DIY Website vs. Professional Website Design

Should you DIY Your Website or Hire A Pro? You know the reasons why you need a website, but with all the options out there it can be overwhelming to determine what’s best for your business. We’re going to break down the pros and cons of each, and important considerations to help you decide.

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Sarah: Good morning everyone! Today we’re going to talk about, is it better to do a do it yourself website or hire a professional web design? And what we’re going to do today is give you some really good information that’s going to help you make that decision. So let’s get started!

Glyna: Wow, good morning!

Sarah: Good morning!

Glyna: I caught myself just staring at that. It’s like wake up!

Sarah: It’s mesmerizing.

Glyna: It is very mesmerizing. Well, welcome to Marketing Mix. Every week Sarah and I are here, and Kelsi too sometimes, and we just mix up all different kinds of marketing segments to highlight different topics. We may do some interviews, tips, trends, reviews. I don’t know. You never know what we’re going to come up with, but today we’re going to kind of do a pros and cons.

Sarah: Yes. That’s going to be very important. Before we get started and make sure that you know where to find us.

Glyna: Yes. Subscribe everywhere. You can kind of take a look. We have our podcast, Marketing and a Mic, and you can find us everywhere else out there on the internet.

Sarah: Oh yeah. We’re out there. Okay. So we’re going to talk about the difference between a do it yourself, which is there’s a lot of those resources out there where it’s do it yourself and it’s just you click and go so to speak. Or hiring a professional, a pro to help you design your website. So let’s just dive right into it.

Glyna: Okay. I think the first thing, before you make that decision, there’s a lot of decisions you have to make when you’re first starting a business.

Sarah: Right.

Glyna: But you really have to think about what your goals are. What are you wanting to accomplish? There’s a lot of different reasons for building a website, but you really have to think about what you want to accomplish. So do you need just a few pages? I mean, are you just wanting to make your business legitimate so that when people visit it they’re like, “Yeah, it’s a real business.” What about budget? That’s a huge thing. That’s what we run into every day. Are you on a limited budget or do you have some more funds that you can sink into something a little bit more substantial? And then, this is a big one. How many bells and whistles do you need?

Sarah: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Glyna: And by that, I mean functionality. What do you need it to do? Alright. And then video. I mean, we’re big on video right now, everyone should be doing some kind of video. Do you want to incorporate that?

Sarah: Right.

Glyna: I mean, those are just a few things to get started. Another reason for having a website, you have stuff to sell. And people think it’s pretty easy just to throw up a website to sell your stuff, but there’s a lot of things involved. So do you need a shopping cart? How people got to pay? All of that good stuff. And then how picky are you? Do you want a one of a kind website that doesn’t look like any other one? Do you have specific things just for your business that don’t apply to any other business? And then, this is probably even bigger than all these others that we’ve talked about, how much time do you have to dedicate to creating your own website?

Sarah: Yeah.

Glyna: Sarah, I think those are the big ones. That’s a lot to think about, but it’s going to kind of lead us down the path of which way you should go with this.

Sarah: Right. And those are important questions to ask at the beginning. So let’s first talk about the do it yourself route. So we’ll just kind of touch on those pros. Again, as Glyna was talking about, there’s … if you’re not, I would say very … you do have to have a little bit of tech savviness if you’re going to do the do it yourself route. However, there are a lot of template choices to choose from, drag and drop, which we talk about a lot. It’s easy. You can just choose your template, find what you like and sort of piece it together by dragging it and dropping it into the place. And so that’s really a nice option as well. Lower cost, and I’m going to say lower cost option initially, because it’s great for maybe if you want to … if you have a low budget to begin with, you’re on a monthly plan, so you pay month to month on it. So again, if you’re kind of in a limited initial budget, it’s a good option. Hosting is usually included. And what we mean by that is sort of your levels of security so to speak. Hosting is kind of where you house your website and it is … not all are created equal, so to speak. So that’s why we say usually included. And it’s usually included with some limitations. And that is again, it’s the level of security, support, plug-in applications, loading speed, things like that. It is great for a startup, meaning if you are just getting started, you need something simple, you need something basic. You just need to slap something up because you’re just getting going, then this is a good option for you. And you can control the functionality, meaning if you need to change things out and make some updates and so to speak, it’s available for you to do that yourself. So yeah, again it’s really good if you’re needed something real simple and basic.

