You might not be expecting a balanced article about whether or not you should hire a web design company from a company that offers…you guessed it… web design. Well, at jdp, we love to subvert expectations. There are so many user-friendly platforms out there these days that you may well be able to create a decent website yourself. If that’s the case, then great! We’ll cheer you on and bring champagne to the launch party (assuming we’re invited and it’s appropriately socially distanced.)
That being said, there usually comes a time when you need the assistance of a web design company – whether that’s at the outset, or further down the line when your online business is growing. This article is here to help you decide whether or not hiring a web design company is right for you and your business.
When to DIY:
Thanks to incredible platforms like Shopify, Wix, and Squarespace, designing your own website has never been easier. You don’t even necessarily need to have a good eye for design. Just choose from one of their existing templates, sub in your assets and you’re good to go.
You have a very limited budget
DIY websites are definitely the less expensive option. In some instances, you can even build your website for free (as long as you don’t mind having an awkward URL.) If you’re just testing out a new business idea, and you aren’t prepared or able to invest money in it from the off, then a DIY website is the way to go. You can create beautiful websites for a relatively small monthly fee.
Your business model doesn’t depend on a strong online presence
Let’s say you run a successful brick and mortar shop and you just want an online space to allow your regular customers to buy from you online. A DIY website will do the trick. If you’re finding new clients through word-of-mouth and your business is ticking over nicely, a simple page with your contact information and a description of your services will be all you need.
However, if you’re looking to grow your business through online marketing, or if you want people to find your business through Google, you’re best off hiring a company that will optimize your website for search engines.
You have plenty of time and interest in learning how to build websites
If you have plenty of free time, it can be very rewarding to spend time learning how to build your own website. Most popular website builders have user-friendly interfaces that are easy to pick up, but it can still take a surprising amount of time to create each page and add in your content. Things get even more time-consuming once your website is up and running. Making small customizations and updates to an existing site is particularly challenging on DIY web building platforms.
You don’t envisage your website expanding
Creating a website from scratch is one thing. Editing your website and adding new features is a whole other kettle of fish. Websites created with a drag and drop builder have a heck of a lot of code behind them which is difficult to manage, hence why it’s so difficult to customize or add new features to an existing site. If you think your website can remain untouched for a good few years, then a DIY website is a good option.
When to hire a web design company:
You have the capital and no time
Remember that your time is worth money. The time you invest learning to use website builders, designing and creating your website could probably be better spent elsewhere in your business.
Your business is on a roll
Has your business outgrown your website? Once your business experiences more traffic, things like page speed, mobile responsiveness, and customer support when something goes wrong become all the more urgent. A good web design company that also offers web maintenance will be able to make sure your site runs optimally and fix glitches as and when they occur.
You want professionals to handle it
Designing and creating a website is a learned skill. If you don’t want to take any chances, leave it to the pros. They’ll make sure your website
- is responsive and runs smoothly on all devices
- is user-friendly and designed to lead to conversions
- is updated with the latest plugins for high performance and data security
- is easy to maintain and update
- is search engine optimized (see below)
You want people to find your website organically (SEO)
Website builders are typically quite limited compared to CMS platforms like WordPress when it comes to SEO. If one of your business goals is to rank highly in Google and grow your organic traffic, a web design company that explicitly offers SEO services. They’ll have the expertise necessary to make sure that your website is designed with SEO in mind.