Should I Build My Own Website or Hire Out?
Many clients often come to me asking if they should build their own website or hire a professional to do it. My answer is ... that depends.
Remember that your company website is literally the face of your business and for many of your potential customers it is the very first impression that will be made. You know the saying - "You never get a second chance to make a first impression" well this really applies here.
If you have a significant amount of time to dedicate to building your own website, are computer savvy, have a basic understanding of SEO and are confident that you can display your brand and convey your story in the best possible light then I would say give it a go. I would not recommend attempting web design for more complex websites. Any site that requires functionality that goes beyond the basics should be left to a professional with HTML and web programming experience.
Many website building platforms have emerged over the past few years and new ones continue to pop up. Many have drag-and-drop interfaces which are pretty easy to use, and you can by uploading custom logos , defining theme colors, fonts and imagery. Prices fluctuate from FREE (which typically means your site will include branding from the provider - which I highly recommend you stay clear of) to about $25/month. As with most SaaS- based subscriptions the more you pay the more features you get. Some popular site building platforms include WordPress, Wix, Squarespace, and Weebly. and most have a free option available. Before you pay for any service give it try to be sure you are comfortable with the interface and stack them up to see which features are the most important to you.
Do you need help designing your company's website?
Website design is more than choosing colors, images and writing copy. There needs to be a balance between the design of your site and the functionality. As to the design, when choosing colors, fonts and backgrounds it is important that whatever you choose is consistent with your company's brand. You do not want your website to look like it has been designed by an amateur. Some items to pay close attention to when constructing your site:
Load Time: If large images and videos are weighing down your site and create slow load times people will not want to revisit.
Error Messages: Clearly define error messages so the end user knows exactly what happened and how to fix it.
Navigation: Make sure there is a natural flow to your site so people can intuitively navigate from one area to the next
Images: Choose images that mimic your brand style. Sometimes it is worth paying for the license rights for large banner images instead of relying on free stock photos that can be found everywhere.
Layout:In addition to the color theme, font and image choices also be conscious of spacing, and alignment. Too much clutter is distracting and not visually appealing. Remember white space is your friend.
Mobile friendly: Make sure your site is mobile responsive so when viewed from a smart device it doesn't break apart and still has a great look, feel and flow.
Weigh the pros and cons of building your own site or hiring a professional web designer to do it for you. If you decide you want to try it on your own you can follow this guide to get you started.