Where to start? I could talk for an extended length of time on this topic, but I’ll keep it short today – just for you! Let’s start with a Pros and Cons list on each alternative to getting your won web site online.
Do It Yourself Web Site
You’ll Pay Less
You Wont Have to Deal with Designer/Developer
You’ll Have to Learn How It All Works
You’ll Have Less Control Over the Finished Product
You’ll Get Less Support
Your Site Will Be Less Customizable
Your Site Will Have Limited Functionality
You May Have to Put Up With Ads
Professionally Designed/Developed Web Site
You don’t have to waste time to learn how to build a site
You don’t have to deal with support issues
You can focus on what you’re good at
You get a unique site (not one that looks like a template)
You have a professional with years of expertise on your side
You don’t have to hire an employee to handle it for you
You’ll Pay More Than Free or Low Cost DIY Site Builders
As you can see, there are benefits to each route. For me, it boils down to this. You get what you pay for. Sure, you can go the free/cheap route and get a presence (although it be limited) on the web. But you’ll get a inferior product. The alternative, that is hiring a professional to build a web site for you, may cost you more, but it will save you the hassle of doing it yourself.
Look at it this way. If a pipe breaks under your sink, you have two options. Fix it yourself or hire a plumber. Lets say the part costs $10 and it takes you 4 hours (including 2 trips to hardware store, because you bought the wrong part the first time) to fix the leak. Assuming your time is worth $50 an hour, your total cost is $210. Now, let’s assume the cost for a plumber to come out and fix it in 30 minutes is $110. Even if you take an hour off to let the plumber in, you still come out ahead.
We can apply the same line of reasoning to building a web site. Let’s assume that you want to launch an awesome web site, with about 20 pages, including a contact form and a gallery of 20 photos. You’ll have to learn how to a) build the site through a DIY builder (not always an easy task in itself), b) hope the builder you chose includes forms (or learn that part too), c) process 20 photos in a separate program to be web ready ( I use PhotoShop), and d)put it all together to launch your site.
Again, assuming your time is worth $50 and figuring it’ll take you 40 hours to do all of that, you’re “spending” $2,000. I would typically charge $1,500 for something with 20 pages, a contact form and a small gallery. Sure, you’ll put time into gathering the content (logo, copy, photos) for me to get everything into the site, but you’ll benefit from my 20+ years expertise to make it a speedier, custom site, and you still pay less.
Lastly, I’d like to mention buying local. The bulk of the work I do is for clients that live/work near me and typically I gain new clients through word of mouth. While it’s possible to hire a web designer/developer anywhere in the world, I urge you to support local businesses, even if it means you choose another local web designer! Either way, check out another post of mine, Improve Your Web Site With 3 Simple Hacks, for more information.
As always, if you have any questions, give me a call or send me a note through my contact form.