website features you want to control. This brings us to our next point: Time.
Budgeting the Time to Build Your Website
Even business owners who have the skills to build their own website will sink a significant chunk of time into it.
The business owners who have to learn new skills in order to build their website will end up spending even more of their valuable time.
How long it takes to build your website will also vary depending on how customized you want it to be and what capabilities you’ll need. The most custom websites out there take weeks or even months to build — even for experts.
Conversely, if you decide to use a website builder and build on their platform without adding any complex custom features, it can take as little as 24 hours to set up your website.
Be honest with yourself here and calculate the value of your time. Business owners who are just starting out and have a long list of things to do might find that their time is better spent on other matters and tasks related to their business.
Budgeting the Money to Build Your Website
If you have the budget, you should consider hiring someone to build your business website for you. The general idea when hiring someone is: the longer it takes them to build it, the more it will cost.
Hiring someone to build a custom website for you can cost thousands of dollars upfront and recurring hosting fees on top of that.
On the other hand, building it on your own from a company that offers templates, like Wix or Squarespace, could cost as little as $10–$20 a month. These companies will also host the site for you.
This is an example of the variety of templates you have to choose from.
You can also use the search bar to narrow down the templates you can look at.
The amount of money you have to spend on your website is the factor that can vary the most.
Once you know your budget, you’ll know whether you can afford to hire someone, or whether you’ll need to learn some new skills to build your own website.
If you have the budget for a designer, you can consult several firms until you find one you like. Or you can try and find an individual willing to work on a freelance or contract basis with you.
You can usually find these freelancers or contract workers on platforms and marketplaces like Fiverr, Upwork, and even LinkedIn.
Other Factors to Consider When Building Your Site
There are some obvious rewards to either building your own website or having someone do it for you. You can view a breakdown of the pros of each below:
Take the time to consider these pros and cons, and see if one side outweighs the other.
What about potential issues? One of the biggest concerns, no matter which you choose, is whether the site looks professional and feels like your business website.
A site that confidently reflects your brand, works well on mobile, is intuitive, and draws customers in is worth every penny you invest in it because it’s more likely to convert leads in customers.
Would you buy from a site that took forever to load, was poorly designed, and came with none of the security certifications you’ve come to expect as an online shopper? In this way, a good website is an extension of your small business’ marketing efforts.
With this in mind, it may be worth the money to invest in a professional to help build your site — but keep in mind there may be some back-and-forth as you help them understand your brand.
Of course, a professional website is a goal for any small business. But as we mentioned earlier, if it’s simply meant to drive customers to a brick-and-mortar location, it doesn’t need to feature all of the bells and whistles that a site designed to convert visitors into paying customers should have.
There is one thing to consider when deciding whether to build your website, and that’s whether you want to go with a hybrid of the two main options: hiring someone to create a website for you on one of the hosting websites we mentioned above.
If you want to have your website on a flexible and highly user-friendly platform, you can always hire someone to set up your business platform on a website builder like WordPress, Wix, Squarespace, and the like.
That way, you can minimize the time they spend building it (and the cost of hiring them), but you can still learn new skills when you have to make edits and adjustments to the site when the time comes.
This could also be useful if you do need a more complex feature built into an otherwise simple website. This option saves you time and money, without hoisting the burden directly on to your shoulders.
The Bottom Line: Should You Build Your Website or Hire a Designer?
When it comes down to it, the only way to know whether you should hire someone to create your business website or build it is to ask yourself the questions above.
Remember, you always have the option of hiring someone to help you and then taking over once the initial lift is done.
Whatever you decide, your business website is worth investing in — whether that be in time or money — for your business’ success now and in the future.