At an ever increasing rate, the people your business is trying to reach are searching the internet to find products or services. There’s no denying that having a website is a necessity in 2022. The big question you’re likely asking is, “Should I build my website, or should I hire a web developer?”
The best approach depends on a few circumstantial factors. For example, do you have the time and energy to sift through all of the website builder solutions to learn which is best for you, and then also take the time to learn the ins and outs of that platform so you can build a properly functioning website? And once you’ve built it, are you confident that it will actually be able to achieve your goals? If you’re unsure about the answers, you’re probably better off hiring a web developer. But if you’re willing to put in the work to learn how to build a website, and you’re confident that you can arrange something that looks professional and is easy to use, creating your own website is definitely worth exploring!
In the end, the right decision is highly circumstantial. Below, we’ll look at some of the pros and cons of either approach so you can make the best decision for your business.
Should I Build My Website
3 Reasons to Build a Website Yourself
You have complete control over the design and content of your website.
As is the case in most relationships, there’s generally a period of time where clients and designers have to adapt to one another (though there are certainly cases where designer/client pairs “click” immediately). There are a few reasons for this, but most notably, designers are usually working with trends and jargon that the general public are unaware of or uninterested in.
At Cameron Creative, we try to give you what you want (within reason – if a client’s requests are counterproductive relative to their goals, we strongly recommend alternatives), but sometimes that requires that we fly in the face of everything we’ve learned as digital marketers. Syncing up usually requires a bit of effort, time, and at times compromise. Beyond this, some designers will outright ignore your requests and try to box you into what they deem to be the best design (for better or worse), because every project is an opportunity to expand a portfolio.
When you design and build your own website, you don’t have to deal with any of this. You are generally free to design whatever you want (within the confines of what your website building solution allows, of course).
You know the ins and outs of your website.
When you build your own website, you have a heightened awareness of the end product as a whole. This is useful for knowing and understanding why and how functionalities work the way they do, knowing why some things may or may not work the way you’d intended, and for keeping track of your content. If you intend to maintain your website, this is highly beneficial.
Building your own website can be cheaper up front.
Most developers require a significant portion of their fee to be paid up front. For example, at Cameron Creative, we require either a deposit or a retainer prior to beginning development. If you build your own website, you generally only have to pay for a domain and membership fees for your website builder solution. Depending on the solution you choose, you may also need to pay for hosting. When all is accounted for, you can get started for anywhere from $10-$150.
Should I Hire A Developer
3 Reasons to Hire a Web Developer
You don’t know what you don’t know.
Most of our clients who are having their first project developed are shocked by all that goes into planning and developing a website. If you’re not an expert in website design and development, it’s likely there will be major gaps in your understanding of the task ahead of you. For example, you need to consider not only the design and development of your website, but you also need to account for acquiring a domain, writing copy that is user and SEO friendly, securing your website, optimizing your site’s performance so that it loads quickly, adhering to various copyright and privacy laws, and maintaining the profile of technologies used to support your website, just to name a few tasks.
Developing a website takes a ton of time and effort.
As is stated in the last point, there’s a lot to learn if you want to build your website correctly. It often takes longer than expected to build a site because there are so many different elements involved, and generally, becoming acquainted with these just enough to perform the bare minimum takes a lot of time.
Your site could still become outdated even if built correctly at first: As mentioned above, trends change quickly when it comes to web development, so much so that many templates/themes offered by DIY platforms become obsolete due to lack of updates or breaking changes within platforms like WordPress down the road. Keeping your site from becoming outdated aesthetically and technically can become a time consuming task in and of itself.
Hiring a developer is generally the more efficient approach.
We’ll be the first to admit that, if done correctly, building your own website is FAR cheaper than hiring a developer or agency. The key phrase here is ‘if done correctly.’ The fact is, a website that isn’t optimally developed is a liability and can lose money, especially if your business has any significant overhead and the website is intended to be your primary source of revenue.
Over time, hiring a professional web developer is actually the more cost-effective option. This not only due to potential loss of revenue. The time invested in learning how to build your website from scratch, how to maintain, and how to promote it is usually significant time you could use on other endeavors. Unless you have strong incentive for becoming well versed in design and programming, the ROI of a professionally designed and developed website will far exceed that of a DIY website.
The Bottom Line
There are definitely scenarios where building your own website is the right decision. There have never been more tools available for building without any coding knowledge. Some of our favorites for recommending to clients are Elementor and Webflow. There are some and there’s no shortage of design and development information available. If you get stuck, but don’t want to spring for a developer at agency prices, there are a lot of great freelance options on platforms like Fiverr.
That said, we recommend only pursuing DIY if you have extra time on your hands, and are technically proficient. The When to Build, When to Hire section below contains some helpful parameters for you to consider whether DIY is right for you. We also provide a free Should I Build My Website Quiz. Finally, we offer custom action plans, consultation services, and hosting, maintenance, and technical support packages specifically designed for people who want to build their own website.
Let’s address the elephant in the room. Cameron Creative is a digital marketing agency, and we want you to hire us. That said, we are all about empowering business owners, and we’re well aware that not all organizations can spare the thousands (or even hundreds) of dollars that it would take to hire us to develop your project. At the end of the day, we want to help you succeed, whether or not you hire us.
We also feel it’s important to point out that you may succeed in building an amazing website despite our recommending against it, and likewise, you may not succeed under conditions wherein we recommend you succeed. The information in this article is to be taken as a general guideline rather than absolute rules.
Also, there are affiliate links on this page. We link to 3rd party tools we believe in. Some of the 3rd party tools you’ll find us link to don’t have affiliate programs. In many cases, they have competitors that do. We always link to the best tools rather than those tools that bring us the best revenue via affiliate programs.
When Should I Build My Website, and When Should I Hire a Developer
Build it yourself if…
- You’re tech savvy
- You don’t need any advanced features
- Your site is informational
- You intend to maintain, update, and perform SEO in house
- If you want total control over design aspects, or want to make frequent changes
Hire a developer if…
- If you struggle with technical tasks
- You need a dynamic website that is feature rich
- You want a site that is built to scale as your business grows
- If you want to outsource web maintenance, content updates, or SEO
- If you’re unsure of how to create a user interface that easy to use
The DIY Consultation
Want to discuss your project in depth? We offer a $99 40 minute consultation session to help get our DIY friends started and on a path to success. The DIY Consultation includes a DIY Action Plan.