Glyna: Yeah, it really is. And I would say there’s a lot of do it yourself websites out there. I would still, we are really pro WordPress. It doesn’t matter if it’s going to be a custom WordPress or do it yourself WordPress, that just still gives you the best options even if we’re going to do yourself. So I want to say good morning to Steve Johnson. How are you, sir? And Miss Gail, Gail Mason. Good morning to both of you. Glad to have you joining us this morning. Alright. So those are the pros. Those are reasons why you would want to do your own website. So obviously we’re going to have some DIY cons. Alright. Time, time and more time. If you’re like all the rest of us, you’ve got so much going on and especially if you’re getting a new business started, there’s so much to do. And do it yourself websites seem easy when you look at it, but when you get into it and you want to make it do what you want, sometimes it gets a little more time consuming than you think it’s going to. Now the low cost per month never ends Sarah. People will say, “Why do your custom websites cost this much when I can get this website for like $200 a month?” Well that’s fine, but you’re going to be paying $200 a month forever. So and again, that may fit in your budget and that’s fine. One very important thing with do it your own or do DIY, can’t spit that out, is that you want to make sure that you still own your domain. Make sure that you go out and buy that, don’t purchase it from that DIY website company because they may own it and you may not be able to take it with you if you ever want to leave. Templates, now WordPress like I said we’re pro WordPress, but there’s only so many templates out there. So it’s not going to be unique and you may run into other websites, it’s kind of like running into somebody wearing the same dress you have on. You’re so proud of it and it’s like, “Well, shoot!” It’s kind of like the same with websites. Now the theme, we run into this all the time, themes eventually run out of support. And by that I mean, everything … things may stop working at some point because WordPress and other DIY website companies, they keep refreshing and bringing out new things and things just get older and they phase them out. And then you’re stuck with your five or six year old website and you have no support for if anything goes wrong. And then our biggie is no, little to no SEO capability. I mean, we’re all about driving traffic, getting companies more business. And all of that … so yeah, no SEO capability and that is a biggie. Alrighty. Good morning Lavon!

Sarah: Good morning. So we’ve-

Glyna: You scared me.

Sarah: I’m so sorry.

Glyna: I scared myself.

Sarah: I need to give you a little warning we’re back on, our faces are back. So this is what kind of you see it all the time and we talk about this with the do it yourself. Okay so there are the limitations in how much support that you have and your security and how it loads and the speed. And also the other thing, which you just talked about, is not having your own domain. So you’ve run into this position all the time where somebody has done a do it yourself website, they’re up and running, business is getting going, they need a lot more functionality onto their website. All of a sudden they’re having website issues, it’s not loading, they’re having security problems, or even they’ve lost their domain because that do it yourself company keeps it if you don’t stay with them. And then what happens? They come to you and they’re like, “Fix it. Fix it. Fix it.”

Glyna: That’s almost how it is. I feel bad for people because it’s almost like they’re bringing me their broken toy. I mean, it really is like … oh my. And that’s their business, you know? So they’re freaking out.

Sarah: How do you typically respond? It’s like, “Okay.” It’s like you’re trying to console them, “Come here, come here. We’ll fix your toy.”

Glyna: It’s hard. And that … throw that up there again because that’s exactly how I feel. Because you’re like, “Oh, these poor people.” I mean their website’s down and I want to help them so much, but we’re going to have to start over probably.

Sarah: Which is why it’s so important to point that out because there’s so many, there’s so many of those do it yourselfs that are popping up. So it’s kind of hard to know and it looks like it’s like, “Oh, it’s just a little kit. This is so easy,” but there’s so much you have to think about with that. So okay, let’s talk about if you choose to hire a professional web designer.

Glyna: Gayle, haha Gayle said “help me!”

Sarah: Help me!

Glyna: Help? What do you need help with Gayle?

Sarah: Oh gosh. So custom websites, let’s talk about that. WordPress is what our solution is, that’s what we use and there’s a lot of pros with it. And the biggest I would say is that it is fully customizable for your business and your brand and that is huge because you have so much creative control in how the look, the feel, the functionality of your website. So that is great. Again, more functionality. You’re able to make it look however you want and that is huge. And again, if you want to have e-commerce, a blog, an evolving image gallery, all of those things are going to be a little bit limited with the do it yourself. With the custom you have that scalability of I can add as much as I want to it, I can change things out. I can have it, the look and feel exactly to my brand. And you own it. Oh my gosh, this is so huge. You own it. You own it. So whatever happens, that domain is yours. As long as you keep that up, you’ve got it. So it is yours to have, we run into that a lot. We’ve talked about that on a previous show of you want to make sure that you own your domain so that you don’t lose it. And it’s more secure and that is a real biggie. I know we’ve all gone on to some websites and we click on it and it’s just spinning and spinning and spinning or pages aren’t loading or there’s issues where things aren’t popping up. And that is huge because when you’re there as a customer, you don’t want to stay there. I mean, this looks like this website is bad news if it’s not functioning correctly. And more professional website companies, they have their own servers. They’re able to control the level of security and hosting of the website itself. And then another biggie, which we touched on, is it’s ready for SEO. A good platform, it allows for search engine manipulation and optimization which just really means that your website is going to be easier to find, easier for customers to navigate through because it’s optimized through all the search engines. And we have to kind of expand on that too, because a lot of people think I slap up a website, you type it in and you can find it. Not so much, the search engine has criteria that you have to meet in order to kind of make that connection from the customer to your website. So it’s a lot, a lot of advantages.

