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Website Development | Websites | March 1st, 2021
Contributor John Tatu. Web/App Developer
You want to build a website and it seems like not too long ago that if you wanted to get a new website, it almost always required to hire a professional to do it for you. Doing it yourself required expert knowledge of coding if you wanted it to look anything like you want. Today, there are many DIY platforms that can help you get the website you want. Most of them are simple to use and only need a basic understanding of coding. So when should you hire a professional?
Whether you have technical skills or not, there are platforms that promise to have the easiest drag-and-drop approach to designing and building your website. The ones that are widely available are Squarespace, Weebly, and Wix and WordPress, which powers 30% of all websites on the Internet and have a free or paid theme added to your site that you can customise.
One of the main reasons people get websites these days is so they can sell products online. This is called eCommerce and there are DIY platforms that use drag-and-drop that specialise in eCommerce. Some of the most popular ones are Shopify, Opencart, and WooCommerce (works with WordPress). If you’re interested in selling online, click the image below to read our article about which E-Commerce platform is best for you.
Before you even think about what platform you should use to build your website, it is critical to know what type of site you need. This will be driven by the type of your business. Thinking about it will naturally lead to thoughts around design and functionality. As soon as you add in all the features you envision your website to have it will help you answer the question “Should I hire a professional or can I build it myself?”
Even though the drag-and-drop tools we listed above might not require any technical skills, you’ll most certainly find yourself needing at least some basic HTML/CSS skills to make the site look professional and not just a template from the web. You’ll also need to have in mind some other basic web development practices in building your website, such as responsive design. About half of users on the web in New Zealand use a mobile device to browse the internet, so it’s only fair to say that having your website optimised for mobile is a must-have.
After designing your website, you might find yourself in a position where you want your website to do more than just an online brochure. You might want it to generate more leads, or you might need e-commerce to help increase sales. Soon, you’ll realise that you need to integrate 3rd party systems to help you achieve that, such as your CRM system or integrating a payment gateway to process online orders. If you already have systems in place this is very important so you aren’t double-handling.
If you decide to use a DIY web design tool, it will seem, at first, that you are saving a great deal of time and money. One of the important questions that will come to your mind is: how much is my time worth? If you happen to have a great amount of time on your hands, you may be ok with building a website yourself. However, if you are not sure about how much available free time you have you might consider hiring a web design agency to help you. More than often people start building their websites and halfway into the project they realise it needs more time or skills to finalise the project.
If instead, you are a business owner that has some money set aside for marketing, a website is probably the best place to spend it. Professional web developers are familiar with the different platforms and up-to-date methods for building websites. If you’re already very busy, a web developer may be able to build you a completely custom site in the time it would take for you to use a template builder. Consider a professional if you’re looking for top-quality results quickly and have some budget set aside. Read through our article How much does a website cost for more information.
As you can see, it’s pretty easy to get a basic web site up and running in no time these days. But should you do it? The first step in helping you make the right call is to write down all the feature you’d like your website to have. Then, browse the internet and see if that is going to be achievable using one of the platforms and figure out how much time and other resources you’re going to need. If you add these together and feel you’ll be investing more than what you’ll get in return, then getting a professional web design agency to do it for you might be the best decision for the future of your business. Get in touch today to find out more about how professional web development can work for you.Back