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Should I do my own website or hire a web designer?

should-i-do-my-own-website-or-hire-web-designerShould I do my own website or hire a web designer?  Doing your own website is not as hard as it used to be.  In the past, you had to know how to know HTML, possibly a little C+, and overall be technology support savvy.  You needed a good 4-6 months to stick your head in the sand, and push straight ahead into website land.  Basically, it took a long time to perform all the website design.  This is not even factoring the time to pick your domain, register it, host it, and have it go live properly.

Nowadays, you can find many sites that allow you to perform do-it-yourself (DIY) sites.  Every web host or email service, such as GoDaddy, Yahoo, MSN, and other third-party sites, such as Squarespace, Weebly, and Register.com, are getting in on the craze here.  It’s very appealing to just go with one of these DIY sites and then you’re up and running on your own.

But, the question remains, are you up to the task to perform your own website design or does it behoove you to hire a web designer?  Here are the five points to analyze in determining which way to go:

  1. Do you have the time?  Time is always of the essence.  Here, it goes both ways.  Do you need it fast?  Are you tech savvy enough to get this done on your own whether through your web host provider or a DIY site.  Maybe your potential web designer doesn’t have the time himself to complete your site by your deadline.  If this is time sensitive, don’t assume your web designer’s ETA of 1 month means it will be done in 1 month.  It may just mean it will take a month of his time to complete.  Make sure to press your potential design with the actual date of estimated finish so you don’t get screwed on the timing estimate.
  2. Business or personal site?  If you’re putting up a personal site, blogging site, or another non-business kind, I’d recommend to fly solo on this one.  No need to pay money to earn money if this is not where your intent is.  On the flip side, a business site should be alligned with at least a web design consultation.  Make sure you’re in the right direction with your business site idea.  Ask for a free web designer consult of your idea and see if the price may be validated to go ahead with.  Hey, you want your business to succeed, right?
  3. Want to rank high?  Do you need your site to be SEO-conscious?  In other words, do you want it to rank high with Google, Yahoo, and other sites?  I give pause to the answer here.  I once, unbeknownst to me, hired a black-hat SEO firm who did more damage than good as reported by Forbes in …You can accidentally hire a black hat SEO.  If ranking is important, make sure to follow the steps I recommend in the Forbes article if looking to outsource your site design.  If you have the time and the patience, you can venture into being an SEO master that I strive to be.  Lots of reading, lots of coffee, lots of late nights, and have I mentioned lots of coffee.
  4. Need to constantly update your site?  Well, this one’s a toss-up.  You can certainly hire someone to make your site modular and easy to update.  But, don’t let this scare you.  There are many DIY sites that allow you to constantly update.  Just perform your due diligence to see if your package, outsourced or DIY, allows for constant updates.
  5. Do you have extra money to spend?  Look, DIY web design sites will be much cheaper.  Outsourced web designers need to make money too.  And you know what, I know many of them who short clients by using DIY sites on their own and pawn them off to clients as their finished works.  Yes, it’s a scam, but they figured you were lazy enough to hire them so why not make some money off of it.  The point here is if you look to hire outside help, make sure their templates, design, and finished product are original and validated.  There’s nothing wrong with receiving a borrowed template and design from a hired web designer, but you shouldn’t have to give up your left arm and leg to pay for it.

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