There are a number of website building tools around today that make it very easy to get a website. It’s also possible to get a friend or family member to use one of these tools or systems to get your website up and running at very little to no cost. If this is the case, why should you pay someone like us, Tech Warrior, to build your website for you?
Yes, it is easy enough to build a website. We even go so far to say that anyone can build a website nowadays. When deciding whether or not to use a professional company to build your website, consider these four questions:
- Is building my own website the best use of my time and resources?
- Will building my own website add or take away from the brand I am building for my business?
- Should I do business with friends and family?
- If I choose to get a web developer to build my website, how can I be sure that they are as professional as they make out?
Is building my own website the best use of my time and resources?
To put it another way, this is really asking when is free not really free? We all have the same amount of time in the day to get things done. The cost of doing something yourself or at a lower rate might look appealing in the short term. It’s important, however, to ensure that it works out in the medium to long term.
There are many variables and steps involved when it comes to building a website. The time taken to build it, create the content and get the visuals working just right, for starters, will mean you won’t be able to focus on your business, doing things that only you know how to do. If you and your business are up to this trade off, then doing the website yourself is an option. If your business needs your unique skills and talent then getting a professional company to build your website is probably a better option.
Whether you choose to do it yourself, or get a professional company to build one for you, make sure your website matches the times and buying patterns of today’s savvy consumer.
Will building my own website add or take away from the brand I am building for my business?
All businesses should care about their brand identity. It’s the entire way customers will engage with the business. Branding starts at the surface level, with your logo and appropriate colours and expands more deeply into the complete end-to-end experience your business offers its customers. If you or your brother’s cousin who’s building the website as part of a university project can ensure that the website being developed complements the brand of your business, then doing the website yourself is an option. If not, well, then the professional website company option is a better bet.
Your brand is not what you say you are—it’s what you do —Denise Lee Yohn
Should I do business with friends and family?
We have all been there. Someone you know looks like they could do with some help, so you do them a favour. Either for free or at a reduced cost or price. And then the problems start. The person inevitably ends up being one of your most difficult customers. It’s the same sort of thing with a website. If your website is being built by a friend or family member, make sure building websites is their core business. Otherwise you will find yourself at the bottom of the priority list.
Over the years we’ve heard many stories where the person doing the website lost interest, went overseas or changed careers. What then of your website? How do you regain control of your website if it’s been abandoned or you need to do updates and changes to your website? Or what if you need to reclaim ownership of your domain name?
In this case you might be better off with a dedicated and professional website company rather than the do it yourself option.
If I choose to get a web developer to build my website, how can I be sure they are as professional as they make out?
We’ve been in the field of websites for a very long time. We have seen them all - the fly-by-nights, con-artists and cheapskates, all offering something that sounds too good to be true. In addition, because the barrier to entry is quite low when it comes to actually building a website, many people think that it’s just a matter of a download here for the website system and then a download there of a website look (also known as a theme) and presto, I can now call myself a web developer (not!).
Check the credentials of the company offering the service. How long have they been around? Do they have a portfolio? What about (positive) testimonials? At the very least, check that they are using their own domain name (that’s the thing that ends with .co.za) and not just a gmail.com or hotmnail.com email address. A professional website company will always use their own domain name.
The company should answer all your questions, offer complete transparency about costs, not put undue pressure on you to buy from them, and make sure you are completely happy with the process before going ahead. If they don’t, then look for another company.
You get what you pay for
Are you in the business of providing a service or product only to get partly paid for it? I am sure not. You expect a fair compensation or price for your service or product. Almost anyone can bake a cake, few can bake the kind of cake you would want at your key celebration. Similarly, few people really understand what goes into making a website work successfully. When it comes to free, family-done or do it yourself websites, you often get what you pay for.
Don’t be a guinea pig for someone’s high school website building course. Don’t go the free route, it will make your business look cheap. In the end your business will suffer as a result.
In today’s age, customers are informed and educated as to what they want. Sometimes they will know more than you about what you offer. Whether you choose to do it yourself, or get a professional company to build one for you, make sure your website matches the times and buying patterns of today’s savvy consumer.