Need a Website--Hire a Professional or DIY?

Your business needs a website.

If you're not convinced of that, consider what a 2016 report from the Pew Research Center says about American consumers:

  • 65% compare online and in-store prices before buying
  • 84% think it is important to be familiar with sellers they buy from
  • 74% think it is important to be able to read online reviews from other people who have purchased a product before buying
  • 45% have used cellphones while shopping in a store to look up online reviews or to compares prices

Your customers are online, so your business must be there too. So what are your options?


Option 1—Hire a professional web developer

Option 2—Do it yourself

DIY tools, advertised as quick and easy, are readily accessible. Some have free or inexpensive versions, simple enough that nearly anyone can create a website on the cheap. So, yes, you can make your own website. But should you? Does "quick and cheap" really accomplish your goal for your website? Here are a couple ideas to help you answer that question:

WHY does your business need a website?

What do you want your website to do for your business?

Assuming that you are in business to make money, your website should help grow your business and increase your return on investment (ROI). Here a just a few of the ways that a website can help to accomplish those goals:

  • A website can broaden your audience, increasing the number of potential customers who know about your business.
  • It can target customers who are most likely to buy, increasing your sales and conversion rate.
  • It can build brand awareness and consumer confidence in your business, so consumers feel like they know and trust your business.
  • It can save time and money by automating processes.
  • It can function as a secure portal for data access and communication.
  • It can directly increase sales by offering products and completing sales transactions online.

The tough truth-- It's not now much a professionally designed website costs. It's how much it will cost your business if you don't have a professionally designed website.

It's very unlikely that a DIY website will do any of these things. It may be quick and cheap, but developing a website that will accomplish the goals listed above takes knowledge, training, and skills that professional developers spend years cultivating:

  • Sophisticated coding skills to develop a site that meets the unique needs of your business. Professional coders continually refine their skills to meet increasingly complex business needs.
  • Audience analysis and specific web strategies for audience targeting
  • Development and placement of calls to action and other customer and sales conversion strategies
  • Research-based writing, layout, and linking strategies to increase audience engagement
  • SEO (Search Engine Optimization) strategies to help your page show up in the SERPs (Search Engine Page Results). You may have a website, but if it isn't SEO optimized, your potential customers may never even see it! SEO changes constantly, so developers are continually learning new skills and strategies.
  • Knowledge of online security protocols and coding necessary to safeguard your company's and your clients' information to protect you from potential damage and liability. Security concerns become more urgent every day. Professional web developers are constantly monitoring security requirements and learning more advanced skills.

DIY vs. Professional Development

A DIY website is generic. It is based on a template, so every site built from that brand's template has a similar look. The simplicity of creating the site comes at the cost of uniqueness. If you want your business to grow, shouldn't your goal be to make your business get noticed? A template-driven website tends to blend in with the crowd.

DIY may be quick—or it may not be. A skilled professional can often accomplish a task in a fraction of the time an amateur would need, and with much better results. And when results matter, hiring the skilled professional is usually the best option.  For example, you've invested a lot in your home, so when it needs repair, you look for a qualified roofer, plumber, or electrician, right? Then why would you trust the success of your business to anyone less qualified?

Similarly, DIY may be cheap—or it may be very costly. As Thomas Digital explains, "Using a 'free' website builder could cost your company many tens of thousands of dollars in wasted man hours and even more money in the opportunity cost of lost potential revenue. . . . It's not how much a professionally designed website costs. It's how much it will cost your business if you don't have a professionally designed website."

We're not opposed to DIY. It can be a useful tool. It's a great place for new learners to experiment. It's a good option for personal bloggers and can be useful for unfunded start-ups and similar applications.

But businesses that intend to make a profit need a website that targets and converts visitors into customers and that builds business revenue. As someone in business, ask yourself: If you had a product that could do that, would you be giving it away for free?

If you're ready to talk to a professional—

Call or email us. Let's talk about developing a website that grows your business.

About Us

Experienced Web Development from Des Moines, Iowa.

We do Drupal or Wordpress websites great and small – tailored to fit your needs. Reach out to us so we can begin. Our clients are in Des Moines, Iowa and across the world. If you have a large scale custom web project, we can be the reliable web partner to make those dreams a reality. But, if you need a simple brochure site or an e-commerce platform for your business, we can come alongside and make that happen too.