DIY it or Go Pro?

So what’s the next step in this process. Some business owners decide that doing it themselves is the smart way to go. However, it is an option that should be considered carefully. Can you handle the commitment of designing and maintaining a website on your own? Ask these questions before you take that step.

  1. Do I have the time?icon-time-tn
    It is not a one and done process. There are several phases in website design – design, development, testing, etc. It could take several weeks or even months to create a website that functions to your specifications. And websites must be constantly updated – inventory changes, news and product updates, press releases… And don’t forget – time is money!


  2. Will it cause you to neglect other business obligations?
    In taking on the project yourself, will your business suffer? Will you spend less time with customers and clients, fall behind in accounting processes, cancel meetings with vendors, employees… Will this really fit in your already busy schedule?


  3. Do I have the knowledge?icon-learn-tn
    If you are not already familiar with how to create a website, you will need to learn. You may catch on quickly or there might be a steep learning curve. Here are just a few of the topics you’ll need to brush up on – html, javascript, CSS (Cascading Style Sheets), CMS (content management systems), FTP (file transfer protocol) and a lot of other little details that pop up – hosting services, domain name registrations, name servers, and more. In addition, you will need to make time to learn. Tack that on to the time you’ll spend designing, developing, testing and launching your site.


  4. Do I have the time and budget to invest in training?icon-money-tn
    If you do need training, can you afford it? You can try to DIY this, too. There are several books at your local library on the subject, and YouTube videos, tutorials and classes online. I find Lynda.com very helpful when I am learning something new. Many options are free. Your local library is a great place to start – they often offer classes and if you have a library card you can use it on Lynda.com! The other option is to find accredited classes online or locally. Either way, be prepared to pay – with your time or your money. Nothing is really free in life.


  5. Do I have the tools for the job?icon-media-tn
     A lot of content goes into a website – media files (photos, videos, graphics), text, action scripts (forms, calendars, surveys, slideshows…), menus, posts, databases, and so on. Unless you are an expert in hand coding, you’ll need to depend on different applications to do the dirty work for you. Among the tools you’ll need are:  html editor; photo editor; graphics software;
    stock image account. You can probably find free applications online but they may not be capable of doing everything you need. Investing in a suite such as Adobe Creative Cloud may be the way to go. But does it fit your budget? A subscription can start at $25 a month and increase exponentially depending on your needs.


     

    If you answered NO to any of these questions, you probably need to icon-info-tnreevaluate your decision to do it all yourself.  Weigh the costs of training, software and your time against the cost of recruiting a professional website design team. Or you may even consider adding a web designer as a full-time member of your staff.

Coming Next… what to have in place before looking for a professional?

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