The question, “Should I hire a web designer or build my website myself?” can be a tricky one to answer. This article contains the information you need to choose between hiring a web designer and building your website yourself.
To start, it helps to break the main question down into 3 smaller and more easily answered “sub-questions”.
Here are the “sub-questions” we will be considering:
- What resource can you afford to spend more of: time or money?
- How “tech-savvy” are you?
- Does the website need to rank well in search engine results like Google?
Once you have the answers to these questions, you can put together an informed decision as to whether you need to hire a web designer.
First, let’s look at what resource you have more of – time or money.
What is More Important to You? Time or Money?
Fundamentally, the choice here is whether to do the work yourself or hire someone to do it. If you have lots of time and are low on cash, building a website yourself might be your only option.
But if you have the budget to invest in hiring a web designer, it can be a much more rewarding process. The resulting website will look and feel like it was designed by a professional.
Once launched, the big differentiator is this: DIY websites often fail to rank well in Google search. Hiring a professional web designer means working with someone who knows how to optimize your website for search engines, create calls-to-action for your visitors, and present your information in a way that is visually appealing.
This added value pays off over the long term because your website consistently sends you high-quality leads. Better leads boost sales, and drive profitability.
However, if you’re low on funds but have a good eye for design and are tech-savvy, building your own website is still an option.
Should I Hire A Web Designer Even If I’m Tech-Savvy?
It comes down to this: if you don’t have the budget to invest in hiring a web designer, building your own website might be your only choice.
I recommend using WordPress because it’s extensible. Regardless of what future functionality your website might need, WordPress has “plugin” for that.
Other DIY website builders like Wix, Weebly, and Squarespace simply don’t offer the same level of customization and functionality. They’re easier to use than WordPress though. So if you don’t care about performance and just want something pretty – one of these options might be your best bet.
If you’re tech-savvy and have the time to learn WordPress, you may not need to hire a web designer. However, if you do choose to hire a web designer, WordPress is still an excellent choice as it would allow you to log in and make edits to the website yourself!
Doing Your Own Website Updates? Here’s What You’ll Need To Learn
A winning combination is hiring a web designer to build your website, then learning how to contribute to the website yourself. You bring unique expertise to the table, knowledge of your trade that the web designer lacks.
Getting that info out of your head and onto your website (in blog form, for example) is an excellent way to attract new visitors.
Just make sure you collaborate with your web designer to make sure you’re following best-practices. If you decide to make websites updates yourself, you will need to learn how to:
- Export images for the web using Photoshop (this saves on load time, especially over mobile networks and has a big impact on website performance)
- Enter alternate (“alt”) tags for all of your images for accessibility and to help with your website’s SEO (search engine optimization)
- Set “featured images” if the theme of your website uses them in its design
- Create website backups (or choose a hosting company that keeps regular backups for you)
- Log in regularly to update plugins, themes, and core software (this is important in protecting your website against hackers)
The work above can also be delegated to your web designer if you’ve hired one. It’s worth having a conversation about what work you would like to do yourself, and what maintenance is better taken care of by a professional.
How Hiring a Web Designer Helps Your Website’s Google Ranking
In rare cases, I’ve encountered clients for whom having a website that ranked well in Google wasn’t important. These clients had already established themselves in other ways via professional networking, for example. Or they had an ideal physical location with ample foot traffic.
These clients always have one thing in common – they already have more work than they can handle. And so attracting new clientele via online methods isn’t a priority. Their reason for hiring a web designer is to ensure their website looks professionally designed.
However, this isn’t the case for the vast majority of our clients. In almost all cases, optimizing the website for Google search is a top priority.
That’s because these days, people go to Google first when looking for new products and services. If these people can find your website when they search Google for what you offer – then your website is doing exactly what it ought to be doing… getting you new business!
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is a complex subject and beyond the scope of this article. But it’s an important factor to consider when choosing between building a website yourself and hiring a web designer.
If you anticipate needing your website to rank well in Google, then hiring a web designer is a good idea. Investing in a website that actually generates new business is worth paying a little extra for!
Making The Choice To Hire A Web Designer Or Not
By considering your budget, technical abilities and SEO requirements, you’re ready to decide whether hiring a web designer is right for you.
To summarize, you don’t need to hire a web designer if:
- Your budget is low but you are willing to invest the time necessary to learn how to use WordPress
- You have a reasonable sense of design and are technically savvy
- Your business gets sufficient traffic from another source (for example, a physical location that gets a lot of foot traffic) and you don’t need your website to rank well in Google
On the other hand, you may want to hire a web designer if:
- You have the budget to invest in hiring a professional web designer
- Having a professional looking website is important for your brand, marketing, and sales efforts
- Ranking well in Google is vital to generating quality leads for your business, attracting new business and building brand awareness
I hope this article has made it easier for you to decide between hiring a web designer and tackling the website yourself. If you have any questions or just want to say hello, feel free to drop us a line!
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