You know you need a small business website, but you don’t know if you’re qualified for the job. The question of whether you should do it yourself or hire a web designer is common. To answer it, start by first trying your hand at making your own site. Between the massive amount of resources available to help you build your own and the multitude of easy-to-use site builders, this is often the better option. Worse case, you can hire a pro if you run into problems.
Here are the three main reasons why doing it yourself (DIY) is the better option for most small businesses:
Reasons to DIY vs Hiring a Pro at a Glance
Hiring a Pro
Ease of Use
Best for simple sites
Best for complex sites
Average Build Time
1 to 2 hours
Weeks to months
As little as $50
Reason 1: Ease of Use
If you’re looking for a revolutionary website that requires a great deal of customization and with that, custom coding, then hiring a pro is the only way to go. However, if all you need is a simple website, it will be easier to do it yourself using a drag-and-drop site builder like Wix or Squarespace.
This is because what many don’t realize is that there’s actually a lot of work involved to hire and work with a web developer or development team. You have to communicate what you want, and provide site copy and site media such as images and videos. What this means is that being a client is still work. Even if it’s just providing feedback and guidance, you still need to be involved in the process.
Reason 2: Build Time
While you may assume it would be faster to have someone else do it, the reality is that with the help of all-in-one site builders, you can make your own website in less than a day. In some cases, you can even build your own website in less than an hour. On the other hand, the average turnaround time when hiring a web designer will be weeks, even months.
- Average DIY turnaround time: As little as an hour or two for a simple website
- Average web designer turnaround time: Typically weeks, if not months
In short, if you need a site quickly, you need to do it yourself.
Reason 3: Cost
There’s no competition when it comes to the cost of building your own site versus the cost of hiring a web designer. That is, unless your time is worth a ton of money. The average cost to build your own site with a site builder is around $12 per month. WordPress generally costs a bit more to build (approximately $50 to $300), but less to maintain (about $5 to $10 per month). On the contrary, the average cost of a professionally built website starts around $500 and increases to over $10,000.
- Average DIY website cost: Approximately $50 to $300 for WordPress; approximately $12 per month with a site builder
- Average cost to hire a web designer: Around $500 to $10,000 or more, depending on site requirements
Interested in learning more about all of the costs involved with WordPress? Get the complete rundown on all WordPress costs.
When to Hire a Web Designer
Those looking to build a site with unique capabilities, advanced customizations, and potentially custom coding might want to hire an expert to build their site. Even those who aren’t looking to reinvent the wheel when it comes to their site may want to outsource to a pro if they simply lack the time or want the peace of mind of having a professionally built site.
Consider hiring an expert if:
- Your website requires advanced customizations and coding
- You lack the time or bandwidth to build in-house
- You would prefer your site to be fully managed by the experts on an ongoing basis
How to Find a Web Design Expert
With the internet at your fingertips, you can easily find the right web design expert for your website project. Your unique website needs and requirements will help dictate how you should find a web designer. For example, if you need a standard business website, consider using 99designs or Fiverr to get a professionally designed site at a competitive price. If your site is more complex, use Upwork or work with a local web design agency.
Here are the best ways to find a web designer to build your site:
- 99designs: Nervous that you may not like the design one expert comes up with? Get multiple designs by using 99designs. There, you can submit your website proposal and receive 15 web design concepts to choose from for $599. If by odd chance you don’t like any of the design concepts you receive, you can get your money back.
- Fiverr: With Fiverr, you can find the perfect freelancer for your job. The best part is that with Fiverr, you know exactly what you’re getting and when you’re getting it, as projects (aka “gigs”) are prepackaged. Do note that the quality of work varies greatly by freelancer, so always get reviews, and consider opting for a Verified Pro.
- Upwork: There are tons of professional web designers working on a freelance basis. Find the right freelancer for you with Upwork. There, you can submit a job and get free proposals from web designers, including a quote and estimated turnaround time.
Wondering about a local web design firm? If you need a complex site that requires a good deal of custom code, use Google to search for web designers near you. Look at user reviews to gauge customer satisfaction, browse portfolios to get an idea of their style, and reach out for a quote.
When to Build Your Own Site
With an almost endless list of platforms and tools, it’s possible for nearly anyone to build a small business website without any technical or design experience. Businesses that are looking for an affordable option without complicated capabilities and are willing to spend their time building a site are good candidates for a website builder. Another benefit of building your own site is maintaining full control and the ease of managing it in-house.
Consider building your own website if:
- You have time to commit to building your site (no web design experience required)
- You’re on a tight budget
- You want full control over your site and plan to manage it in-house
Pro tip: It is possible to make a website with no technical abilities in a few steps using a drag-and-drop site builder plugin, such as Elementor or Beaver Builder, both of which enable you to easily build a site with WordPress. Check out our step-by-step guide to get started.
Most Popular DIY Website Platforms
You have two main ways to build your own website: with WordPress or an all-in-one site builder, such as Squarespace. While WordPress is the world’s leading content management system (CMS), it’s not the easiest CMS. For that reason, all-in-one site builders were designed to give people the ability to build their own professional website without any web design or technical experience.
Here are the best ways to build your own website with links providing step-by-step instructions:
Not sure which to choose? Get more insight on the best website builders.
Frequently Asked Questions
What’s the cheapest way to get a professionally made website?
While there are all sorts of low-cost services you can find online, the most straightforward way to get an ultra-affordable website professionally designed is to use Fiverr. It’s a freelancer marketplace where you can find a web design expert to build your website for you. Packages, or “gigs,” as Fiverr calls them, will vary in price by freelancer and your website needs. But, for reference, prices for a complete website build range from $50 to over $750.
Which is better: Squarespace or Wix?
Squarespace and Wix are two head-to-head competitors. While they’re both high-quality solutions for easily building a code-free and affordable website, they do have their differences. Generally, Squarespace is better for web design beginners as it’s more difficult to break templates, whereas Wix is better for those who want maximum design flexibility with a drag-and-drop builder.
Get the complete breakdown of Wix vs Squarespace.
Which is easier to make an online store with: Shopify or Square?
Most will find that Square is easier than Shopify. Though Shopify is a leading ecommerce site builder, it’s not the most user-friendly. Its editing interface offers very little customization capabilities, and the number of Shopify themes available leaves a lot to be desired. Square, on the other hand, has an easy-to-use site editor where you can make a site with little to no hassle. It’s also cheaper at $12 per month instead of Shopify’s $29 per month. Learn more about Shopify vs Square.