Making the decision to build your own website or hire someone can be difficult and it is important to weigh both options. Building a website from scratch requires more time, effort, and money than hiring a web designer who will create you a custom website that meets your needs. However, if you are looking for total control of everything including design decisions then building your own site might be the best option.
Building your own website can be very difficult at first, especially with the many technical terms that are often thrown around. However, once you learn all of these jargon words it becomes much easier to search for tutorials on how to build your website, and web design software like Adobe Photoshop or Sketch App can make every step even more simple.
Building Your Own Website
Learn about website building vocabulary before making a decision
Some of the web design vocabulary words and subjects you’ll want to do some research on before starting are:
- Domain names – Domain names are the website address that you type in the browser to get to your own site (example: .com, .net, .org, etc).
- Web hosting – Web hosting is where all of your web files are stored
- HTML – HTML is the language programmers use to make web pages.
- CSS – CSS stands for Cascade Style Sheets. You can use them to change the way that a website looks on your computer or phone.
- CMS – (Content Management Systems) A content management system is a website that stores and organizes information on it.
- SEO (Search Engine Optimization) This is how people will find you in search engines.
- Images (JPG, PNG, GIF)
- Page Speed – How fast your website loads. (Very Important for conversions and SEO)
- Plugins – Software that is attached to the content management system, like WordPress, so you can add new features and make it better.
- Propagation – DNS propagation is a term that means how long it takes for changes to your website’s DNS settings to take effect.
- Meta Tag – If you are looking to rank higher in search engine rankings, the meta tag is one of your best assets.
- Responsive Design – This means the web page will change depending on what device you are viewing on, whether it’s a desktop computer, tablet, or mobile device.
Some of the cons of building your own website are:
- You have to learn how to do it
- It takes a lot of time and effort
- Without the right knowledge, building your website can take a long time.
- If you’re not a designer, you have to learn how it works
- You’re responsible for maintenance and updates
- It’s not always easy learning HTML, photoshop etc.
- If your website is built on a self-hosted platform like WordPress, then there will be regular patches that can take time away from other tasks if we don’t know what they are or when.
- There’s much more to web design than just the design part, there’s also content writing, SEO, Analytics, email, and so much more.
- If you’re not tech-savvy and don’t have an eye for design, this could make your website look unprofessional and not representative of your brand.
The Pros of building your own website are:
- You get to make all the decisions
- It’s cheaper than hiring a web designer, but time is also money and can outway your time spent building your business, contacts, and selling.
- You are in control of your website and it will be original.
- You can edit it whenever you want.
- There are many website services to build yourself a templated website.
Some of the services you can pay for to build your own websites like Squarespace, Wix and WordPress.
Many of these services have WYSIWYG (What You See Is What You Get) interfaces that help to build your website easier. There are also many that have drag and drop builders with different widgets and blocks.
The website builders also have a lot of templates to choose from, so you can get your website up and running quickly. The templates are all responsive web design (RWD) meaning that they will look good on any device.
Some people might prefer the customizability over some of these builder sites because it’s easier for them to.
Here are some of the popular services:
- Squarespace is a website building service with the option of hosting your site on their servers or elsewhere. They offer templates for different types of websites, videos to help you get started if necessary, and have great customer support. The downside is that it can be quite expensive – but they do everything in one place.
- Wix is also a website building service with a variety of templates to choose from. They also offer web hosting and will help you get going if it’s your first website. The downside is that even though they have plenty of templates, the design can be quite limiting since there are so many restrictions on what you’re allowed to do with the site layout.
- WordPress.org is just an open-source content management system that is free to set up and use. However, if you don’t have any experience with web design or hosting an internet-based website, it can be a little tricky setting everything up – but there are plenty of videos on YouTube that will walk through the entire process step by step. I have a few videos on my youtube channel that can help with this.
- Shopify is a service that handles everything for you, from creating the website design to handling hosting and web-based payments. They’re more expensive than either WordPress or Wix but they offer a nicer site builder that’s very easy to use.
The bottom line is that if you’re looking into a paid service it really depends on what your needs are and how much time you want to spend learning about the website. Because even these paid ones have a learning curve you need to surpass to understand how to edit and update them.
Hiring A Web Designer or Agency
(Without too much bias as we are a Web Design Agency.)
Here are some of the Pros of why you should hire a web designer or development company to build your website:
- They will spend the time to learn about your business and its goals.
- They can provide you with a website that looks beautiful/modern (instead of one that simply “works”).
- You’ll have much less risk because they are going to do all of the work, find solutions for any problems, and make sure everything is done in line with best practices.
- You’ll have more time to build your business and do what you do best.
- You’ll have a website that actually gets you the results you’re looking for and can scale with your business.
- They will provide all of the technical support so there’s someone to answer any questions, offer suggestions or help fix problems when they arise.
- If anything goes wrong (which it doesn’t because they know what they are doing), then there is always a warranty on workmanship and quality.
- It’s worth noting that hiring an in-house web designer also means long hours spent building websites instead of working at your business which could be more money lost than just outsourcing!
Not all web designers are created equal. There are places that you should look to hire web designers, and there are some questionable places to hire a web designer.
Here are some of the cons of hiring someone else to design your website.
- Budget, depending on what your budget is can depend on the skilled web designer that you choose.
- Customer service, depending on who you hire for this job they may not be able to answer questions or offer any customer support because that is
- The person you hire might not be as knowledgeable on all of the latest web design trends.
- They may take a lot longer than they should or even miss deadlines completely. This can lead to higher costs, which could mean hiring someone else who is.
The decision to build your own website or hire someone else to do it for you is a big one. There are many factors that go into the decision, including how much time and money you have available, what kind of content you plan on publishing, and who will be maintaining the site in the future. If hiring a web designer suits your needs better than building a website yourself, then call me today! I can help walk through all these questions with you so we can get started right away designing an effective site that meets your goals while also being within budget.
Web Design Virginia Beach
Allen Larson Creative is a web design company based in Virginia Beach, VA.