I get this question all the type from people building a website: “Can I do it myself or should I hire a professional?” I start my answer with “It depends.” That starts a long conversation between myself and the other person. Since you clicked on this article you want to know the same too. Unfortunately, we can’t have a face-to-face conversation so this article explains when and why it’s fine for you to build your website or when to hire a professional.
Building A Website: When And Why You Should Do It
When it comes to building a website yourself you must be able to do the following:
- Invest the time and energy buying the domain name, choosing and configuring the web hosting, and developing the site with a framework (such as WordPress).
- Continue to maintain your website by performing updates and posting new content.
- Handle most technical problems arising from your website, or handle these problems with the aid of third-party technical support.
- Implement SEO using a plugin or a third-party program so your website ranks high in search engines.
- Choose a security package that not only protects your website from malware and hackers, but also monitors for threats.
- Monitor for downtime with alerts sent via text message or email (or both).
- Create a staging website to test any and all changes and updates.
Building a website is a time-consuming process. Certain tasks like buying the domain name and attaining web hosting are easy tasks and doesn’t take much time. Developing and designing your website is the part that will suck up the most of your time. You will go through several different designs and layouts because you change your mind over and over. Then you’ll obsess over button text and its placement on screen.
Once your site is live that doesn’t mean you’re done, however. Just like your computer or phone, your website will need update depending on what framework you use. I use self-hosted WordPress for my sites so I have to apply plugin updates and WordPress core updates. Your web hosting company may do those tasks for you depending on the type of chosen hosting package. Finally, you will have to upload new content to your website, be it new products, blogs posts, or price changes.
So if you are somewhat technically savvy, and are willing to invest the time into building and maintaining your website, then building a website is for you.
Building Your Website: When And Why You Should Hire A Pro
When it comes to building a website you should hire a pro (like a website developer) if any of the following reasons apply to you:
- You don’t have the time at all to build or maintain your site.
- The learning curve for building a website is too great.
- You don’t know how to navigate the technical aspects of website creation (buying a domain name, obtaining a SSL certificate, buying web hosting, etc.).
- You need the website up and running within a short period.
If you go this route the costs will be higher. You have to pay for the labor and the talent of a website developer. And if you need to get the site up and running quickly, that will be an extra cost. However, with this cost you will get a professional-looking and fully-functional website. And you will have access to ask this individual questions or seek suggestions.
You can find a reputable and competent developer through word of mouth. Ask your friends or other business associates who they used to build their sites.
There are also services like Fiverr and Upwork which will connect you to hundreds if not thousands of web developers to complete your project. You can review the developer’s portfolio and visit websites he or she built for others.
A final note for this section: Please do not become “cheap” when you hire a web developer. I know finances can run tight but don’t skimp on a website developer. And don’t cut corners with it comes to website security. Your website factors heavily into your business’ reputation. A poorly-designed website or slow-loading site drives away potential customers or clients. Finally, an inexpensive web developer may not spend enough time to properly secure your website against hackers, which could cause downtime or leading to your website getting hacked.
I hope this article helps you decide which option to use. You can start building a website to see if you can. There’s nothing wrong with trying it out, determine you can’t do it, and then hire a professional. I know individuals who build their website then hiring a pro to maintain it.