Glyna: It’s a ton. You’re exactly right. And I have to brag on our website team. Our website design team is phenomenal. And a lot of people will say, “When you say that you use WordPress, those are all templates.” Well they aren’t, you can actually code those from scratch so basically start off with a blank slate and use the code to make it look and function however you want it to. And our team, I’ve literally seen them, I’ve taken them just a drawing or a look that this person really wanted and they’ve created it from scratch. It’s just amazing to me how good they are. And where WordPress, like you mentioned, comes into play even though you can code it from scratch in what we call the front end and make it look pretty and do what you want it to do. It also allows us to have the best start for SEO on the back end, we can manipulate WordPress better than any other type of website. We can optimize it better and give you that running start at SEO, where we can’t with other websites. So anyway, I could talk about SEO and how great that is. That’ll be another segment, but you hit on everything for sure. Okay. Now, even though, obviously we are pro custom websites because that’s what we do. There are some cons depending on what you’re wanting and what you’re needing and what your goals are. So if we looked at some cons for doing a custom website, again you’re going to have that upfront cost. We do break it into two payments and sometimes I will even spread that out, depending on the situation, for a few more months if that helps our customer. Because we want them to have a beautiful website, if at all possible. It can take longer. I will say you’re looking at a month, probably from start to finish, to build a custom website. At least at Fusion One Marketing does it. That’s my first shameless plug. Usually a month, we can get that thing going. Now custom website is a little more difficult and has a lot more functionality so you’re probably going to need to pay your website designer for any changes that you need, because it’s a little more complex to get things changed. Not all are created equal. Again, I just mentioned there are other platforms that you could build a website on besides WordPress and people bring those to us all day long and we’re not able to do anything with them. So excuse me, customer or not, I still would go with WordPress. Some may not be so SEO beneficial. And that’s true again, talking about that not all of them are created equal. As I mentioned a few minutes ago, WordPress just gives us the best opportunity to get you the best return on your search engine optimization.

Sarah: Yeah, very important. So it kind of a lot, but really I think we broke it up to just figure out what … you got to ask those key questions and so we’re just want to kind of give you a general rule of thumb. What is the best option for you? Do it yourself. If your project is basic and you can invest the time, because again you do have to invest the time and you do have to be somewhat tech savvy. We’ve all been there with those drag and drops where it just seems real simple, but you do have to have some tech savvy, tech experience in order to kind of build it and it will take time. I mean, if you’ve got the time to invest it’s a good option and your initial budget is limited. So if you’ve got a lower budget to start with, do it yourself is the best option. And a custom, what would make a custom professional website design? Why would you want to go that option? If it’s the best option for you I should say, is if your project is more complex. You’ve got more bells and whistles that you want, you need a more tailored solution. Or you need to drive traffic through SEO, which is to us is just very, very important because if you’ve got a website up there, you want to make sure your customers can find it. So there you go.

Glyna: That’s it.

Sarah: That is it. I mean that’s a lot, but I think those are … it’s really key to kind of ask yourself those questions because you don’t want to go one route and then just get in over your head or realize this isn’t what you need. So you do have to kind of start with, what are my goals? What am I looking to accomplish? What’s my budget? How many bells and whistles do I need? Do I need a shopping cart? Do I? All those kinds of things, do I want kind of a more customized look? So start with those and then it’ll kind of help you lead.

Glyna: Yeah. All of that is so important. And like us, Fusion One Marketing, most companies have their specialty on what they can work on. So I hate it when somebody brings me a website that needs a lot of help, but I’m really trying not to mention other types of platforms, a different platform that we don’t work with. So anyway, it’s all what is best for you and I think that we wrapped that up. And I will give another shameless plug real quickly. Because as always, if you do need help creating a website, we would be glad to help you create a beautiful, one of a kind, very functional website that will also be ready for the search engines. So message us if you need help, and even if you just want to talk about it and kind of throw ideas around Sarah and I are really good at just listening and trying to help you figure out where you land in the website world. Well, we will be back Friday at 8:00 AM with our BizTalk guest Roxy Kelly. I’m excited about that. So great job, Sarah. Alright. I think that’s it for today.

Sarah: Alright, that does it for us today. We’re out of here. Thanks for watching everyone.

Glyna: Bye.