We've already established that if you don't plan on getting your business a website, 80% of your competitors already have you beat. If you realize it's more of a necessity than it is a luxury, then keep reading because your ready to move on to the next step.
There are some things you need to consider when deciding if you want to hire a professional web designer or try to take on the task of designing your own website. As a professional I can honestly say there are endless benefits to having a professional design your website but it's not for everyone. Chances are, from the moment you realized you needed a website, you've wondered if you can do it yourself. So, I'll offer some insight to help you decide.
Possibly the biggest consideration, and likely the first thing most people consider when deciding whether to build their own website or hire a professional, is the cost. It makes sense. With the amount of expenses required to start and maintain a small business or organization, money is often a concern.
Building a website yourself can range from free to upwards of $200.00 USD per month depending on how you go about doing it and what features you want your website to have. Some options like Wix allow you to get started by building a basic website on a free subdomain like "yoursite.wix.com" which is great - but as a professional representation of your business, you're going to want to acquire your own domain name too. On average you can expect to pay around $2.00 USD per month for your custom domain name, around $15.00 USD per month for a server to host your website, and around $5.00 USD per month for an SSL Certificate (website security). That'll put you at about $22.00 USD per month for the basic necessities to have your website up and running. As you can see, the rates add up. Realistically, you can expect to pay more than that both up front and monthly for things like third-party software or features that make your website do more than just display information.
According to an in-depth article on WebsiteBuilderExpert.com the average building costs of a website range from $5,000 USD - $30,000 USD up front with an on-going maintenance of around $100.00 USD monthly. While the prices at Ai1 Development are typically significantly lower than that, our experience is that these rates are typical of large web design agencies. For reference, Ai1 Development offers informational small business websites with an online contact form for as low as $750.00 USD for design/development and $39.00 USD monthly for ongoing maintenance/management. There's a lot of factors that alter what you can expect to pay a pro, but the important take-away here is that it's going to be more expensive than DIY.
Time would likely be the second most important thing to consider. Building a website takes time. Building a good website takes even more time. There's a lot of things that go into making your website better that can be viewed as tedious and time-consuming. Consider the time you have to available to work on your website while still maintaining your day-to-day role in your business.
One thing we want you to consider is not just he time to build it, but the time required to gather and organize all of the content you want on your website. This is something you'll have to do even if you hire a pro and it can be time consuming in itself already.
Organizing all of your content is the first step. For everyone, this is different. If you are like me, I have all my files tucked neatly into folders. If you're like most people, your content is everywhere.
Learning the web design software is the next step. Wix's web builder is actually pretty self explanatory so if you utilize their industry-leading software you'll feel comfortable from the start.
Actually building the website will probably take the most time. I recommend if you're going to do it yourself, utilize one of Wix's 800+ templates to take away most of the work. Just swap out the photos, text, and some colors. While the web builder software is great, you don't have to complicate things.
Completing these steps, changing your mind 100 times, and then tweaking your website to something you deem acceptable is something I estimate to take the average user at least 10 hours of focused work. More if something "breaks" and you don't know how to resolve it because you're not a web designer.
Professional web designers make websites for a living. They don't have other obstacles getting in the way of their web designing. Their time is dedicated to web design. That being said, good web designers will usually take on a few projects at one time and so they prioritize each phase of the design process for each client.
If you have a deadline, let your web designer know. Depending on their current workflow, they may have the ability to put your project on the top of the priority list to meet that deadline. Sometimes, it will cost you more money to do that.
On average, a small business website project can take anywhere from 30 days to 3 months.
Really this can be split between both Money & Time, but I think it's significant enough to put in it's own category. Photo editing software, design software, planning software, content management software, scheduling software, are just a few of the types of software you may need to effectively build a website. Some of this software costs money up front and some of it requires you to subscribe and pay monthly for it.
*If you're looking for solid and inexpensive Customer Relations Management (CRM) software, we recommend HoneyBook. Their software handles most of our operations outside of Wix & Editor X. Sign up with our referral link and get 20% off for your first year!
Luckily for you, there's Wix. They nailed it again. Almost everything you would need to build your website yourself can be done in the Wix editor. They implemented a wide variety of software features like photo editing and even a logo maker.
A professional web designer should not only have the required web development software but also the experience and knowledge of how to use it effectively.
If you thought I would sway you to the professional side, you're wrong. As a small business owner myself, I understand where you're coming from. I started my business from scratch too and that requires having to step up and do a lot of things yourself even if it means it won't be done as effectively as a professional. We make it work.
Knowing what I know now, the only thing I can think of that would really deter me from having a professional do it would be not having the money for the initial investment. If that's you, I'd recommend you give it a shot yourself and save money until your budget allows you to invest in a professional. Something is better than nothing and you should start existing online sooner rather than later.
DO IT YOURSELF: www.wix.com
PROFESSIONAL WEB DESIGN: www.ai1.dev