In New Zealand, DIY is part of our DNA, but does that count when building a website? Since wartime, when resources were scarce and importing something took months, we’ve been a nation willing to roll up our sleeves and cobble something together ourselves.
But is this the right approach when it comes to your small business’s website? In this blog, we explore what you should consider before deciding which approach you will take.
What is your budget?
If you’re starting with nothing more than an idea and lots of enthusiasm, then building your site yourself is a great option. Free WordPress templates, while limited in how much you can customise them, enable you to produce a professional-looking, basic site with very little, if any, financial outlay. Beware of false economy, though. If the time you spend building your site takes you away from profitable work, then the income you forego might exceed what you would have spent on having someone build your site for you.
How complex will your site need to be?
Do you just need a single page that outlines your services and lets people know how to get in touch with you? Or do you need extra functionality like e-commerce, appointment scheduling, forms, or content management systems? The good news is that WordPress makes it easy to build a site without knowing any code. It uses drag-and-drop templates for the design and plugins that add the extra functionality – see our recent blog about WordPress plugins. However, the more complex your site, the more challenging it becomes to build yourself, and the more likely you’re going to run into technical roadblocks, such as plugins that don’t play nicely with each other.
What is your level of skill?
Familiarity with CSS (custom style sheet) code is a huge bonus when you’re building your own website. While even the cheaper premium themes have many inbuilt customisation options, if you want to achieve something that isn’t catered for, you’re going to need to know how to write snippets of CSS to modify the theme’s presets. If you have specific ideas of how you want your site to look and behave, getting it built professionally will be easier, quicker, and produce slicker results.
Are you going to be able to maintain a DIY website?
Unfortunately, websites aren’t something you can set and forget. Plugins and WordPress versions need updating. Pages break. Files get infected with malware. You might have spare time now, but once you get up and running, will you have the time and skill to immediately address any issues that pop up?
Will it meet your future needs?
You might only need something simple now, but as your business grows, will a simple site still do everything you want? A free WordPress template may not offer the future functionality you need. It might be more cost-effective to have someone build you a site that can grow with you.
Be aware of the different DIY website options
If you choose to go down a DIY route, whether it’s WordPress or another platform, know there is a difference between monthly subscription set ups and the kind of DIY WordPress site we are referring to. While there are costs involved in hosting a website you may find the monthly pay as you go plans that are very popular these days, while easy to use may cost you in the long run.
How do you get your DIY website online?
If you’ve chosen to build your website yourself, you’ll need web hosting to publish it on the internet. Moreweb offers shared WordPress hosting to get you online quickly and affordably. We also offer managed WordPress hosting plans where we take care of your site’s software and security updates. As a bonus, our managed plans come bundled with over 100 premium WordPress themes with which you can build your website.
If you’d like us to take the job of building your website off your hands, get in touch today to share your vision with us!