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Is It Okay to Build Your Own Website or Hire Someone?

Is it okay to build your own website or hire someone? There are, after all, a lot of free or low-cost drag and drop templates and website builders such as Wix, Squarespace, or Shopify. Or a self-hosted platform such as WordPress..

You might think, why should you hire someone to build a website for your small business when you can just use a free or low-cost website builder? 

build your website or hire someone

The answer: your business website represents your brand, and in this digital age, your website is your potential client’s first encounter with your business. It is your most important marketing tool. Any bad user experience can cause you to lose your customers.

It is more than just about having a good-looking site or web design. It also involves a complex process that could spell the difference between your website being found in Google or your website not serving any purpose at all.

Only professional website developers know the proper features and functionality that will make your website be able to generate leads and sales.

Reasons to Hire a Professional to Build Your Business Website

I. A web development company will begin by guiding you towards a good domain name for your business.

Choosing a domain name is not as easy as you think.

It involves a lot of keyword research and must also take your target audience in mind. This is especially true for local businesses wherein you might want to add your location.

This will make it easier also to help rank in search engines, especially in your area. A professional knows the guidelines of Google My Business (GMB) and can guide you in choosing a domain name that will make you get found without violating GMB guidelines.

To note, it is against Google’s guidelines to add keywords other than what is in the business name. So it is advisable from the very start to have a domain that contains the keyword/s plus location. That way, you are using keywords and location but at the same time, not violating Google’s rules.

A good example of this is https://entprinceton.com for an ENT doctor in Princeton NJ. This is actually a search term, and they rank partly because people are looking for an ENT in Princeton.

There are many other worthy pointers and tips when choosing a domain for your new website.

  1. Think branding, do not make it too long. Ideally not more than 3 syllables although this is not a hard-and-fast rule.
  2. Make it easy for users to remember. Here is a tip, when you speak of your website, people should be able to easily discern it, even from pronouncing it, and even the spelling. You do not want to have to spell it out every time.
  1. Ditch the hyphens. Imagine if you have to mention your website, and mention “dash” in between words? Not fun, right? Not easy to remember either for the users.
  1. Relative to #3, ditching the hyphens, make sure to check your domain very well as to how it will be without hyphens. Take a look at this for example, Pen Island or Experts Exchange may be good domains, but see what it is like as a domain name.
choosing a domain name web design company

II. A professional web developer knows the right hosting for your business.

When you build your website (as opposed to hiring a web developer), do you know the capacity of the hosting that you need? The tendency is to choose low-cost hosting.

Choosing the wrong one can cause your site to be so slow that any website visitor will just leave instead of engaging with your site. This is aside from the fact that page speed is now a ranking factor after the release of the Core Web Vitals guidelines last August.

Core Web Vitals CWV is not just about page speed, but the stability of the visual layout as well.

When you build your website using any of those website builders, you can unknowingly cause your site to have an unstable layout once you start to customize it.

This can happen when you have undefined dimensions for certain sections of a webpage. This is the Cumulative Layout Shift or CLS. and this unstable page layout creates an unpleasant user experience.

Look at the example below (credit: web.dev)

Core Web Vitals Cumulative layout Shift

The CWV report checks not only CLS, but other metrics such as the time to first and full contentful paint, page speed of a website and other elements through such tools as Page Speed Insights, Pingdom, or GT Metrix. All these tests will show what specific aspects of your site are causing a slow page.

a slow loading website when you build it on your own

This brings you to another hurdle if you decide to build a website on your own. If your site has technical issues, would you know how to fix them as opposed to hiring someone to build your website and handle its management or provide tech support?

Worse, if you build your website instead of hiring a web developer, your site can even shut down due to overuse of resources. This happens when you overload your site with heavy images, videos, gifs, and pdfs. 

An account suspension can happen mainly if you overloaded your site with heavy media, which your chosen hosting could not handle.  To your horror, you wake up one day to see your website has shut down, just like this:

what happens when your build your website  instead of hiring someone

This can be prevented when you hire a web designer, because they will take into consideration your business website requirements to choose the right hosting. That way, your website has the features and functionality that will provide a good user experience.

This is especially true for an eCommerce site wherein it is better to pay someone who truly knows how to custom code your website according to your business needs.

III. A professional web designer makes your site look good on all devices.

Since July 2019, Google started prioritizing mobile-friendly sites when it comes to ranking with its mobile-first indexing guideline.

While basic drag-and-drop website builder templates are, by default, mobile-friendly, many things can go wrong when you try to build your website and customize it. This is an example of a non-mobile-friendly website: You definitely do not want this!

not mobile friendly website

It can happen with any of the website builders – Wix, Shopify, Squarespace, etc even WordPress if you build a website without any professional knowledge and tools to design a site with all these technicalities in place.

