Is It Better to Build Your Own Website or Hire Someone? Deciding What’s Best for Your Business

Michal Kaczor Avatar


In today’s digital landscape, establishing an online presence is crucial for success, and this often begins with creating a website. A common dilemma is deciding whether to build your website or hire a professional to do it for you. Each option has advantages and challenges, and the right choice depends on various factors, including your skills, time, budget, and the specific needs of your project or business.

Building a website on your own can be an empowering experience, offering you full control over the creative process and potentially lowering costs. You can launch a site with little to no coding knowledge with various website builders, such as Wix or Squarespace. However, the DIY route demands significant time and effort, and you might hit a roadblock with complex design requirements or functionalities. On the other hand, hiring a professional can save you time and provide you with expertise in design, user experience, and search engine optimization, but this typically comes at a higher cost.

Build own web or hire a dev? (illustrative image)
  • Weighing the pros and cons of DIY versus professional web development is crucial for a decision.
  • Consider the investment of time and resources against the need for professional expertise.
  • Evaluate how the website’s complexity and your long-term goals impact your choice.
Table of Contents
  1. Is It Better to Build Your Own Website or Hire Someone: Key Takeaways
  2. DIY Website Building
  3. Hiring a Professional
  4. Cost Considerations
  5. Time and Resources
  6. Design and Functionality
  7. Content and SEO
  8. Technical Aspects and Maintenance
  9. Evaluating Long-Term Goals
  10. Making an Informed Decision
  11. Conclusion
  12. Frequently Asked Questions

DIY Website Building

When deciding whether to build your website, balancing the potential savings and the time investment required to learn and implement is essential.

Pros of Building Your Website

  • Cost Savings: One significant advantage is the potential for cost savings. You typically only have to pay for the domain and hosting, which can be as low as $36 a year. Some platforms also offer free basic plans.
  • Total Control: Going the DIY route gives you complete creative control over every aspect of your site, from the layout to the content.

Cons of DIY Website Building

  • Time Investment: Time is an essential factor. Learning and creating a site alone might be challenging if you have limited time.
  • Skill Level Required: There’s a learning curve. Without prior design or development knowledge, the process might be complex, and achieving a professional look can be more challenging.

Popular DIY Website Builders

  • Wix: Known for its easy drag-and-drop interface, Wix allows you to build a website quickly with a WYSIWYG editor. It’s suitable for those with no coding skills.
  • Squarespace: Squarespace is praised for its sleek templates and intuitive design capabilities. It’s slightly more expensive but offers high-quality design options.
  • WordPress: WordPress is a robust platform with a steeper learning curve, ideal for those looking for extensive customization. It requires more time and skill but offers tremendous flexibility.

Hiring a Professional

Hiring a professional might be a strategic choice when you’re looking to establish a strong online presence. You get to leverage their expertise, but it comes at a cost and with certain considerations.

Benefits of Hiring a Pro

  • Tailored Expertise: A professional web designer offers specialized knowledge in creating attractive and functional websites. This expertise can translate to a site that delivers on your business objectives and user experience needs.
  • Time-Saving: By hiring a professional, you free up your time to focus on other aspects of your business while the developer handles the complexities of the web build.
  • Better Performance and Security: A professional web developer is equipped to create a website that loads quickly, functions smoothly, and is secure against threats, which is invaluable for maintaining your online reputation.
  • Long-Term Support: Post-launch support is a key advantage. From updates to troubleshooting, having a professional on board means you have ongoing access to technical help.

Drawbacks of Professional Web Design

  • Cost: Hiring an expert is an investment. Your initial outlay for a professional web design can be significantly higher than if you chose a DIY route.
  • Less Control: While a design pro offers expertise, you might have less hands-on control over every aspect of the design process, which can be a drawback for some.
  • Dependence: When you hire a professional, you may become reliant on them for future changes or updates, potentially leading to more costs.

Choosing the Right Agency or Designer

  • Check Portfolios: Review past work to ensure their style aligns with your vision.
  • Evaluate Expertise: Confirm they have experience in your sector or with websites similar to what you have in mind.
  • Communication: You need clear, timely communication. Ensure they understand your expectations and can meet them.
  • Reviews and References: Look at client testimonials or ask for references to gauge their reliability and the quality of their work.

Cost Considerations

When considering creating a website, your budget is a primary concern. You’ll need to balance the cost of tools and services against the value of your time and the expertise a professional can provide.

Analyzing DIY Costs

Building a website on your own might seem like a cost-effective solution. With platforms like Wix and Squarespace, upfront costs can start as low as $1.95 per month. However, you should consider the long-term financial investment in learning to use these tools effectively. DIY website builders often have a range of pricing plans with varying features, such as:

  • Domain Registration: Cost varies by provider, although some platforms offer free first-year registration.
  • Hosting: Included with many website builder plans, but costs can increase with website traffic.
  • Themes and Plugins: Free options are available, but premium versions cost money—usually worth the extra functionality.
  • Time Investment: Your time has value, and spending hours learning and building could be costlier than expected.

