Self-developing a website vs. hiring a developer

To hire a web developer or create it yourself. That is the question a lot of people have when it comes to building a new website.

One the one hand, web developers (mostly) know what they are doing and can create a high quality website. But on the other hand, doing it yourself looks so enticing with all the tools advertised. Plus it keeps the total cost down (or so it seems).

So which one is the right answer? Well. the answer is kind of complicated. There’s no one real right answer. Only what works for your business and your situation.

So let’s look at hiring a developer for your website versus doing it yourself.

What do you know/don’t know?

So the first thing you need to figure out what you do and don’t know about web development. Don’t think that’s important before you dive headfirst into creating your own website? Well, if you had absolutely no idea how to cook a turkey, nobody’s putting you in charge of that job for Thanksgiving.

Likewise, if you have no idea where to start with web development, web design and technology in general, then it’s really a good idea to bring in someone who know’s what they are doing. It’s going to make life so much easier for you.

Now, if you are familiar with technology and working on a computer and you know some design basics, then maybe it’s worth taking a look at. There are still other factors that we’ll talk about below, but if you feel comfortable with design, Wix, Squarespace and WordPress can help you overcome the other challenges to just get a website out there.

What are you trying to do with this website?

The next factor is what are you trying to do with this website? Is this just a starter website to get your name out there for search engines to index and people to find? Or are you trying to add in functionality, like a blog or an e-commerce section.

If it’s the former, then self-development isn’t a bad option for this scenario. It’s really hard to mess up a simple one or two page website if you have even just a little bit of a design background. Heck, even if you don’t, you should be fine here.

But if you’re trying to add in that extra functionality, then it becomes more of a challenge and bringing in someone seems like a better idea. When you add to the project, the more things that can go wrong grow exponentially. Especially if you’re wanting to sell products online.

I find that the safest route here is to find someone who specializes in what you’re wanting to do and bring them in to build the website. That way you’re not stressed about possibly messing something up and the site gets done quicker.

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What can you commit to a website?

Next, you need to figure out how much you are able to commit to a new website. Websites, again, are an investment, and can be a pretty expensive one at that. So it’s worth figuring out how much you can afford for a new site.

If you have an extremely shoestring budget (and we’re talking around $100 or less), then yeah, you probably want to do create the website yourself. You’re not really going to be able to afford a quality developer at that price, and it’s better for you to just do it yourself.

But if your budget is bigger than that and you’re really wanting to have a quality website, then it’s worth it to hire on a developer to build it. When you can commit more to a website, you’re going to be able to find and hire quality developers who are going to get the job done right. And that’s worth every penny that you spend.

Would the website be built more efficiently by a developer?

Finally, you need to figure out if the website will be build more efficiently by you or a developer. Websites are time consuming projects. They take a really long time to build, especially if you want more functionality and it to be done well.

You could still create the website yourself, but you need to think about that time aspect. Any time you spend working on the website is time you’re not working for your business, greeting people, filling orders, talking to prospective customers, etc. It’s harder to see the monetary cost in that, but it’s still a cost like hiring a developer.

But if you hire a developer, then the website gets built in the background. They spend their time creating it while you can spend your time doing the things you do best, running and growing your business.

If you’re just creating that small one or two page website on a shoestring budget, then building it yourself actually shouldn’t take too long. But if it’s any bigger than that, it’s worth bringing in someone to help you with it so you can manage your time much better.

Decisions, decisions, decisions

Now, it comes down to the decision. I can’t make the decision to develop the website yourself or bring someone in for you. You have to make that decision. You need to sit down and go through these items to see what works for you.

There aren’t any inherent wrong decisions you can make. Only decisions that work or don’t work for your situation. So make the decision that works for you.

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