Build a Website or Hire a Designer? 4 Great Questions
To Build a website or Hire a designer is the question!
In our last blog post, we discussed the question of whether every business needs a website or not. Even if you don’t need more customers, there are some other great reasons you might want a website. Some of these reasons are to get more information to your customers, it may be a place where your customers can interact with you, or it may save you and your customers time by answering frequently asked questions.
Now that you have decided you needed a website, the next question to ask is, should I build a website or should I hire a website designer? Here are some questions to ask yourself that may help you determine the answer to that question.
Do you mind tinkering with things?
There are many different types of web design platforms out there to help you build a website. We use WordPress with the Divi theme as it gives us a lot of flexibility, but also requires setting up your hosting and updating your site hoping that there are no conflicts or a wonky site on update. There are other platforms like a Wix that allow even beginners to make a decent looking site, but their sites are much more rigid, and less customizable. While the all-in-one platforms work well for beginners, there are still times when things will just not look right and you may not know how to fix them, resulting in you having to use your searching Google and YouTube skills to find a fix.
For someone like me, I love to mess with things and try to fix them. That is actually how I got into web design myself. I had a personal website that I decided I didn’t want to pay people to make changes to anymore, so I decided to start learning how to do the changes myself. I took online courses, watched YouTube videos, and used many hours of my personal time just messing around. This is one of the main reasons I decided to build a website myself. If technology frustrates you, or you are not technologically savvy, building a website may not be for you.
What is your time worth?
Even with a website designer, getting a website built will take some of your time. You will need images, written content and possibly graphics. Just getting those things together can be time consuming. When you build your own site, it gets much more time consuming. At that point you must learn a website creation platform. You may need to learn some minor amounts of HTML or CSS just to fix a few things that aren’t working correctly. You will have to do all the layout yourself, and there are bound to be times when you want to totally redo things, which takes up more time.
If things are slow at the business, you are just starting the business and have some down time due to waiting for other things to fall into place, or maybe you are strapped for cash as you have used it to buy all of your business tools and materials, this may be a great thing to sit down and build something that is good enough to get you going. If you are busy with the business stuff your time may be better spent on other business activities.
Are you very particular about how it looks?
This might be one of the best questions. If you are the type of person that has to have everything 100% how you envision your website, and you don’t want anything changed and don’t want to be flexible about how it looks you may not want to build your own site. If you decide to go with one of the all-in-one website platforms, you will be using already-created templates. Some have more flexibility than others, but with that said, it is probably going to look a lot like the website demo you found.
On the other hand, most web designers use some kind of template to build a website, but they can tweak them to your liking and be able to delete and redesign sections with different functionality and a different look from the template that has been chosen. So at that point, your site feels much more one-of-a-kind, allowing you to have more of the functionality you wanted all along on your website.
What kind of integrations do you need?
This could be a huge part that helps you decide whether you want to build a website or to hire a web designer. What do you need functionality-wise on your website? Is the website you want to build just a very standard blog or informational site that has a home, about, services, and contact page with a form for people to fill out? Do you need an ecommerce site with 100 products? Or do you need a membership or teaching site? Some of these options are going to be extremely difficult, if not almost impossible, to build a website without a designer/developer.
That being said, there are definitely some programs available where you can simply link someone else’s platform to your site. Calendly, Teepublic, and Spreadshop are great examples of this. You either pay a monthly fee for their services, or they take a fee from your sales, and you simply link to them on your website. This is a simpler way to avoid having to spend a lot of money on extra functionality on your site. There are times where a client portal or some kind of scheduling integration is needed. Your best bet is probably going through a service you pay monthly for, such as Calendly, that has everything you need and then link it on your site. Or maybe you want to sell tee shirts. You might use something like Teepublic or Spreadshop that has the site and payments and everything handled on their side rather than by you.
Hopefully this gives you a little insight into what may be the best decision for you and your company. If you have decided you do want to get a website built or you are using WordPress and need some help with it, we definitely can help you with that. I commend you for the decision to build a website! I enjoy it, but it did take a lot of time for me to learn it and become efficient with it.