Should You Build Your Web Alone – Pros and Cons
As a small or even micro business owner, you have got to have a website to position yourself as an expert and to build trust in your company. The creation cost of the complete website can be anything between 100$ to few thousands. For complex, custom-built and reach in multiple features web the prices can go even over 25.000$. The final cost will depend on the size, complexity, functionality, and your own work that you intend to put behind the creation process.
If you are determined to set up your company website yourself, which is totally doable these days, you need only to secure the budget for purchasing the domain and hosting – an amount up to 100$. The rest will be your time and creativity and a few tech skills required from you. On the other hand, if you feel like during the process you would need professional support, then you would need to secure an amount of 500-1000$ for minimal technical support to something between three to six thousand dollars for an agency building your web from scratch. Which approach is better? As always, it depends on your individual situation and your business status.
Option #1 Creating the web with a professional web designer
This option might seem like a safer choice as in principle. You will have one person or perhaps even the whole team of people working on your project. They would expect, however, the professional briefing from you so that everybody involved in the project is on the same page from the start. Good agencies might share their briefing document with you once you request it. Alternatively, you can use this briefing from. It is a good practice to discuss it and make sure all elements are equally clear for everyone engaged. It will be your job to lead the briefing process and ensure the content, and your expectations towards the agency work are fully understood. It is one of the defining moments as the way your briefing is received determines the pricing and timing for the project. Let’s have a look at the advantages and disadvantages of such a solution so that your choice becomes an informed and strategic decision.
- Professional experience – is it the agency or individual web designer – they have done much more websites than you did and they should be expected to anticipate possible problems
- Technical support – they take full responsibility of your web functioning before publishing and at least 30 days after its publication.
- Debugging – your site should be checked for all possible bugs and malfunctioning before its launch
- SEO basic preparation – normally, the agency should make sure that the very basic SEO is included. In practice, you need to make sure what is understood as such and further ensure it is delivered.
- Design, photo selection, and copywriting included
- Timing – the whole process will take much longer, as there are many parties involved
- Budget – you need to secure a few thousands of dollars
Who will benefit from this option?
- People who have a business already generating revenue, so that payment for the web will not drain your cash flow
- Business owners experienced in leading somewhat complex projects
- People who know how to delegate projects and manage teams
- Entrepreneurs who have little time, and are not planning to be involved in the web creation process to the very last dot
- Business owners who know what they expect from their website.
Option #2 Creating the web yourself
This might be the so-called “hardcore” option if you have never ever done any website and even did not participate in any similar process. Still, I believe it is doable for determined and systematic entrepreneurs with the right product selected. For anyone who has done in the past at least once it should not be a very stressful exercise, although you need to be prepared for some hiccups on the way. What I have in mind is executing the website in the website builder, in other words, CMS (Content Management System). You have at least three to five most popular CMS platforms to choose from. I have described the advantages of selecting the most popular one in my other article, Key Mistakes To Avoid When You Build Your First Web. Personally, I am a big fan of WordPress. I have built Maggie’s Hub website with this system solo without any ability of coding. I needed minimal technical help from IT dept, and this experience allowed me to familiarize with all elements of my web in and out. If you want an elementary web, then you can either use one of the themes that have already predefined all elements and functions or even go with WordPress 7 steps website builder. WordPress will lead you through the process almost by hand. You need to remember that WordPress is straightforward and intuitive with the blogging functionalities. So if you need to set up a blog with 2-3 subpages, you will not encounter any problems. For more complex features some themes require familiarizing with their back-end. So what would be advantages and disadvantages of such a solution?
- Time – you manage the timing directly, all the progress happens in the tempo you set up
- Budget – once you do it yourself, the web work becomes really free. Unless you drop other essential and revenue generating activities to develop web, then it costs the value of your time
- Operability – when you do web yourself you know all its elements and their connection with each other by heart
- You will have to develop all of it alone – including the content, it is a LOT OF WORK!
- Losing big picture – you might miss the general goal of your web and its functionalities as you are drowned into details
- Rabbit holes – knowing your web and WordPress better will be encouraging you to develop some beautiful side effects – new subpages, extra functionalities – that were not planned in the beginning and might not bring the incremental value to your website. It is difficult to get out of the rabbit hole without help. You might have a tendency to go deeper and deeper.
- Potential technical issues – it might happen that things will not work the way they should
- Missing SEO optimization – you will not have an agency to optimize your web for SEO. So either you will have to subcontract this service externally or learn another skill. I did it, and it is not a very complicated thing!
Who will benefit from this option?
- People who are determined and systematic
- People who are not afraid of learning new things and start over and over
- People who know where to ask for help once they find themselves in a crisis situation
Just bear in mind – the option you choose has to support your individual business situation and your ability to run the project like this effectively.