Business owners are faced with a variety of choices as they decide to take their companies online. Among the many confusing decisions, they must to choose between hiring a web professional or using a do-it-yourself website builder. To my mind, both options are good and worth trying. However, there are many things to consider before making the ultimate decision, and I’m going to tackle some of them below.
#1 Desired Level of Control
First off, you need to define who’s going to be in charge of the project, both in the short term (how involved you will be in the web design process) and in the long term (how involved you will be in updating your content and how often you will do this).
So, if you want to get full freedom of web design and you’re going to manage the website yourself, opting for one of the DIY solutions can be a great alternative to hiring someone. However, if you belong to the ‘I trust the experts’ camp, and you need to get a strong third-party opinion on how you should design your website that will yield the most ROI – just hire a professional.
#2 Desired Functionality
Unless you have very specific, high-end custom needs, or you’re going to generate a major part of your income through your web presence, then sitebuilders like Wix, Weebly or uCoz can be fine. But if you’re dead set on building the next Facebook or another big thing, you will definitely need the expertise of a specially trained web developer, or even a whole army of web developers.
The good news is that website builders have been continually enriching their feature sets with the new capabilities over the past couple of years. Many of them have added the eCommerce functionality to their core, as well as Mobile Editors, inbuilt Blogs and SEO packs. So, most of the popular site makers are pretty functional these days, just check some of their reviews and in-depth comparisons: Weebly vs Squarespace, Wix vs Weebly.
What about your budget? Is it large, tiny or nonexistent? One of the biggest factors is certainly the budget, it makes and breaks many businesses. For those who’re not concerned about the financial side of the project and looking for a carefully planned website delivering unique user experiences, it makes sense to hire a pro at least during the design phase. But if your seed capital is $0, you still can make a website using a website builder.
Some websites are incredibly easy to design. Many business persons build websites that only contain a couple of pages, and don’t require any custom functions, databases and complex maintenance. These websites are mainly intended to serve as informational web presence gathering traffic and providing it with your contact data.
These websites can and are being made with the help of the page builders in short order and cost their owners $3-$10 per month on average. As for the complex websites, these are usually built by web design agencies and are maintained by professionals.