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You’ve decided to go into business and everyone tells you that you need to have a website. The first thoughts that goe through your head are “How much is that going to cost? Could I do it myself? Should I build my own website? Should I hire a designer? How much is this going to cost?”

As a web designer/developer I am going to of course tell you that you should not try to build your own website. Not because I want your money, because you may not even use my services. However, I would like to give you some things to consider as you make this very important business decision.

Considerations when thinking “Should I build my own website?”

What is the purpose of your website?

If you have a business that requires more complex needs, then you almost have to choose a web designer/developer. Determine exactly what your website needs to be able to do before considering whether you can do it yourself.

The importance of your website

Some businesses simply need a “presence,” a place for people to visit and get information and nothing else. Many business owners “think” that way and are throwing potential clients and business out the door. Your website IS an important part of your business. It can create leads, provide information, deliver a great user experience and will be the very first impression many people will see concerning your business.

The answer to “Should I build my own website?” depends on the following:

1.  Your budget

You can do a simple search and find a hundred sites that will sell you a template, a theme, or a program that allows you to build the website yourself. The tools and software are readily available. That’s just the beginning though, you will also need to pay for your domain name, hosting for your website, website maintenance, and website promotion. If your budget is super tight thenmaybe you should try to build your own website, but keep reading.

2.  Your time and commitment

If you’ve never built a website, you are going to have to learn some things, actually a lot of things. You will need to do enough research to determine if you need a content management system like WordPress, or if you want to use HTML, PHP, and JavaScript. Now, when you decide which way to go you will have to learn how to actually use the platform or learn the language(s) to create your site. How much time do you have to devote to your business and learn how to build your website? Which one is more important?

3.  Your availability to maintain your website

Once your site is online and ready for visitors you have to set up a maintenance schedule. You need to back it up often, add content, update software and/or plugins, search engine optimization, social media, and track your results using an analytics program.

4. What it should look like

Maybe you have an idea of how you would like your website to look. You’ve seen a couple of your competitors sites and picked a couple things from each one to incorporate into yours. How do you do that? How do you change the colors, add graphics, and put in those slick photo sliders? Refer back to #2. If you want your website to look amazing then you need to decide if you can do it yourself in a reasonable amount of time or if your time is better spent on bringing in the business.

Should I build my own website? – Pros and Cons

Pros of building your own website:

  • It costs less.
  • You learn how to build and and manage your own website.
  • Maintenance costs are lower because of your new knowledge.

Cons of building your own website:

  • The time, effort and commitment to learn everything necessary.
  • You don’t quite know how to get the exact design/look you want.
  • You have to maintain the website, backups, content, software, and hosting.
  • You are in charge of security, monitoring, and fixing your site if it gets hacked.
  • Making it look the same on all browsers, phones, and tablets.

My Personal Thoughts

If you want to be a Web designer, be a Web designer. If you want to be in business AND be successful in that business then concentrate on what you know best. You wouldn’t hire a plumber to tune up your car. You wouldn’t hire a lawyer who learned from the Internet? Your time will ALWAYS be better spent doing what you do best. Every minute you spend on tasks that are not related to the main focus of your business is time spent to the detriment of your business. In other words, every minute you spend focusing on tasks that do not contribute to the growth of your business is time wasted.

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