Imagine your business as a finely crafted jigsaw puzzle. Each piece represents a crucial element, intricately designed and strategically placed to create a complete, captivating picture. Now, consider your website as the centerpiece of this puzzle, the one piece that ties everything together. Welcome to the world of web design for business – a captivating journey where creativity meets functionality to shape your online identity. You are convinced that you need a website, but you are grappling with one question: Should I hire a web designer or build the website by myself?
In this digital age, a well-designed website is the cornerstone of your business’s online presence. It’s not just a virtual storefront but a dynamic platform where potential customers, partners, and the world come to engage with your brand. From the initial concept to the final pixel, every step is crucial to creating a website that not only impresses but also converts visitors into loyal customers.
To get that perfect website, you have two options. The first is to build a website yourself using online tools. This is called DIY or do it yourself. You are essentially making the website all by yourself. The other line to take is hiring either a professional web designer or handing over the task to a web design company with a background in creating effective websites. Let’s explore these two routes.
DIY your website
DIYing your website involves several key steps. First, you’ll need to define your website’s purpose and target audience. Next comes the difficult part – selecting a unique online address (domain name) that suits your brand. Now, you have to choose a platform or service to build your site and start crafting its structure and design to match your brand identity. Here, you will be creating and organizing the content, ensuring it’s engaging and relevant to your audience. When you are done, you will have to optimize your website for visibility on the web. Finally, you have to test the site to see if all the elements are working and if it is user-friendly. Once you make it live, you will have to remain on the lookout for any lags or errors and regularly update and maintain the website to keep it fresh and appealing to visitors.
Choosing the right tool to create your website is vital in the whole DIY process, as there are several software and online platforms available for the purpose. However, all of them differ in terms of the scope of their functionality and the complexity of the tool. Some of these website builders don’t require the users to have any coding experience. All codes are built in, and the process is more of a drag-and-drop. There are also tools with inbuilt code editors for more complex and personalized design. Here’s a list of some of the most popular web design tools:
Hiring a web designer
The flip side to this coin is outsourcing the task of website design to a professional web designer or a web development company. To be honest, this has several benefits which are quite enticing. For example, experts bring a wealth of specialized skills to the table. They know what they are dealing with. Throw anything from graphic design to user experience (UX) design to coding or website SEO at them, and they’d have the skills to tackle it and do it fast. In short, they have everything you need for your website to not only look aesthetic but also function seamlessly.
Outsourcing this task also frees up your time and resources. Website design is intense and time-consuming and requires a fair bit of technical know-how. Letting the pros deal with it leaves you with a lot of free time to concentrate on what you do best – running your business or focusing on your job.
So, this tells you that outsourcing could be a smarter choice compared to DIY. But, if you are still iffy between the two, we will delve into more details and compare them based on several factors to give you a clearer perspective.
Should I hire a web designer or DIY the website? – The answer
The first consideration while looking for the answer to “should I hire a web designer or not?” is to consider the cost. The cost of building a site can vary significantly depending on whether you choose between a website builder vs web developer. Building a website on your own could be cost-effective, especially if you have some technical skills, however, there are some fixed expenses you’d have to pay for during the process.
Here’s a cost estimate by Forbes if you are thinking of building the website yourself. You’ll need to purchase a domain name, which typically costs around $10 to $20 per year. Web hosting fees vary widely depending on the provider and the type of hosting (shared, VPS, dedicated). It will range between $30 to $500 per year. The theme and template will be a one-time fee and could cost up to $100. The cost of a web design tool will vary as per the functionality and complexity of your site. Some offer basic features for free, but premium features like themes and plug-ins will cost you money in subscription fees. The average cost could range between $100 and $500 a year.
There is also a cost for a secure sockets layer (SSL) certificate to make sure that your website is safe and secure. This is not optional for businesses, as an SSL certificate is a Google ranking factor. Also, if your business accepts online payments, you need the encryption certificate, as you won’t be able to function without it. The fee for SSL is around $249 a year. But if you are DIYing, look for website builders that offer free SSL certificates. This will save you the additional cost.
Web designers, on the other hand, either charge a per-hour fee or a flat rate for the entire project. Both costs will depend on the designer/ company’s portfolio. Hiring someone with considerable past experience will deliver you a website that will probably not need many reworks. The rate of a professional designer on Upwork ranges between $15–$30 per hour. Hiring a professional web design company might cost you between $5,000 – $30,000, but it would also mean you’ll be putting your work in the hands of pros, so there will be fewer chances of gaffes, and the cost would be totally justified.
Another factor for you to consider when you’re thinking, “should I build my own website or pay someone?” is the time it would take to build the website. The time varies significantly depending on various factors, including the complexity of the project, your level of expertise, and the specific requirements of the website.
Building a website on your own can be a rewarding experience, especially if you have some web development skills. For a basic personal or small business website with minimal customization, it may take anywhere from a few days to a couple of weeks to get a functional site up and running. This is in situations where you have a clear plan, content ready, and know what you are doing. However, if you’re new to web development or have ambitious design and functionality goals, it can take much longer—several weeks or even months.
When you hire blog designers, web designers, or a web design agency, you’re tapping into their expertise and experience. The time it takes them to deliver a website would be considerably lower as their workflow would be more efficient than a DIY approach.
A basic business website with custom design and features could be up and running within a few weeks. Larger, more complex projects, such as e-commerce websites, may require several months to complete. But remember that professional designers follow a structured workflow, starting with discovery and planning, followed by design, development, testing, and deployment. They can also manage the project timeline more effectively, ensuring the website is delivered on schedule and with high-quality results.
When you’re wondering, “should I hire a web designer or not?” just remember that web design is an extremely complex process that requires certain level of skills and technical knowledge to get through it. Someone who lacks this knowledge will have to rely on their research or learn from trial and error before coming up with a functional website. This consumes a lot of time and might often not yield the desired product.
However, an experienced web designer understands coding languages, content management systems, UI and UX, and web development tools. Professional web development companies have separate resources for each part, thus enabling a more focused approach for each segment, which combines to take the shape of a functional website.
So, while beginners can certainly learn and create websites, there is a significant gap in terms of knowledge, skills, and efficiency compared to professional web designers.
DIY offers a lot of room for customization, and the process of building a website is simpler as website builders offer templates and drag-and-drop tools which can produce decent-looking websites. However, the design may lack finesse, originality, and uniqueness. This is because the generalized nature of these tools and their features are the same for everybody opting to create their own website.
A professional web designer can create a personalized, visually appealing, customized website tailored to your brand. They can ensure that your website not only looks great but also aligns perfectly with your business’s identity and goals.
Moreover, website builder tools usually have limitations when it comes to implementing complex features and optimizing user experience. Your website may lack certain functionalities or responsiveness on various devices. A professional can handle these issues and build websites with advanced features, seamless navigation, and responsive design. They can optimize the user experience, making it easy for visitors to find information, engage with your content, and take desired actions.
In DIY web designs, you are responsible for maintaining and updating your site, which can be time-consuming and may require technical knowledge. Professional web designers and companies offer maintenance packages that keep your website safe, up-to-date, and free of technical issues.
It’s time to sum up our answer to the question, ‘should I hire a web designer?’ While DIY web design can be a cost-effective route for small businesses or personal projects, it often falls short in terms of design quality, functionality, and scalability when compared to a website created by a professional. Hiring an expert web designer or a professional agency can provide you with a polished, high-performing website that efficiently represents your brand and helps you achieve your goals. We hope you found the answer to “Is it better to build your own website or use a website builder?” in this blog. Share your thoughts in the comments about the method you prefer.