When it comes to starting or running a small business, an owner is always faced with a dilemma. That dilemma is if you should build your website yourself, or hire a web developer to do it for you.
It’s an understandable situation for a newer or smaller business. Money might be tight when starting up. It’s easy to be enticed by all the popular website builders out there. Why not? After all, they are built for people who aren’t experts, and it’s cheap. So it makes sense.
I’m not here to bash on those products. They definitely serve their purpose. If that’s what you ultimately want to use, I won’t judge you for it. However, it is my job to at least try to inform you as to why you should hire a developer. I’m not using this as a sales pitch. You don’t have to hire me. This is free content, and I only hope that you will keep these things in mind.
I was inspired to write this because a question I have heard many times is “why hire someone when I could build it myself for cheaper?” Unfortunately, a few people who have said that ended up returning to me, and what they needed is not something that could be done properly on those popular web builders. Maybe with this post I can try to prevent that from happening to you.
So why should I hire a web developer or consultant?
I will go ahead and start with the most obvious. Time! Your time as a business owner is precious. To build a website properly takes a LOT of time. There is a lot of research involved, content creation, testing, SEO, and so much more. While you can probably make something look really pretty yourself, getting everything else done properly takes a LOT of time. You’ll understand why as you keep reading this list.
The process to build a website takes a lot of planning research. What research is needed? Well, first off you need to research what current design/UX trends should be used. This also means understanding what type of users you will have. Design trends are always changing, and are important to keep up with. You also have to research for SEO, your actual content to make sure it’s legit, ADA Compliance in your content, and even what and how to optimize your content for the best site speed scores. So, you can build something pretty, but the planning and research parts alone can take a lot of time. Some projects could even use a week or more, depending on how big the project is.
A big part of being a web developer is research. Even in my down time, I am always trying to keep up with current trends, and researching new processes to enhance my skills.
SEO can tie back into research, because it does involve a LOT of research. To make sure your website is utilizing the best SEO tools available, you have to research your competitors to see their best methods for ranking higher. Then you also need to ensure your own content is tested and optimized for best SEO rankings. This can take some time to revise, but you also have to know the tools available to do all of this in the first place. It can be time consuming, and also pricey if you aren’t careful.
Google is always changing rules on SEO practices, so it’s my job to keep up with that. I am always learning, as is anyone else who deals with SEO. Not using best practices can not only hurt your chances of rising in the search ranks, but if you are doing anything sketchy to try to rig the system, Google will make sure you stay well hidden.
4. ADA Compliance
Do you know what ADA Compliance is? This means that your website is access to as many users with a wide arrange of disabilities as possible. This includes making the right styling choices, utilizing appropriate tags and titles for images/ files, and more. Not every business has to comply with the ADA laws, but it’s still a good practice to make sure a website is compliant anyway. After all, if a user cannot access your site properly, they will take their business elsewhere, and who wants that? To find out more about the ADA, go to ADA.gov. A good web developer will work to keep up with these laws and help ensure the best practices are used on each website they create.
5. Backups, Site Security, & domain transfers
This is a big one. Depending on which of the popular website builders you utilize, your content may not be easily transferred over to other hosting if you decide you wanted something better. Your best bet would be to make copies of everything, which you should be doing anyway. However, most of the styling may not transfer over, so you would be looking at potentially needing another whole redesign and rebuild of your website.
Many web agencies will work with your hosting to ensure your content is being backed up, and that every resource for site security and anti-spamming is utilized to protect you and your website visitors.
Last but not least, is control. What do I mean by control? Well, I mean having control of not only your content, but what and how you can build things out on your website. With many of those website builders, you are limited to their own technology, and it can be very difficult if not impossible for a developer to customize things even more for your needs.
In my case, I use WordPress for all of the websites I build for my clients. WordPress is open source, so even if there isn’t a feature available, web developers can create their own for it. However, WordPress is used on over 30% of the internet here (techjury.net/blog/percentage-of-wordpress-websites) and there are so many features available, I have rarely had to build out an entire feature from scratch.
Hiring A Professional Web Developer Can Help You In The Long Run
Look, I’m not here to write this to sell you my services. Of course, I would love to work with you, but I really wanted you to have a few of these things in mind when deciding what to do for your web marketing. It might be cheaper to start with if you did things yourself, but in the long run, it could cost you more money between an inefficient website builder and having an inefficient website.
I could have gone more in depth, but I felt this was a good starting point as to why you should hire a professional web developer. If you want to work with me, I do offer a free consultation. This way we can assess your needs and create a unique solution that is best for you.
Thank you for reading!