DIY Website Design or Hire It Out
Tough decisions: DIY website design or hire it out? You are on a budget, but you’ve heard that 75% of consumers browse online before shopping (if you haven’t you may want to read THIS) and you don’t have a website. “How can I afford it?” is probably what’s going through your mind right now. “Can I do it myself?” Here’s the lowdown… you probably can do it yourself!
“It’s better to know how to learn than to know.” Dr. Seuss
Whether you decide on a DIY website design or you decide to hire it out, there is going to be a cost associated with it. First, you will need to purchase a domain name (that’s the name that goes after www to find your site). You have a few options here. I typically purchase domains on GoDaddy, but there are a bunch of others you could use. A word of caution for my Puerto Rico customers; the .pr extension is not sold by the more widely used companies. They have to be purchased through a different company. They are charging around $1,000 a year for the .pr extension. Compare that to the $20 a year for a .com and make your decision. If you really need the .pr extension, then be ready to pay big bucks.
Next, you will also need to purchase hosting. This is where your domain will reside. I currently use hosting by Hostgator, but will probably be switching to SiteGround very soon. Look thru the various options they have. If you will be using WordPress, which I highly recommend, then take a look at the WordPress hosting packages. You can use a regular shared hosting as well, but WordPress hosting takes it up a level and the price difference isn’t that much. In addition, which is one of the reasons I’m switching to SiteGround, look to see if they allow encryption thru Let’s Encrypt, which is free. (Some hosting companies will charge you for encryption. Oh, encryption will make your site an https rather than an http. In order to rank well in search engines in the near future, https is a must!) If you are planning on selling online, you want to provide your customers a secure website for their purchases. SiteGround has a really good package that works for me. But again, shop around. Find one that works for you.
Once hosting has been purchased, your next step is to set up your email. Email is typically included with your hosting package. So, you can setup your email to go along with your domain name. Instead of [email protected], you can have [email protected] (This looks so much more professional!)
DIY Website Design
Installing Word Press would be your next step. This is what I would recommend, but you have other options as well. I use wordpress.org. This is also FREE! Can you tell I love FREE? Most hosting packages will give you the option of downloading WordPress for free with a one-click install.
Now that you have WordPress installed, you can search through their many free and paid themes and install it. Review the different themes for one that you like and has the functionality that you want. Once your theme has been installed, you can start to add your content, publish and you are ready to go! You have a basic WordPress website! If you need help with any of this, YouTube is your friend. Everything can be learned if you have the time. You don’t need a programming degree to get a website up in WordPress, but you do need the time, energy and will to learn. This can take a lot of time! Who knows? I may write a post on setting this up. It would be a pretty big post. We’ll see. For now, YouTube is your friend.
Hire It Out
To really enhance your website, you should include SEO, Analytics and strategically placed Calls-to-Action. In addition, since 50% of consumers use mobile devices to browse, your website should be responsive. If this seems overwhelming or you simply do not have the time, then my suggestion would be to hire it out. Obviously, I’m going to recommend Alianzas Web Design, but there are a lot of great designers out there to choose from. You will need to select one that works well with you.
There are many options for free templates and hosting that can get your website up and running in no time; but will your website connect to your audience? Will your website convert browsers to buyers? Hiring the work out takes this up a notch. The hired agency’s goal is to help you generate sales. They will be able to create a website that is not only appealing, but a site that converts. This is one of the key problems with a DIY website design or those free templates. They don’t really convert. Yet, that is the purpose of a business website. It should ultimately lead to sales. Yes, there is a bigger investment. But the truth is, your website is a business investment.
Those are your options. Only two to choose from. Do-It-Yourself website design or hire it out, but get a website now. It’s the best business investment you can make today.