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Should You Hire Help or Build a Site Yourself?

Deciding whether to outsource your website build or do it yourself can be a tough decision. Each option has its own benefits, challenges, and costs, so it’s important to carefully consider your specific needs and resources before making a choice. In this post we will cover:

(A heads up: This post contains a couple affiliate links for products that use and recommend. If you make a purchase through an affiliate link, I may receive a small commission.)

Important Questions to Ask before You Start

If you’re looking to outsource the project, you generally have two options: an agency or a freelancer. To help you decide which is the best path forward, ask yourself the following questions:

  • What is my budget?
  • What is the timeline of this project?
  • What specific skills and expertise do I need for this project?
  • What is the scale and complexity of the project?
  • What risks am I willing to take?

These questions will help you narrow down your options and choose the path that best fits your needs.

Benefits and Drawbacks of Web Design Agencies

Hiring a design agency can be a great option if you have a healthy budget and want a professional and polished website. Design agencies typically have a team of experts who can handle all aspects of website design and development. They can create a custom website tailored to your specific needs and goals, ensuring a high-quality and visually appealing online presence.

How Much Does It Cost to Build a Website, Agency Fees

It’s important to note that hiring a design agency can be costly. The price will depend on various factors, such as the complexity of your project, the scope of work, and the reputation of the agency.

In a previous job, I had the opportunity to review many creative agency and website proposals. Based on that experience, I can tell you that if you are going the agency route, you will likely pay a minimum of $15,000 for a website. In most cases, the cost will be significantly more. It is not uncommon for agency fees for a full site build, including copywriting, to run in the $30,000 – $100,000+ range.

Even when you hire an agency, there can be challenges! Download my guide, 5 Common Website Mistakes That Sabotage Your Business’s Success to know where to start!

Benefits and Drawbacks of Freelance Website Designers

For small businesses, hiring a freelancer or independent contractor can be a more budget-friendly option. Freelancers often offer competitive pricing and a more personalized approach to website design. They can work closely with you to understand your vision and create a website that meets your requirements.

However, it’s important to carefully vet freelancers before hiring one as quality and reliability varies. You also need to have a thorough understanding of their area of expertise and what is included in your contract.

Freelance Website Design Costs

A freelance designer may charge you an hourly rate or a project rate. Rates will vary across the country and in accordance with the experience level of the designer. You can expect to pay anywhere from $500 to $10,000+ depending on the designer’s hourly rate, the number of pages on the website, the type of build, and the desired functionality.

Scope of Work Considerations

Not fully understanding the scope of work and excluded items is a common misstep made by small businesses hiring a freelance web designer. For example, a past client of mine hired me to write the text for her website when she realized that what she had purchased was an empty website with no words or pictures on it.

Generally, when you hire a freelancer to design your site, copywriting will not be included in the project. Writing effective content for a website is an art and a science of its own, and it’s important to hire someone who understand how to speak to your target customer in a way that will move them to action.

Another area to vet when hiring a freelancer is their SEO knowledge. There are aspects of technical SEO that the designer will impact, but many are not trained SEO experts. For example, I have seen both agencies and freelancers fail to name website images appropriately for search engine optimization. Check out my post about search optimized images if you would like to learn more about that.

One more potential misstep is using a website theme or builder that includes excessive and unnecessary code. Nonessential code weighs down your website and slows the load speed. Page load speed is an important factor in Google rankings.

Benefits and Drawbacks of Building a Website Yourself

If you have limited budget and are willing to put in the time and effort, building a website yourself can be a viable option. There are numerous website builders and content management systems available that make it relatively easy to create a professional-looking website without any coding knowledge. These platforms often offer customizable templates, drag-and-drop functionality, and various add-ons and plugins to enhance your website’s functionality.

I prefer WordPress for its flexibility, ease of use, and extensive plugin options. This website is built with WordPress.

However, building a website yourself requires a significant time investment and may not result in the same level of customization and functionality as hiring a professional.

If this is your first experience building a website, you should also go into the project knowing that there will be a significant learning curve. In my experience all website builders have their unique quirks, and it can be very frustrating to figure out how to do things when you are first learning. You should expect to spend a good amount of time on Google looking for answers to “how to” questions and watching YouTube videos.

Additionally, you’ll need to consider ongoing costs such as hosting fees and domain registration.  For hosting I use SiteGround , and for domain registration, I use Namecheap.

Conclusion

Ultimately, the decision to hire a design agency, freelancer, or build a website yourself depends on your individual skills, needs, and priorities. Take the time to evaluate your budget, time constraints, and expertise to make an informed decision.

And remember, whether you hire a designer or build a website yourself, it’s important to prioritize factors such as user experience, mobile responsiveness, SEO optimization, and accessibility. A well-designed and functional website can significantly impact the success of your online presence and contribute to the growth of your business.

Marketing Blog Author Jenn Yamnitz image

About Jennifer Yamnitz

Jenn is an independent marketing consultant and owner of Adance Communications, LLC. She has more than 20 years of experience in marketing-related fields and has a unique, comprehensive perspective of marketing and branding having worked in PR, graphic design, and marketing over the course of her career.

In 2022 she earned a master’s degree in marketing from the University of Arizona Eller College of Management – one of the top ranking M.S.M. programs in the U.S.

Her mission is to help small businesses and nonprofits with limited budgets get the most out of their marketing investment.

Have a marketing challenge you want to discuss? Schedule a consultation to explore how we can work together to maximize your marketing efforts.