DIY vs. Professional Web Development
Pros and Cons of Each
As a small (very small) business owner myself, I know that one of the first tough decisions any new business faces is whether to build their website themselves (DIY; Do it yourself) or to pay an experienced web developer to do it instead. This blog is going to go over some of the pros and cons of each option as there are many factors to consider.
The fact of the matter is that a DIY website can save your business a lot of money, at least when it comes to up-front costs of your site. As a new business owner, you may seriously want to consider waiting a year or two before you make the committed investment required to pay a web developer. Also, having a DIY website is a good way to force you to keep it up-to-date and using it on a daily basis. As one of the best ways to get a website to show up higher in search results is the frequent addition of new content, this is definitely a bonus.
However, there are many negatives to going the DIY route. First and foremost, as a business owner you are now given the task of learning the skills it takes to build a website. This means that you either invest a large portion of your time to do it right, or the website is left by the wayside and never gets that polished and completed look.
The fact of the matter is that most of us can tell a DIY site from a professionally built website. Why is that? There is a certain level of quality, structure, and expertise that a professional web site has, and that most DIY sites lack. There are also many other behind-the-scene factors, such as proper SEO (Search Engine Optimization) and website navigation, that DIY sites tend to lack. So what are the positives of having a professional web developer, such as myself, custom build your businesses website:
- A custom built website that matches your businesses branding and mission
- Extended functionality such as forms, directories, calendars, and shopping carts
- It does not require you to know anything about web development such as HTML or CSS
- A support team you can count on to make changes for you if you choose
- Better SEO and proper meta tagging
- A website that will positively promote your business, not hurt it
When it comes down to it, having a website is no longer an option for a business, it is as essential as having a phone number. But having a poor quality website can be worse than no site at all. If your website lacks the structure and misrepresents the mission and style or your business, you may very well be losing customers.
In the end, the decision to build your website yourself or to pay a web developer is up to you. And even if you choose to pay a developer, now you enter an entirely new world of who to choose, who is most affordable, and how much ARE you willing to spend on your web presence. This decision is an important one. In the end, it is all about your business and what is best for its future.