Should you hire a professional website developer or build a website yourself?

By Paul, January 2, 2023

Professional web developers planning a website

The pros and cons of hiring a professional website developer vs  building a website yourself.

If you're wondering whether you should hire a professional website developer or build a website yourself, you're not alone. Many people who are looking to create a website for their business or sell products online face this same decision. In this blog post, we'll discuss the pros and cons of hiring a professional website developer or building a website yourself. We'll also provide some tips on how to make the best decision for your needs.

At this point, I should put my cards on the table. I am a director of a small digital marketing agency based in Kent, UK. Although we are a professional website development company,  I specialise in SEO and have worked with a number of micro businesses as well as SME’s often on self built Wordpress, Wix, Squarespace, GoDaddy and Shopify websites to name a few.

We find that many small businesses start with a site builder or engage an amateur to build a website because it is low cost and quick to set up. These businesses will often do this 2 or 3 times before they approach a professional web developer. 

Should I build a website myself?

Pro - Cost
It can be less expensive than hiring a professional. If you're on a tight budget, you may be able to build a website yourself for a fraction of the cost. 

Pro - Control
Another pro is that you'll have more control over the final product. If you're someone who likes to be very hands-on, and many small business owners are, building a website yourself can give you the opportunity to create a website that is exactly what you want.

Con - Time
If you're not familiar with website development, it can take a long time to build a website yourself. You may not end up with a high-quality website and If you're not familiar with website development, it's easy to make mistakes that can cost you time and money.

In a previous blog article we discussed ‘Custom web design versus site builder tools

What are the benefits of hiring a professional website developer?

A professional website developer will have the knowledge and expertise to build you a high-quality website. Another pro is that they can help you to save time. If you're not familiar with website development, it can take a long time to build a website yourself. And finally, a professional website developer can also help you to avoid making common mistakes that can cost you time and money.

You wouldn’t call a plumber to service your car - would you?

So unless you are a web developer yourself, why would you spend your time building an inferior website? Surely you should be focusing your attention on doing what you are good at - running your business.

A professional web developer will go through a complete design and development process. They will want to know what your goals are, such as lead generation, online orders, downloads, video views etc. They will be experienced in good design for optimal user experience, they will advise on colour, fonts style to stay true to your brand and much more.

What’s more, they will almost always afford you a free consultation during which both parties will learn whether they are a good fit for each other.

Pro - benefit of knowledge and experience
A professional web developer will usually have a wealth of experience working on other clients’ websites, they will use the latest techniques and tools to make your website load fast and be well optimised for search engines.

Pro - Content Management
Having a professional developer build you a website doesn't mean that you will lose control of the content. In most cases, websites are built using a content management system or CMS.

This will allow you to change images, edit text and add new blogs etc. This should always be carried out with caution and your web developer will always advise best practice so that you do not cause damage to the integrity of your design or your search ranking.

A word of caution though. Changes to your website are not immediately indexed by search engines, so if you have a professionally built website, you should allow a few weeks for the site to get indexed before you make changes, for to do so could damage your search ranking.

Pro - do it once and do it properly

A professional web developer will work with you to get the design and user experience right first time. If you choose the right partner, they will be invested in your success - its what makes us tick for sure!

Con- It will cost more than a diy website
The cost of a professional website is relative to the benefit that it will bring to your business.

So should you build it yourself or hire a professional?

My advice before you start to build a website yourself is to speak with two or three local web development companies, find out about them and listen to what they have to say. If they give you a price on that call, they are probably more interested in getting the work than hearing what you want and considering the brief. If they can start straight away, then ask yourself, why don't they have any work?

If you are considering working with a professional web developer, take a look at their reviews and their previous work. Call some of their clients to get an impartial opinion.

Once you have gleaned information from the professionals and after they have given you a quote, and checked out their testimonials, only then should you start to consider building a website yourself. 

My advice would be - Don’t look at your competitors' websites or others that you think look great then copy them - How do you know that they deliver results? Do your research, if you can, find out how much they spent on their website, find out how much traffic they get and how many enquiries or orders they get as a result of their website.

Finally, if your business needs a website don’t scrimp on it. It is your shop window or brochure. Even if you get business from referrals and word of mouth, it is highly likely that your prospective customers will doo an online search and look at your website before contacting you - so make sure it truly represents your business, is easy to navigate and has clear calls to action, such as contact us or call now.

Talk to us about your business website
We don't charge for a consultation call and there is absolutely no obligation to buy from us. We just love providing honest professional advice. Who knows, one day you might become a customer or refer someone to us!

Give us a call on 01233 884761 or contact us using our online form. We would love to hear from you and discuss your website project with you.

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