Building Your Own Website vs. Paying a Professional: Choosing the right approach for your site

So, you’ve decided to launch a new website. You know exactly what it should look like, what it should do, and how you’ll entice people to visit. The only thing you’re not sure of is who’s going to do it.

Beyond calling in a favour from a friend or paying the computer-whiz down the street to take care of it, you’ve essentially got two main options here, pay a sizeable amount of money to a professional, or go it alone.

Which one’s better? It’s all a case of what you’re looking to achieve whilst actually creating your website, and when it’s all said and done, there’s pluses and minuses to be found whichever route you decide to take.

If you’re still weighing up whether to hire in outside help or to do it yourself here’s a few things you might want to consider.

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The cost

When it comes to the crunch, nine times out of ten, budget is the key deciding factor in whether to outsource or fly solo. Pay a professional web designer, and you’re looking at investing hundreds into your new site.

Build your own, and your budget will rarely, if ever, run beyond the tens. Depending on exactly what you need, it may be possible to create and publish your website without spending a penny thanks to many of the online website building tools available online.

Your time

Though cost is important, it’s sometimes worth shelling out the extra funds, especially when it comes to saving you time. Hire somebody to do the job, and you’re looking at a fairly minimal time investment, usually stretching to nothing more than a few meetings, telephone calls or emails with your designer to ensure everything’s on course and that you’re getting exactly what you need.

Take the DIY approach, and you’ll spend a whole lot longer on your website, doing everything from creating the initial design to importing your content and making the whole things runs smoothly.

The technical stuff

Using website builders such as Wix or Weebly, it’s possible to build your own great looking website without knowing a single line of HTML code. There’s a lot of additional tools on hand too, helping you to incorporate things such as eCommerce functions, blogs or photo galleries into your site with just a few clicks of a mouse.

If the site you’re planning to build is fairly straight forward, such platforms provide everything you could need.

For more complex projects, like those requiring databases or tricky development procedures, you’re going to have knuckle down and learn a lot of seemingly complicated tools and techniques before your site is complete with the kind of functionality you were hoping for.

In that instance, it’s often much easier to give the job to someone who knows what they’re doing. Not only will this save you countless hours at the keyboard -not to mention plenty of headaches- but it also reduces the risk of something going wrong.

Getting the perfect site

Even when given the clearest brief in the world, it’s not unheard of for professional designers to come up with an end product that’s pretty far off the mark in terms of what you were looking for. It’s at this stage that you and your designer start going back and forth on a more regular basis.

It’s bad enough that this starts eating away at your valuable time, but if you’re working with a professional who charges for revisions, you’re adding costs to what is already likely to be a fairly big invoice.

Build your own website, and you don’t have to try and explain your vision to anybody else. You have a clear idea in mind of what you want, and can make it happen however you please.

The verdict

So, which is better? Building your own website or paying a professional.

If you have a small budget but enough time on your hands and want complete control when designing a basic website that looks and functions exactly as you imagined, we’d suggest going it alone.

If your cashflow is bigger than the hours you have to spare on putting together complex websites requiring a lot of intense development work, take the outsourcing route.