Should I DIY my website or partner with a web designer
Want credibility for your business? A website is essential.
It enables you to reach your customers, market effectively and position yourself appropriately within your industry and location. Research tells us that 80% of customers now search online before making a purchase and 85% use the internet to find local businesses. This is market share you do not want to miss out on!
So how do you create your website and make it accessible on the web? There are many ways you can create a website for your business – from DIY to engaging a professional. Let’s explore:
DIY using a self-hosted platform
There are a huge number of website builders on the market today where you can simply pick a theme or template, drag and drop your content into the appropriate fields, and host on your chosen platform. Depending on your requirements, you may consider Squarespace for informational sites or Shopify for eCommerce although there are many more options available.
The good news on choosing a self-hosted platform is for the most part you won’t need any coding skill, however it may be difficult to customise your website to suit your specific needs. Being template based, it will also have a very standard look and feel.
DIY does require an investment of time and some skill. You will need to know your way around a computer, understand drag/drop functionality and have the time and headspace to learn a new system and put your site together. If you’re willing to do this then creating your own website on a self-hosted platform could be a great solution!
Partner with a website designer
A website designer is a professional who usually has years of experience building websites. They will consider additional facets such as user experience, branding, website responsiveness (so your site renders well across all device sizes), security, search engine optimisation and more. Given their skill they will also be able to make your website perform in ways you may not have considered as well as improve functionality.
A website designer can usually design your site on a self-hosted platform if that is your preference (for issues such as ongoing security), build your site from scratch with web-based code, or advise on the best platform to suit you needs. In all cases, defining your requirements comes first and the best-fit solution for your unique needs determined after this process.
Hiring a website designer will give you a bespoke website that will perform well and give you an edge over your competitors.
If you’re ready with your content and keen to build your own website on a self-hosted platform you’ll need to take some time researching available options and selecting the right platform for your business. Some good questions to ask are:
- How will I determine what features and functionality I need to achieve my objectives?
- Does the platform offer themes/templates that are a good fit for my business?
- How much are ongoing hosting fees? Are there any additional charges I need to consider?
- Do I have the time to learn a new system and build my own site? How difficult is it to create a website on this platform?
- What features does the self-hosted platform offer; such as analytics, security, software upgrades etc.
- What support is offered. If I get stuck or if the website I create throws errors, is there an actual person who can help me?
If your preference is to hire a web designer to create your new website, our advice is to seek referrals or search the web to find a designer who will make a great ongoing partner for you and your business. Someone who takes the time to understand your business/industry and your objectives and has the skills to translate this into a website that is both visually dynamic and scalable.
All great web designers will display examples of their work on their website. Be sure to check their portfolio out to make sure their style is a good fit with yours and that the websites they design are aesthetically pleasing and function well.
Whether you decide to go with a self-hosted platform and create your website yourself or engage a web designer, remember the site is uniquely yours and will provide a point of difference for your business. Start with what your business needs and build a roadmap to achieving your objectives. Think about the best option for your budget and give some thought about the features you need now and the functionality that may be required in the future. It is important that your website be able to grow with your business to ensure its long-term success.
46% of web users say the website design is a contributing factor for them in determining the credibility of a company – make sure your website reflects your business in a positive light and makes you stand out from your competitors!