DON’T Pay For A Website Designer!

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Yes. This is a weak attempt at reverse psychology. Of course, you should hire a website designer or developer…if you need one! In this article, I am going to try to outline when you should and when you shouldn’t hire a website designer or developer to create your own site. By the end of the article, I want you to feel empowered to take on the challenge of creating your own website (if you so choose).

My History as a Website Designer

I learned the basics of HTML when I was in the 8th grade. At my school, every student was required to take a computer science course where we learned the basics of typing without looking, PowerPoint, and HTML code (if you are not sure what HTML is, check out this introductory article and really helpful website). That class ended up being one of my favorite classes for so many reasons. First of all, I broke my wrist early that year and was in a cast, which made typing quite difficult. I was so frustrated that I couldn’t keep up with the other students, so I ended up investing more time in the class that I ever imagined. As it turns out, I was so invested that I ended up falling in love with the content of the course. I remember the first day our teacher showed us a plain text document with a bunch of code on it and then opened up a browser to show us what the code looked like on the frontend.

I was astonished.

The fact that my teacher could type out a bunch of letters and numbers and symbols and it mean something to the computer blew my mind. I thought it was borderline miraculous that a human being could talk in a language that the computer understood and could translate into something beautiful. I loved it. Taking that course began to show me how exciting designing and developing websites could be and how if you spend just a little bit of time…anybody can do it (even an 8th grader with one functioning hand)!

When You Shouldn’t Hire A Designer/Developer

Here’s a shortlist of occasions or circumstances in which I think you do not need to hire a web designer or developer. These rules are definitely not binding and will not make sense for everybody. Nonetheless, I hope you consider them when you are starting the whole website process.

  1. If you have the time to learn and have a Do-It-Yourself attitude. If you are somebody that loves to learn new things and can easily learn new software, then designing you can totally build your own website. There are so many resources, blogs, and tools that make learning the basics of web design and development possible. So, if you have the time, why not teach yourself and make your own website?
  2. If your website project is simple. There are SO MANY ways you can build a website these days. If you are just trying to launch something super simple and do not have a need for much functionality or care about changing the design extensively, there are tools fr building such websites without needing much knowledge. For instance, you can build a site easily with Squarespace or Wix without much background knowledge. Platforms like this make it easier for small businesses and non-profits to have a decent website without having to drop thousands of dollars on a developer/designer.
  3. If you don’t have the money. If you don’t have a budget to spend on a professional designer or developer, then you should try your hand at building your site. Building your own site can be a great way to save money for a start-up or fledgling business. Web developers and designers can be expensive, so why not save some money and try go the DIY route? After all, you can always hire somebody down the road if you need more functionality or want to change the aesthetics.
  4. If you don’t need a website immediately. This is by far the most counter-intuitive advice I will give in this article. I do believe that every business should have a website. Websites are incredibly important for businesses and non-profits these days….BUT! If your business is not ready to hit the world wide web yet or needs more time to figure out their brand identity or is not certain of what their future plans are, then holding off on hiring a professional might make more sense.
  5. If you like technology and love the reward of solving complex problems. This is by far my most sincere advice. The reason why I love designing and developing websites is because of how gratifying it is to use technology to help solve a complex problem for others. When a website requires a certain function or certain aesthetic, it is so gratifying to make it all happen and to make others happy. If you like the thrill of problem-solving, then designing your own site might be the right decision for you

When You SHOULD Hire A Designer/Developer

Alright. I have now thoroughly convinced you to take on the challenge of designing your own site. I have empowered you to take the plunge into the pool of code and swim in its cooling waters. BUT! Now I want to outline a few occasions in which you might want to consider hiring a professional (like Trail Mix Creative).

  1. If you don’t like technology or computers. As you can imagine, creating a website requires a lot (A WHOLE LOT) of time behind a computer. If you don’t like spending days and long nights behind a computer, then you should probably consider hiring a website designer. Saving the stress of having to deal with a finicky computer will be well worth the cost.
  2. If your website project is complex. Most websites (even though some folx might not realize it at first) require complex functions. Even simple projects can quickly become complex as they unravel. Rather than waiting to lose control of your project, hiring a professional can ensure that you have somebody that can take on the complexity with confidence.
  3. If you don’t have the time. So, maybe you don’t necessarily have a big budget to hire a professional. But, what if you also don’t have the time to create your own site? Hiring a professional can free up time that you can use to actually run your business or promote your brand or manage your non-profit. If you don’t have the time, then hiring a web designer could be the best decision you will ever make.
  4. If you want a website that looks good and is ahead of the design curve. Have you ever visited a website and immediately thought, “Wow. This website looks like the 1990s…”? Making a website that works and making a website that looks good are two very different things. Professional website developers and designers spend time ensuring that the sites they build look great and are ahead of the design curves. (Side note: for a cool article on website design trends in 2020, check out this article from Flywheel, our beloved hosting provider)
  5. If you want ongoing support and assistance. Most web designers today offer ongoing support and services to ensure that your website stays up-to-date and secure. Rather than managing your website security and keeping up with all the content yourself, why not hire somebody to take this burden for you? Web designers love supporting their clients and making their clients happy!
  6. If you need a website fast. As mentioned above, launching a website on your own can take a lot of time! So, if you are in a rush, hiring a pro can save sooooo much time. Professional website designers and developers have a workflow that works for them. When they know what they are doing, they can whip out a website in a hurry.

So, should you hire a website designer? Maybe…maybe not! Every website is unique and every website has its own needs. Doing it yourself can be an empowering (and frustrating) experience. But, working with a fun and supportive designer/developer can also make a big difference when building a site. Still not sure if you should hire a professional yet? Send us a message and we can help you figure out the next steps! Thanks for reading!

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