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3 Things you may not have considered when you decided to design your own website instead of hiring a professional firm

February 29, 2016

Author:

I’ll start by assuming a couple things: (1) you may be tech savvy, but aren’t very comfortable working with website languages like HTML, CSS and JavaScript, and (2) you will be attempting to use some kind of software to build your website.

Money vs Time

Q: How much do you save when using website building software?

A: Depending on how you value your time you could be saving nothing or worse you could be losing a heap load of time.

There’s no question that designing your own website with a popular website building software will save you money... at first. However, every website building software takes you time to learn and depending on how tech savvy you are it could take you a lot of time. In addition, if you ever get to the point where you want someone else to handle the edits, you will be limited to finding those who already know how to use that software.

Limitations

Most of the website building softwares boast something similar - that anyone can make a website using their tool, that it will be easy, and that it can do pretty much anything they need it to do. Sound familiar?

What they don’t tell you is understandable, because you probably don’t even know to ask it when you start building. Then when you need that certain flexibility in the website’s design or you need to add a certain cool feature to your site to help boost social media or sales... well, you can’t. Maybe you still technically “can,” but YOU can’t.

You look for some 3rd party plugins to handle all that technical stuff for you. For many platforms those can be a great solutions, but if you go that route then you can often find yourself with some hidden expenses (next section will cover in more detail).

You look for some help online so that you can make the design changes, but all you find is more complex code to deal with or that it’s simply a limitation of the website theme/template you’re using.

You suck it up and just deal with the limitations and then months go by, but your site isn’t ranking very well on the search engines. How well does your software handle SEO and how well does it give you the ability to manage that?

Hidden Expenses

Most platforms that have 3rd party developers and theme designers really do offer some pretty cool plugins that can add some great eye-capturing web animations and powerful SEO management and business solutions, but they often come with a price tag. When I said price tag I really meant a price tag each month. Some platforms offer a pool of 3rd party contractors that can be hired to handle theme design changes as well, but didn’t you use the software to avoid that in the first place?

Conclusion

Website building software isn’t necessarily the wrong decision. I’ve had many clients that simply had too small of a budget for it to make sense hiring a firm, but time they could spare. I’ve often recommended website building softwares to them too, but usually a few I know how to use really well in case they need to hire me when they get stuck.

If time is what you lack then find a firm who has a solid track work and who can show you websites that make you think “I’d sure like a website that looked that good.” Going this route will not only land you a better looking site, but it makes all future work to your site that much easier as a team of professionals is already completely familiar with all your website’s files.

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