DIY or Professional Website?

“Search engine marketing and search engine optimization are critically important to online businesses. You can spend every penny you have on a website, but it will all be for nothing if nobody knows your site is there.” – Marc Ostrofsky


With the abundance of “easy to use” software on the web (think WordPress, Drupal, Prestashop etc.) and the thousands of ‘template website solutions’ available, it seems like it should be easy to create a DIY website.  Each of these software programmes or websites promise that almost anyone can build a site in them.

Let’s use WordPress as an example, you don’t even need to sort out hosting, you can get a WordPress site on WordPress.com up and running in a matter of minutes.  You’ll soon find that if you want it to look nice, if you want it do anything not just “out of the box”, if you want to customise it in any way … it will start to cost you.

The same holds true for any of the other website software ‘solutions’ out there as well.  You can have a website very quickly but will it look like it represents your brand/business?  Will it be easy to use for your customers/clients?  Will it work how you want it to work?  Will Google index it and pay attention?

If you want anything that isn’t just the standard functionality of the software or template you’ve chosen, you can find it becomes an arduous task to surmount.  If you’ve gone the DIY route this will usually result in having to accept a solution that only does half of what you want, or accepting the costs associated with hiring professionals.

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The usual reason for going down the DIY route is to save some initial capital.  Why pay to have something done when you can just do it yourself, right?

Do I need a professional website?

A website is a very important presence for any business no matter how big or small but it’s easy to get blinded to just the financial investment needed.  The question of whether you should create a DIY site or get a professionally made one comes down to a few things. Predominantly though it comes down to the following three points:

  • Are you capable of creating all of your own branding, graphics and visual styles?
  • Do you have the level of technical skill required to manage it yourself in order to keep it up to date, secure and as functional as you want it to be?
  • And the most important question: can you afford to pay a professional company to build it?

If you have the time, knowledge and motivation to do it yourself then perhaps a DIY is the option for you.  There are some very successful companies that exist these days by people who have self-built them … but these are nearly always technology based services/platforms (think Facebook or Twitter).

If you are unsure or if you can’t do all of the above, talk to an expert who will be able to evaluate the needs of your business to offer advice and guidance on the next steps.  Ask for recommendations and seek testimonials before committing to a professional designer.

Professional website thinking from Yorkshire Powerhouse
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