IV. A professional web designer can minify the codes and media to improve overall website performance.

When you build your website yourself, it may look okay on the front end, but there could be issues like these that you may never know on your own. This can severely affect your site’s performance. And if you do run a check on the performance of your business website, how do you fix this?

build your website or hire someone

These are quite specialized challenges yet common with most websites.

Only when you hire a professional website developer can these issues be addressed by minifying codes and compressing images without sacrificing the functionality of your website.

When you hire someone to build your site, they are also responsible for the management and maintenance. You can thus focus more on your business and let web developers handle your website to make sure it functions at its peak.

V. Your website developer also takes User Interface (UI) into account.

User Interface or UI is a very crucial part of web design. In a new website project, the development process involves making sure the frontend of the website is very user-friendly and easy to navigate.

user interface

This involves making the navigation menu easy to use and does not take more than three (3) clicks to get to a page. This is especially true for an eCommerce site.

The menu is often a neglected part of a huge website, especially an eCommerce site that has a lot of products. Having to do more than 3 clicks to get to a page can be very frustrating, which can be avoided when the main menu is mapped out properly.

VI. You need technical support post-website development

You are bound to encounter issues especially as your website grows with more pages and/or products. Before this even happens, you need to hire a professional to conduct monthly or even weekly audits for a bigger site.

building your own website and the errors

Your business depends on how your site performs and it is best you pay someone to handle the maintenance. This is something you cannot get when you just build your own website with a website builder.

VII. You need a digital marketing agency to boost your website in search engines.

Having your website built is just the start of marketing your business. You should also take into account that after the website development, you should allocate a budget for Search Engine Optimization, PPC/Google Ads, and Social Media Marketing.

These services are most likely offered by the same agency/company that built your website. These, of course, will cost you more money to spend but if it will bring more leads and sales then it is definitely worth the price tag.

So what are these major marketing services? Here they are in brief:

Search Engine Optimization

You need Search Engine Optimization (SEO) to bring your website to the first page of Google. Why is this so?

Studies show that only those websites that land on the first page of Google will get leads and thus, more sales. It is the job of the digital agency to “optimize” your website for search engines such that it lands on the first page for keywords that are important to your biz.

This may not bring immediate results as SEO is an ongoing process. Google needs to see your site’s Expertise, Authority, and Trustworthiness or E.A.T before Google starts recommending you and pushing you on the first page.

Thus, like your website maintenance, SEO is worth the ongoing market spend with a special focus on content marketing. The good news is that with continuing SEO efforts your website will rank for years to come and SEO remains to be the highest ROI.

Pay-Per-Click (PPC)/Google Ads

While SEO takes time to work, PPC gives more immediate results. Thus it makes sense to compliment SEO with PPC.

Social Media Marketing (SMM)/FB Ads

SMM is an important part of your business promotions because it is through social media that you get to interact and engage with your potential and actual customers. This is how you get to be in touch with your target audience in real-time. SMM also lets you spy on your competitors and thus help you plan your next promotional efforts.

Frequently Asked Questions: Should I Build a Website Myself?

Can I hire someone to create my website?

Yes, you can but when you do hire someone, make sure you hire a credible company that understands your business needs so that they can make a custom website that will help you achieve your business goals. Ask for their portfolio, read reviews, ask for references.

Is it worth building your own website?

Unless you are a professional developer yourself, it is never worth building your own website even if there are website builders. There are too many technical features that make a website robust, dynamic, and user-friendly, such as page speed, user interface, mobile-friendliness, and it is always best left to the hands of website experts.

Should I hire a web developer or do it myself?

It is always a smart idea to pay someone to build your website because aside from technical processes and steps involved in the development, you also need regular audits and maintenance in the upkeep of your website to make sure there are no slow pages, broken links, and other technological issues.

Hiring someone will save you much time and you can thus focus on your core business. To spend on your website is an investment and worth the money and the price as it is your online “office” or “store” and a good website will ensure business continuity.

How much does it cost to have someone make me a website?

For a small business, you can expect to spend an initial cost of $3,500. This includes your domain, your SSL, and your hosting for a year. You also need monthly maintenance from $25 and up, depending on the complexity of your website, such as the case of eCommerce sites.

For bigger sites though, especially eCommerce websites, it will cost considerably more, from $7,500 up, depending on the number of pages and products.

Have Your Website Built by Experts

At this point, you now know how having a website involves a lot of complex functionalities and for this, building your website by yourself is not good for your business. Your website is the online representation of your business – it is an investment that will be the lifeblood of your marketing. We at Design Develop Now shall build you a robust, dynamic, and responsive website that your business deserves. Talk to us today!

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