Understanding Professional Web Design Costs

According to a post by Rising Tide Creatives, hiring a professional might seem expensive, with prices ranging drastically from around €750 to over €20,000 based on project complexity. The cash you invest in a professional service generally covers:

  • Expertise: You pay for experience and a skill set that ensures top-quality work.
  • Time-Saving: A professional can complete the project faster than you might be able to on your own, which is crucial if you value time over money.
  • Maintenance and Support: Many web designers include ongoing support and updates in their costs.
  • Customization: Unlike templated DIY options, professional designers can provide a unique website tailored to your needs.

Remember, cheap does not always mean cost-effective. Your decision should align with your long-term budget and business goals.

Time and Resources

When considering whether to build your website or hire a professional, your decision hinges on two critical aspects: time and resources. Each path requires a different allocation of your time and financial resources, with varying degrees of involvement in maintenance and the potential need for training.

Time Investment for DIY

Building a website by yourself demands a significant time investment. You need to account for the hours you’ll spend learning the necessary skills, including understanding website design principles, acquiring knowledge of web development tools, and learning to code.

  • Learning Curve: Expect to dedicate time to tutorials, practice, and troubleshooting.
  • Maintenance: Regular updates and security checks will require ongoing time commitments.

Resource Allocation for Hiring

Allocating resources to hiring a professional means incurring a financial cost. However, the investment often comes with the assurance of a higher level of expertise and, potentially, a more polished end product:

  • Upfront Costs: Depending on project complexity, these can range from a few hundred to several thousand dollars. Hiring a professional can sometimes mean investing €750 to €20,000.
  • Maintenance Contracts: Professionals can be hired for ongoing maintenance, freeing up your time but requiring a regular financial outlay.

Whether you invest your time to build a website or allocate financial resources to hire someone, consider the value of your time, the potential maintenance required, and if any training is needed to manage the website moving forward.

Design and Functionality

When building a website, your design and functionality choices directly impact how visitors interact with it and perceive your brand. It’s crucial to ensure that the website looks aesthetically pleasing and functions seamlessly across different devices and platforms.

Customization and Branding

Your website reflects your brand and requires a level of customization to stand out. Building a website yourself offers direct control over the branding elements, such as logos, color schemes, and typography. This personal touch ensures consistency across your website, aligning with your brand’s identity. On the other hand, hiring a professional can translate your brand into a custom website design that potentially surpasses the limitations of your own skills.

Website Layout and User Experience

User experience (UX) is paramount. Your website’s layout guides your visitor’s journey, and a good UX design helps create a logical path to conversion. If you build your site using templates from platforms like Wix, you get a variety of pre-designed layouts that are user-friendly but may lack uniqueness. However, a professional web designer can create a bespoke layout that delivers a distinctive user experience tailored to your audience’s behaviors and preferences.

Mobile Responsiveness and Cross-Platform Compatibility

In a mobile-first world, having a mobile-friendly website is non-negotiable. Your site must work flawlessly across all devices and platforms, ensuring a consistent experience. While DIY website builders promise mobile responsiveness, a learning curve is involved in fine-tuning the details. A professional developer ensures cross-platform compatibility, rigorously testing and refining the site to offer seamless functionality, which is vital for reaching a wider audience and improving search engine ranking.

Content and SEO

When building a website, how you manage your content and optimize for search engines plays a pivotal role in your online marketing success. Content is not just the king; it’s the kingdom’s currency in gaining visibility on Google and converting visitors into leads and sales.

Importance of Content Management

Managing content effectively requires selecting the right Content Management System (CMS). A robust CMS helps you maintain, update, and refresh content easily—essential for keeping your site relevant for your audience and search engines. Good content management helps in organizing your content in a way that supports your SEO and marketing strategies.

  • WordPress: A popular platform that gives you control over every aspect of your content.
  • Squarespace/Shopify: These platforms can be suitable if you are running an e-commerce site or prefer an all-in-one solution.

SEO Considerations and Best Practices

Search engine optimization is critical in ensuring your target audience discovers your site. It encompasses technical and creative elements needed to improve rankings, drive traffic, and increase awareness in search engines.

  • Keyword Research: Understand what your audience is searching for and tailor your content to meet those needs.
  • On-Page SEO: includes optimizing your tags, headers, and content to target your chosen keywords.
  • Mobile-Friendliness: With most searches done on mobile, a mobile-friendly design is non-negotiable.
  • Quality Backlinks: Earn high-quality backlinks that signal to Google the credibility of your website.

Cultivating a strong SEO strategy requires consistent effort. Follow SEO best practices to improve your visibility on Google and other search engines; this is a marathon, not a sprint.

