When it comes to building a website, there are so many options available, including contracting a private firm to help make your digital dreams a reality. However, hiring an external candidate to work on your site won’t always give you a lot of value for your money.
Find out why you shouldn’t pay someone to develop your website:
It can be tempting to pass anything website creation related off to someone else, especially if taking on that responsibility yourself sounds daunting. That being said, plenty of DIY alternatives such as WordPress or Squarespace offer lots of crowd-pleasing functionality and allow you to go from concept to published site in a matter of hours. As a bonus, you won’t be spending nearly as much money as you would if the job was contracted out to another company.
Here are 7 reasons why you shouldn’t be looking elsewhere to design the biggest part of your online presence:
High Upfront Cost
Let’s just cut to the chase: privatized web development is usually very, very expensive. According to a report from Website Builder Expert, if you want a totally customized website built from scratch, you should budget at least $5,000 for such a project.
Want something fancier? It could run you upwards of $10,000.
It’s a huge amount of money that your organization could be spending on other things, such as hundreds of these inflatable dinosaur costumes on Amazon so you can make this year’s staff party the best one ever!
Okay, maybe not. Seriously now, you have to ask yourself if what you’re getting from a developer is really the best bang for that kind of buck. Instead, paying a monthly fee and using WordPress or a similar alternative could save you thousands of dollars in business expenses over a 5 to 10-year period.
Time is a Factor
While cost is an important factor in the website development conversation, the time spent on the project is just as crucial to your organization. Weeks upon weeks may be spent sending feedback to developers, waiting for them to implement the changes, brainstorming new tweaks and revising pages that get held up at the Quality Assurance stage. It can feel like a full-time job in and of itself and doesn’t set your business up for a strong long-term ROI.
Instead, using another website creation service app can be advantageous for several reasons. You have far more control over the time it will take you to complete various stages of the site build, while redesigns and content editing workflows can be planned according to your organization’s schedule and executed at a pace everyone is comfortable with. Additionally, if inspiration strikes and you want to make quick changes to your existing content or design, those modifications can be done in a matter of minutes.
Trendiness vs. Practicality
Some web developers that build sites from scratch are focused on making their creations stand out in today’s online environment. In other words, they’re primarily concerned with design elements or setups that are trendy right now but that won’t necessarily serve their clients well long-term.
Why spend all that money if, based on how quickly online tastes shift, you’re going to need a remodelling job done in two years? Maybe even less? Further to that, can you be sure that something built with an emphasis on immediacy will hold up structurally? Overall, you’ll want to make sure you choose a website building option that can adapt easily to rapid digital evolution.
Ensuring Your Site's Functionality
Speaking of structural integrity, there’s also the question of your site’s functionality and how easy it is to use from both a customer and administrator point of view. If you’re dealing with external developers, you must be very clear on what your needs are and how the user experience will mesh with that vision. Any disconnect in the conversation could lead to wildly different interpretations of how your site should operate technically.
If you keep the website creation process in-house, you’ll be better equipped to monitor every step of the project and ask yourself all important functionality questions. Are the navigational options, menus and other tools on the site simple for your customers to understand and use? What about your administrators? Can they dive into the interface and complete tasks efficiently? Knowing these answers and continually optimizing your webpages and modules is key to the sustained success of your online presence.
For more on website functionality, check out our list of tips that can make any website more user-friendly.
Upgrades and Bug Fixes
Once your website is completed, either by an external development team or through a WordPress-type platform, that doesn’t mean it’s "done." In fact, creating a site that remains mostly static can be harmful to your business, since new iterations of software suites, apps, security protocols and more won’t necessarily be compatible with your site long-term. This is why upgrades are an important element to consider when building your main online hub.
When bugs arise (it's not an "if" scenario), it’s important to have the pieces in place to deal with those fixes or upgrades quickly and efficiently. Outsourcing this work to another developer or company could result in several weeks going by without the issue getting resolved.
With mobile traffic continuing to grow, it’s no secret that a successful website must use templates that are responsive to different layouts. That way, whether customers are browsing your online store using a smartphone or tablet, they’ll be able to find the items they’re looking for and make the purchases they need.
However, not all website building options are created equal when it comes to integrating these kinds of templates. If you have external developers working on your site, it’s imperative that you include responsive templates in your list of must-haves – otherwise, there’s no guarantee that it will be a priority. Even with options like WordPress of Squarespace, do your research: not all web templates translate well to mobile devices.
Website Speed and Uptime
Finally, we have the issue of speed. Don't take this one for granted: if it were easy to do, then you wouldn’t have pages out there online that load at a frustratingly slow pace. Even big companies are not immune to having their site load time take a hit, especially during peak traffic times, so you’ve got to make sure you’re prepared.
It’s important to know where your site will be hosted
There are a lot of factors that go into choosing a website development option; however, one thing is increasingly clear: from the expense factor to implementation time, hiring someone to build your website from scratch may not yield a satisfactory ROI for your business. Other concerns, including upgrades and functionality, also point towards a DIY alternative being a time-saving and more cost-efficient route to pursue.
Make sure you read our follow-up article outlining the 3 best online platforms for web development!
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