Should You DIY Your Website?

Is it a good idea to build your own website?

I know a lot of us have asked ourselves this question, “should I build my website on my own?” But before you embark on your adventure in website building, I highly recommend you think about the pros and cons first.

In fact, you may encounter some unintended consequences if you do and if you don’t build your website. So in this article, I’m going to answer the following questions:

  • What are the main reasons someone builds their own website?
  • What problems can you run into when building your own website?
  • Should you hire a professional to build your website?
  • Who should build their website and who should hire a professional web designer?
Girl next to web page mockup

Why do people build their own websites?

While I can’t speak for everyone, here are some common reasons I hear why people decide to tackle their websites on their own:

Saving Money

A lot of website owners don’t want to spend a lot of money on a website. The website may be for personal use or a hobby. Or, the website may be for a newer small business that doesn’t have much budget for a website.

Additionally, a lot small business owners just don’t think their website is important enough to spend money on. They may plan to market their business another way, or they believe they already get enough business already.

So, building their website themselves may be a good way to save money.

Expressing Creativity

Some people build their own websites because it will be rewarding! It can be a great way to express your creativity. They may have a vision about what the website should look like or function like, and they feel driven to design and build it themselves.

Having Fun

Yes. There are people who think building a website is fun. I’m one of those people! I started designing and building websites this way.

If you love technology and playing around with it, figuring out how to build a website is a fun thing to try. Or, if you’re just a life long learner and love figuring things out on your own, then building your website is very appealing.

You’re Invested in the Website’s Success

If you take the time to strategize for and build your website, you may be more likely to actively use your website. A website is tool, not a solution. So for your website to be successful, you need to use it.

Thus, if you understand how your website works and are invested in its strategy because its your own, you may be more interested in implementing that strategy and using your website to grow your business.

Girl on ladder next to mobile device mockup

The problems with DIYing your website

While there may be many benefits and reasons for building your website, there are also some downsides to it. Let’s take a look at some.

Building a website is more complicated than you might think

Building a website is a lot like building a house. There are a lot pieces to put together, each requiring a different set of skills and talents. Have you asked yourself if you have those skills and the required knowledge?

For example, you may be able to lay down tile on your bathroom floor, but could you build out the entire bathroom? Or, you may be able to build the shed in your backyard, but can you frame an entire house, lay the foundation, and wrap it properly?

Most people buy houses that are already built, or hire someone to build it for them because they understand having a well-built house is important.

Your website is similar. It is your digital home for your business. You want it to be able to weather the storms, be safe and secure, and be a good investment for your business. Do you want to take the risk of not building it correctly and potentially harming your business or wasting your time?

The Cost of Time

Developing a website takes time, despite what the advertisements from the common page builders say. While Wix and Squarespace make it easier and quicker to build websites, you likely won’t be done in a day. And here’s why:

You need to learn how to use the builder!

Very few people will be able to just log in build their website in a day. I remember talking to someone about her experience with a popular website builder. She said she’d been at it about 6 weeks, and she still wasn’t done. She figured she’d lost about 40 hours of work time. She just didn’t understand very well how things worked.

Is this how you should be spending your time? (Check out my article, How I Learned To Value My Time, to start thinking about the value of your time.)

You need to write and gather your content.

In my experience, this is one of the hardest and most time consuming parts of any website project!

Do you know how to structure content for a website and what you actually need to say? Of course you could try AI to help with this, but that also takes time.

What about gathering the images for your website? How long will that take? Then, once you find the images, you’ll need to format them and size them correctly for your website.

Will your website leave the right impression?

Your website may be the first interaction a potential customer has with your business. Can you put together a website that leaves a good impression or is easy to use? I’m assuming you want your website to reflect the quality of the work you do or the products you sell.

Fixing your website when things go wrong

I believe in a simple law for anything on the web. It will break at some point. Technology works until it fails.

Lots of things can go wrong, such as security breaches, bad links, forms not working, and broken code that runs the website. In fact, it’s possible things can wrong enough that your website no longer works at all and won’t load.

Many people who build their own websites aren’t prepared for these website problems. They don’t know how to fix the problems, and they are then reliant on customer support from their web host or their website builder. Unfortunately, that help isn’t always very responsive or even very helpful.

Good Reasons to DIY Your Website

Despite the problems noted above, I believe there are times when it makes a lot of sense for you to build your website. Does any of this sound like you?

  • You are someone who loves technology and learning this kind of stuff. If this is you, you won’t mind taking the time to learn how to build your website correctly. In fact, this is how a lot of web designers get started!
  • You have a lot of spare time and want to learn. Building a website is time consuming. So if you’ve got the time and the willingness to learn, then go ahead and give it a try.
  • Your website is just a fun project. If it doesn’t really matter if the website works, when it gets done, or even if it gets launched, then have some fun putting it together on your own.

Of course, there could be other reasons to build your own website that I’ve not mentioned here. I just encourage you to think about the pros and cons before you start.

Designer looking at mockups

Should you Hire A Professional Instead?

Often, hiring a professional for your website project is the right thing to do, especially if you have a business that needs a website. Before DIYing your project, ask yourself these questions.

  • Is the website for an established business?
  • Is the website mission-critical to the success of your business?
  • You don’t know how to build a website or write its content, and you don’t have the time or inclination to learn how?
  • Are you very busy, and so you don’t have time to deal with it?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, I strongly encourage you to work with a professional for your website project.

How a professional web designer can help you

Often, working with a professional web designer is an investment that pays off for your business.

Save time

Working with a professional will definitely save you time. Having someone else build your website frees you to focus on your business, your customers and clients, and what you do best.

Along the same lines, you’ll also have fewer website headaches to deal with. If the website is built correctly, it’s less likely to break. And if things do go wrong, there is someone else to fix it, saving you a lot of time and frustration.

Better Website Performance

A professional web designer or developer understands how websites work and how they can help your business. You can work with them to develop a strategy that makes sense for your business, making it more likely your website will succeed.

Also, a good web designer or developer will build the website using solid professional practices and tools, so that your website loads fast, is easily indexed by search engines, and is easy for everyone to use. This helps your search rankings and overall performance of your website.

Get help with Content

Writing website content is hard! As I mentioned earlier, gathering and writing content is usually what slows down a website a project.

A good website professional can either help you write your content, write it for you, or help you find a good content writer for your project.

Content is one of the most crucial parts of your website, so if you only invest in one thing, invest in good content.

Professional Look and Feel

Finally, your designer will follow good design practices, making good use of fonts, colors, and spacing. Plus, they can layout the website structure to work specifically for your business. All of these things can elevate your credibility and lead to more conversions.

will you Build Your next website?

I hope this article has helped you understand the pros and cons of DIYing your website, and if hiring a professional is the right thing to do.

So what do you think? Will you be building your website on your own?

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