Technical Aspects and Maintenance

When creating or managing a website, you’ll encounter an array of technical aspects that demand your attention, such as proper coding practices and ensuring robust security measures. Consistent updates and maintenance are critical to the smooth operation of your website.

Handling Updates and Security

Your website will require regular updates, especially if built on a content management system (CMS) like WordPress. These updates ensure that all the components, including themes and plugins, function optimally and safeguard against vulnerabilities. Remember, a single outdated plugin can compromise your site’s security.

To maintain tight security, consistently update your site’s software and monitor for suspicious activity. Ignoring these updates can lead to exploitable security gaps, putting your data and user information at risk.

Dealing with Technical Issues and Support

Despite meticulous maintenance, technical issues can arise. Breaks in coding, conflicts between plugins, and hosting problems are common challenges you might face. When technical hurdles occur, having support from a professional can be invaluable.

If you choose to build your website, be prepared to develop the skills necessary to address these issues or rely on forums and technical support from your CMS or hosting provider. In contrast, hiring a professional for website development often includes ongoing support for technical issues, easing the burden on you.

Evaluating Long-Term Goals

When deciding between building your website and hiring a professional, understanding your long-term goals for your online presence is crucial. This foresight will guide your decision-making process and ensure your website aligns with your business strategy.

Building for the Future: Scalability and Flexibility

A website that scales with your business is paramount. Researching to determine the best platform for your site will pay dividends. If you foresee rapid growth, your site will need the flexibility to expand. Consider the need for additional features, like e-commerce capabilities or integrations with other systems. Building your site on a DIY platform like Wix or Squarespace may initially seem cost-effective, but consider if these solutions can scale appropriately or if a custom solution by a professional might better serve your future needs.

Aligning with Business Goals and Objectives

Every small business has unique goals; your website should reflect and support these. Do you aim to establish a robust web presence through content, serve as an online storefront, or provide information? For small business owners, a website is often the first point of contact with customers, making its alignment with business objectives essential. This alignment involves developing a focused strategy considering your budget, resources, and the technical requirements of maintaining an efficient online presence. For instance, if your goal is to maximize sales, you might prioritize SEO and user experience, which could lead you to hire a professional, as discussed at Rising Tide Creatives.

Making an Informed Decision

You must evaluate several critical factors when considering whether to build your website or hire a professional. These factors include your skills, the complexity of the site, the time you can invest, and the nature of the site you need.

Comparing DIY and Professional Routes

Do-It-Yourself (DIY) Approach: If you have some technical skills or are willing to learn, you might opt for a DIY website. Using platforms like Weebly or Shopify for e-commerce or Divi for general sites can be cost-effective solutions. These platforms often offer intuitive page editors, making it easier to insert your contact information, upload imagery, and manage an online store without extensive training. However, if your needs include custom apps or a visually appealing portfolio requiring advanced design, the DIY route might be limited.

  • Skills Required: Basic to Intermediate
  • Time Investment: Variable, depending on complexity
  • E-commerce: Shopify, Weebly
  • General Use: Divi, other website builders

Professional Web Designer Route: Hiring a professional web designer could benefit projects that demand a cohesive brand image and high technical functionality. Investing in a professional may yield the best results if you’re aiming for a polished, visually appealing site that effectively represents your brand and possibly includes custom-built features. Professionals bring experience, a nuanced understanding of web aesthetics, and the ability to create a site that operates seamlessly across various devices and platforms.

  • Skills Provided: Advanced, specialized
  • Time Investment: Less personal time, longer project timeline
  • Customization: Bespoke imagery, advanced functionality
  • Cost: Higher upfront investment, the potential for higher quality outcome

By evaluating your specific needs, resources, and goals, you can decide which route aligns best with your vision for your website. Remember to consider the long-term benefits of a professional’s touch against the immediacy and learning experience of building a website yourself.


Assess your skills, time, and budget when deciding whether to build your website or hire a professional. Crafting your website can be fulfilling if you have the time and a keen interest in learning. However, consider investing in a web designer’s expertise for a professional appearance and advanced functionality.

  • DIY Pros: Cost-effective, personal growth, total control
  • DIY Cons: Time-consuming, potential for lower quality, steep learning curve
  • Hiring Pros: Professional quality, saves time, technical support
  • Hiring Cons: Higher upfront cost, reliance on others’ schedules

Remember, your website is often customers’ first impression of your business. A DIY approach might suffice in the early stages or for simple personal blogs, whereas a professionally built website may better serve growing businesses or those with specific online needs.

Weighing the pros and cons, your decision should align with your long-term online presence goals and how you want to be perceived by your audience. Starting with a DIY website and transitioning to a professional service as your business scales can be a strategic move in some scenarios. Whatever your choice, ensure it reflects the quality and ethos of your brand.

Frequently Asked Questions