As your small business continues to grow, you’re naturally going to think about your website, whether that’s updating your existing one or perhaps you’re looking to create a website from scratch.
In any case, there’ll naturally come a point in time where you have to make a decision: Whether or not to do-it-yourself, or bite the bullet with hiring a professional website developer. Without a doubt, this is a big question for your business, and one not to be taken lightly.
With the rise of DIY website builders like Wix, SquareSpace and more, the ability to build a website for many business owners has become much more accessible. Gone are the days of needing to know code in favour of simple, user friendly, drag and drop builders. But can these tools, and can you do a quality job?
This raises the question of “DIY websites vs. professionally developed websites - which is best and which is right for me”, which is exactly what we’re going to cover in this blog post, including a look at:
Before you make a decision with your website design, it’s important to evaluate all the options that are available to you. In our experience, these take the form of the following four categories:
Web applications like these have proven popular with people who have limited-to-no technical knowledge or experience, as they allow you to build your own website from the ground up. However, they’re not without their limitations, as we’ll discuss further later in this post.
Another DIY option is to use website templates. Regardless of if you’re using a content management system such as WordPress, or a more advanced drag and drop builder such as SquareSpace, templates can give you a starting foundation to build a website whilst still making it your own.
Templates also have their limitations, as you’ll need to have some basic programming and technical knowledge to truly customise a template so that it matches your brand, and there may be additional costs involved for plugins and more.
If you’re not ready to commit to a web design agency, hiring a freelance designer is your next best option, as it still means you’ve decided to hire a professional.
Freelancers tend to be cheaper than website design agencies, however they do come with their own risks. If you think of the “cheap, fast, good” analogy, a freelancer might be cheap and fast, but it might not necessarily be a good and well-designed website, which could lead you dissatisfied.
This option gives you the most possibilities when designing your website. Working with web professionals means not only do you have the creative freedom to get the website you want, but you have experts on hand to handle every aspect.
This includes someone to handle project managed, experts with technical and search engine knowledge and more.
Whatever decision you make, it’s also important to evaluate the advantages and disadvantages of both DIY websites vs. professionally developed ones. Let’s look at those in more detail.
The biggest advantage of opting for a DIY website is the price. If you opt for a very simple website using a drag and drop builder, you’re going to be saving yourself a hefty chunk of money. Not only that, but you’ll inevitably feel a sense of achievement having built your own website and published it for all to see.
Another advantage is the design freedom you have. Many DIY builders come with templates to get you started, which are usually freely customisable and often come with stock photos to use.
Perhaps the most critical disadvantage is the limitations. DIY builders can have not only design limitations, but also restricted SEO tools and functionality. This could cost you later down the line. Not only that but you’ll fall victim to shared hosting and no backups, which could also cause you problems.
When it comes to using a professional, the biggest advantage is the level of expertise you’ll have access to. Design, content, SEO, mobile optimisation - they’ll be proficient in all of that and more. That means you’ll be able to call upon a team of people who’ll handle your entire website project.
You’ll also receive ongoing support with your website. If something breaks, they can help you fix it, and so on.
To flip the argument for DIY websites, one of the drawbacks of a professionally developed website is the cost. You’ll ultimately have to invest a considerable amount of money, depending on the level of complexity, size and customisation wanted.
Furthermore, there may be a learning curve to overcome when the website is handed over to you, especially if you’re not proficient in the website builder used, such as WordPress.
The question of “DIY websites vs. professionally developed websites” means there are a lot of factors to consider: How complex do you want your site to be? How much can you invest? How skilled are you? And so on.
In any case, we hope this article has provided you with enough insight to make an informed decision for yourself. Consider your budget, skill set and requirements before commiting to a website project, so that you make the right decision for your business.