Should you build your website for yourself?
If you’re here it’s probably because you know you’re ready to build your website and you’ve realized that knowing is only half battle. The second half is finding the right people to give it to you and getting it done. The process seems daunting and the beginning can be the hardest part. You’re ready to invest your valuable time and money into one of the most important tools for your business and you can’t decide if you should build your own website, hire a freelancer to do it, or enlist a whole team.
Should you build your website for yourself?
Some agencies would quickly and firmly say “no.” We are not one of those agencies. WYSIWYG (What you see is what you get) and drag & drop DIY web-builders have a time and place. If you are technically savvy and have the time on your hands, they may be the best option for you. Are you in a hurry and just need a basic website to jumpstart your presence on the web while you put together a budget for the website you really want and need? Do you need a website on a temporary basis to share information about an event or sale listing? Are you less than concerned about search engine results placement (SERP) and mostly need a landing page to receive leads from paid advertising campaigns? In these cases, you may very well be happy with the low-cost investment and it-will-do results of a DIY website. If you need a hardworking, original website that ranks well in search engines and sets you apart from your competition, you are better off going to the experts.
So you know you need an expert to build your website.
Once you’ve decided that you have neither the knowledge nor the time to build your own website, you’re stuck wondering where to turn next. In researching your options, you’ll come across both freelance website designers and website design agencies. Both have the expertise you need to build your website, but which is the best fit for you?
Working with a freelance website designer.
Some clients prefer a hands-on experience in web design and development. They want direct access to, and a working relationship with, the person designing and building their site. They may be overwhelmed by working with a team of resources. Maybe you may have a higher level of technical knowledge than the average business owner and prefer to be “plugged in” with your developer. In that case, you may benefit from working with a freelancer who is willing to regularly communicate with you at each step of the process.
Sounds great. So what are the cons?
- A freelancer may not work “regular” business hours. Many are self-employed to allow them to work hours they choose and may not be available when you need them most.
- In addition, a freelancer may not be able to build your website as rapidly as a team of people who employ multiple resources.
- A freelancer is also likely to excel at one aspect of the design and development process, but be weaker in others. You website may look great, but not function efficiently. On the other hand, it may be built solid as a rock, but not be as creative and engaging as you’d like.
Working with a website design agency.
An agency puts a whole team of resources with very differing skill sets at your fingertips. Your account manager will look out for your best interests and will be a reliable point of contact for any questions or concerns throughout the course of the project. Your project manager will be highly skilled at the details and will keep your project moving forward on time and on budget and will manage your assets, your project team and all the daily tasks. In most cases, you’ll have not only a developer on your project team but also a designer. While one is well skilled at building a site that works just as you need it to, the other has the creative talent to make your website attractive, engaging, and unique in a way that perfectly conveys your brand and converts traffic into revenue.
So, what might not be perfect for you?
- Agencies are more likely to work in a 9am to 5pm setting and if you are just starting a business while maintaining a “day job” you may prefer more availability in the evenings.
- Just like in your own business, agencies can’t be successful with just one client. An agency is going to be working on multiple projects at a time (at least a successful agency will be!), and if it’s important to you to have a developer focused solely on your needs as they build your website, you may want to work with a single resource who can and will do so.
Make the most of your website design experience.
Whether working with a freelance website designer or with a website design agency, make yourself a part of the team. YOU are the expert on your business and customers, so be prepared to answer a lot of questions and even more prepared to ask them. Provide lots of feedback to your designer, share your ideas and know what you want to achieve with your new site. Most of all, trust the experts you’ve hired to build your website. If you want to know MORE about how to make the most of the experience, download our point by point checklist.
Still unsure what’s best for you?
If you’re still lost as to who should be building your website for you, just call us. We’re happy to hear you out on not only what your goals are, but also your challenges and concerns. We can chat with you about your budget, your time frame, and your very specific needs and then we’ll point you in the right direction. If we fit, we’ll be thrilled to build your website for you. If we don’t, we’ll introduce you to some very talented resources that will!
Want more advice on getting started?
Download our website design checklist. Fully comprehensive, we walk you through what to do before you contact a web designer, tell you what not to miss during contract negotiations and let you know how you can contribute to a smooth design and development process all the way through go live. We even tell you what not to do. These few pages will help you to avoid dozens of web design headaches!