Deciding whether to build your own website as a new entrepreneur, or a small-business owner expanding to an online presence, can be a daunting prospect, but there are benefits to it. Hiring a professional if you have the means to do so still means quit a bit of work on your own part, and we want to reflect on both alternatives as well as share five reasons for doing it ourselves for now.
Faster Than Hiring
In the beginning when starting from zero as a new entrepreneur, you just need something out, visible for others to peruse. Since we had already hired a graphic designer, Jessica Jones, for our brand identity, we decided that was initial investment enough to give our potential cusomers the impression that we mean business.
Going by the collaboration process with her, we also felt we needed a quicker result for the website. There would be enough work in the content marketing itself, too, as well as product development.
A Web Designer Needs Copy For All Pages
Whether someone else builds a website or you do it yourself, you still need to provide someone with content for each page you want published – when they need it. It can be surprisingly exhausting to push out stuff when it feels official, and doing it at someone else’s pace wasn’t our idea of fun and great productivity.
Many web designers charge per page, alternatively have a restricted number in a start package after which they cost per page. We wanted quite a few of them, so in the end we probably would have ended up creating some of them ourselves anyway.
We Don’t Know What We Don’t Know
We need and want to see basic functionality first, know where people go the most, what works for them and for us, and what doesn’t. Time will tell and in the end an expensive website might end up not working optimally due to limited information at the time of hiring a professional.
Once we get the fancy bells and whistles, we want to be sure the investment is worth it and made in the right parts of our website. An analogy from the brick-and-mortar world of selling physical products would be to rent space for your shop at first (invest as little as possible that is) unless it is absolutely necessary to buy your production and/or sales premises.
Yeees, actual customer feedback. Never underestimate the power of the question. A raving fan might be opinionated beyond expectation and that loyalty might translate to entirely fresh and exciting input, something you never would have thought of yourself.
So why not ask for comments after your website has been up and running for a while, once you have some sales under your belt already? Anything to improve the customer experience should be welcome after all.
Getting To Know Your Online Home
Building your online home by yourself also means you know your backend and have the know-how to do basic maintenance instead of relying on someone else (plus WordPress isn’t very difficult once you learn a bit).
Some rudimentary coding skill isn’t too shabby to acquire either! Besides, Nina has been blogging on Typepad and MySpace at first, then WordPress.com later, and before this on self-hosted WordPress.org, so it felt like a natural next step to her.
Could our online home look fancier? Of course! But it could be far worse as well, which is at the core of what every entrepreneur needs to juggle: what is the most important to you? And what will have the greatest financial impact in your business, when considering personal skills and interests as well as current versus future time and monetary investments. Only you can tell.
Do you have experience from building your own website? Please share! Or did you go the outsourcing route at once? If so, how did it work out?
Photo credit: Artem Sapegin.