When my family got our first computer I was excited. For some reason one of the first things I wanted to do was make my own websites. I learned how to make my own websites by scripting everything in html. That looks something like this <html><head><title> ect… It’s not as complicated as programming your own software but definitely not something that your average person can do.
These days the options available for creating and editing a website have come a long way. There are great free tools out there like WordPress and Joomla that allow you to create and manage your own site knowing little more than how to use a word processor.
With these powerful tools freely available a small business owner who is comfortable with using a computer might be tempted to make their own website. Or give the job to a friend. There are a lot of non professionals out there who do a little web design work on the side.
There is nothing wrong with this. I work for a professional web design company and our services aren’t right for everyone. I wouldn’t try to sell our company to everyone I meet. If you have a very low budget, need a simple site and are very computer proficient then maybe you would be best served to do it yourself. Like I said there are some great tools out there to make things easier to do this.
However you have to remember several things. First is that time is money. The time that you spend making your own website is time that you aren’t going out and doing whatever it is that you’re good enough at to have your own business. You could pay a company and yes that costs money but you can be making money doing what you’re good at while they make your website. So when you are looking at the prices of a web design company vs doing it yourself remember to factor in the worth of your own time.
Having someone else create your website in their spare time can be a good option sometimes. I helped some people out with websites before I got into this fulltime. If it’s a simple project with a small budget then someone who knows a little web design and does it parttime might not be a bad option. However remember regardless as to whether you do it yourself or have a friend do it, the finished product probably won’t look as good as if a pro did it. A poorly built website reflects badly on your company and can be worse than no website.
Keeping in mind how important it is to have a professional looking website for the image of your company. I must tell you that the hardest part of making a website look good is the finishing touches. I get a list of things that must be done for each project. The first 75% to 80% of those items get checked off real quick. 80% of my time is spent trying to get those last few things done that set apart a great website from a decent one. A web design company has several sets of eyes to look at things. They have people with different specialties that can best handle the issues that come up. One person might be able to create their own site and make it look decent. But they aren’t likely to be able to polish it like a web design company can. And this is important for your professional image.
Even if you have a small company and don’t think your website is important I think it must look good. I don’t care if you’re a plumber whose service has nothing to do with a website. If you don’t have a website or if it looks poor then I’m less likely to use your service because I will feel that your whole business must be as poor as your terrible site or that if you don’t have a website then you are a fly by night service that I can’t depend on. So consider the effect your site has on your whole business before you create your own site or have your buddy do it and remember many times your website will be the first impression a client gets of your business.
In closing I’m not trying to say that ever business should use the company I work for or even any professional web design company. There are business owners and employees capable of making their own website. There are also some very computer savvy people out there that don’t do this for a living but can do a great job on the side. If your particular case falls into one of these categories then go ahead and do it. But just keep in mind the points I’ve mentioned and especially remember that just because you can throw together a website doesn’t mean that your necessarily saving the money you think or getting the quality that a web design company can offer.