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As a web designer, you may find it hard to believe that I actually do encourage people to build their own websites. I’ve always sympathized with the solopreneur who is penny-pinching to meet their quarterly budgets because I get it; owning and running a business gets costly.
But while there are certain instances where building your own website will be ok, there are also many times when it’s not ok. So if you aren’t sure whether you should build your own website or hire a professional, I’d like to discuss both sides and give you my honest opinion.
When It’s a Good Idea to Build Your Own Website
When you have more time than money
Building your own website is going to take a lot of time out of your day. No matter how easy certain website builders make it look, you will still need to take time to map out your content, figure out the platform and learn how to set up your website.
Not to mention, there are always hiccups along the way and things that you can’t anticipate happening. If you are able to set aside a chunk of time to build your website properly, you may want to start there and hire a professional later on. Keep in mind that when you build a website yourself, you may be charged a fee to transfer the content of that site over when you decide to get it professionally designed, so you could end up spending a bit more in the end.
You are comfortable learning HTML
You don’t need to be able to use HTML fully, but you should know the difference between the <p> tag and the <h1> tag etc. Knowing basic HTML will help you get your website built faster and properly. Using the wrong HTML tags will confuse search engines and while website builders make it pretty easy to select the right ones, it’s still important you have a grasp on HTML. Keeping an HTML cheatsheet bookmarked will help you learn as you go!
When you are first starting out
If your business is brand new and you have a limited budget, take several months to get started and get some cash flow before you hire a web designer. I often find that businesses grow and change a lot during that first year, and going through that growth will help you better understand your brand!
Many of my clients have come to me after getting themselves established and outgrowing their DIY website. The websites they created themselves were enough to get them off the ground, but they realized that their homemade website wouldn’t allow their businesses to grow or take off anymore because it wasn’t able to convey their brand message properly.
If you plan to build your own website, you’d really benefit from reading my e-book on branding which will help you elevate your brand DIY-style!
When It’s Not a Good Idea to Build Your Own Website
When your brand is high-end
If you have a high-end product and a poorly put together DIY website, that message will send through to your customer. While you might think you’ve done an ok job with your website (it’s hard to be overly critical of your own work sometimes!) you’ve likely missed very crucial design components that will convey a message of sloppy-work.
Premium priced products and luxurious brands need a website and branding to match – and that level of branding comes when you hire a professional.
When you have the resources to hire a pro
If you have the resources to get a website professionally designed, you may be holding back because you just aren’t sure that hiring a designer is really going to give you a positive return on your investment.
My client, Heather with Wild Rose Organizing was able to gain 20 new clients from website traffic alone after we launched her brand new website. Her new website (compared to her old website) gave a professional and trusting vibe to prospective clients. Her old website didn’t give off the same messaging and therefore wasn’t landing her as many clients.
An experienced designer should know a bit about user experience and how to build a website that will keep your prospective clients/customers engaged.
If you are a creative entrepreneur and you are ready to finally ditch the DIY, let’s chat! Contact me to learn about how I can help build you a beautiful brand.
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