In a super-connected modern world even small businesses need a website. Is this something you can delegate or outsource or should you try to do it yourself?
On the one hand, website design may seem like a highly technical area which should be left to the professionals. On the other, as a small business, cash flow is likely very tight, therefore saving every penny and doing things yourself could be of great advantage.
There are a few things you should consider before making this decision, which will help you to decide whether you need to hire a website designer or if you can do it yourself.
Your Skill Level
Thanks to advances in technology, there are now website builders available which can be used by those who have even the most basic level of skill. WordPress is slightly more advanced. If you need an e-commerce site or a custom app, you may need a developer. If you are a very busy small business owner, however, you may decide it’s easier to outsource your website build to an expert. However, in many cases you will be able to build a website yourself with the help of a website builder.
At the end of the day, it will really depend on the results you are expecting to see from your website. As a general rule, the percentage of revenue you are looking to get through your website, the greater the ROI you’ll get from investing in your website.
Website building apps like Squarespace and Wix offer entrepreneurs an affordable way to create a presence on the web. As these builder apps also offer hosting and in some cases the registration of a domain name, you can get a lot of things done in one go. These apps are also easier to use and edit if you want to change something. They mostly work from a template so they do not offer many alternatives or flexible design.
Building and designing your website can save you hundreds, even thousands of dollars. Of course, this is only true if the end result is good. If you end up with a website which doesn’t achieve its purpose, it could end up costing you more overall in lost business. This means that you need to make sure you can build a solid DIY website if you choose this option, and use the right website builder to achieve this.
If you prefer working on a content management system, rather than a website design system, WordPress will offer a workable alternative. You have to pick from predesigned themes and an interface to add and edit content. You will have to know a little coding to add or edit themes and add plugins to your site. You also have to find a host and pay annually for domain registration.
A major advantage of being able to design your website is that you know your business better than anyone. A website designer’s thoughts and goals for the end product might also not be the same as yours. By building your website yourself, you can be assured that it will follow the design aesthetic you want, include the elements you want it to, and say what you want it to say.
Kind of Site
Whether you want to build a website yourself or get a professional, there is one critical question you need to ask ahead of anything else: What type of website does your business need. There are a number of different options in terms of types of sites. The most simple of these, as the name suggests, is a brochure site, which is a showcase of your business and what it does. This can be a good way to communicate your mission and vision, pricing, examples of what you sell, and basic contact information. If your website will be generating less than 20% of your business, a simple brochure site should be sufficient.
If your business handles online transactions you will need an e-commerce site that will make it easier to accept payment and manage your product offering. Depending on your business model and needs, you may want an app or a hybrid site (like Amazon). In these cases, these are usually best left to the professionals.
Given the rise of voice assistants, smart speakers and voice-first technology, many companies are looking to develop a voice search strategy. In this context, depending on your business, it may be wise to start building a voice search strategy – and for this, you would need a web designer. Alternatively, you could start by converting part of the company’s website and branding and build a “voice experience” around that. Industry reports are already showing significant losses where company websites are not geared for voice searches.