The abundance of information available on the Internet created an upsurge of a Do-It-Yourself (DIY) mentality among the online community. It’s not uncommon to find many people wanting to do things “my way” based on information they simply picked up from the Internet – including cooking, home improvement, natural remedies, exercise and a host of other DIY tutorials that can be found online.
When it comes to designing and creating a website, some business owners are looking at the prospect from a DIY perspective, in an attempt to skimp on expenses by trying to build the website themselves or through in-house resources. The question is: would that be a really good idea? Will the business really benefit more if website design and development projects are done in-house/DIY-style or outsourced to professionals?
The following article takes a closer look and a fresh eye to this decision dilemma that many business owners have experienced at one time or another, particularly when it comes to building up their online presence.
The infographic (click to zoom-in):
DIY vs Outsource – How to Decide?
When it comes to website design and development projects (or other projects for that matter), a dividing line separates the community of business owners into two distinct groups: one choosing to build their websites in-house or through DIY methods while a second group believes such projects should be outsourced to professionals.
In a report from HubSpot entitled “The Science of Website Redesign”, it was highlighted that out of 60 businesses that participated in the study, 44% outsourced the redesign of their website to an external agency while 33% used internal resources to perform the task in-house. Outsourcing expectedly incurred bigger expenditures as compared to the cost incurred by in-house staff.
In terms of cost, the DIY or in-house option seemed like a much better choice that outsourcing the project. But is it the better choice? Others may argue that web development projects should be done by professionals or outsourcing agencies. But is outsourcing to an external company really worth the extra expenses? The following sets of questions can help you decide:
Do You Have the Internal Resources to Get the Job Done In-House?
To answer this question, you should take a very honest look at your own skills and that of your staff. Do you have the kind of people like the ones outlined below who can perform or build the major components needed to create an effective website?
- Online Marketing expert – Create the overall web strategy, define target visitors and their needs, and identify web analytics indicators to measure website success.
- Graphic Design expert – Great web design is more than just putting in pictures, choosing a bunch of colors, and uploading graphic elements. A good web graphic design experts knows that these design elements is a vital part in giving information and connecting with targeted visitors.
- Web Development expert – The framework behind a website is its code. An optimized code is need for an efficient, fast-loading and responsive website that is easy to view from any popular gadgets and devices in today’s modern world.
- Copywriting expert – Good, original content is required to effectively deliver the message your business wants to relay to targeted customers through your website, highlight the business USP (Unique Selling Proposition), optimize for search engine visibility, and capture the prolonged attention of targeted visitors.
- Project Management expert – A website design and development project should be professionally managed to ensure work is done within time and budget allocations.
Can You or an In-House Person Get the Job Properly and Single-handedly?
Small business owners have a natural tendency of performing certain tasks themselves, including DIY website design and development. Or they could have an in-house staff with design or development qualifications and turn them into a one-man website team. However, it is very rare to find a single person that possesses all the required technical competencies and creative attributes to create a professional website. The person may be competent in one aspect but not with the other.
Do You or Your In-House Staff have the Time to Focus on the Project?
Creating a good and professionally-built website needs adequate time and focus to get the job done, luxuries that busy business owners and their staff may not have. Spending time on a DIY website design and development project will take time away from core activities that may affect your overall business operations
If you can address each of the questions above in a positive light, then performing a DIY website design and development project may be a viable proposition. If you and your business lack the manpower, skills and resources to perform each of the requirements for building a professional website, then outsourcing the project to an external provider may be a more viable option. But first, you must have a clear understanding of the kind of professionals you may be dealing with.
Knowing the Types of Web Design and Development Professionals
Professional website design and development agencies may have one or more teams of website-building experts as outlined in the list below. Each of these teams have specific focus areas in the design and development aspects of the project, so it would be best to have a clear understanding of what a particular team is meant to deliver.
- Web Designers
Web design professionals focus on the aesthetic aspects of website building. They focus on designing the proper layout, graphics, font selection, font sizes, color combinations, themes, navigational controls and other graphical elements of the website.
- Web Developers
Web development professionals focus on the technical aspects of the website building, particularly with regards to website code, framework and overall infrastructure.
- Internet Marketers
Internet marketers are professionals whose main focus is to drive relevant traffic to your website through several online techniques available including social media and Search Engine Optimization (SEO).
- Content Providers
Basically, the main content of your website is provided in-house, although many website owners are also outsourcing this task to virtual assistants or freelancers who can create professional and SEO optimized content in their behalf. This includes articles, blog posts, white papers, news, press releases, infographics, slideshows, video, and animation.
Once you’ve defined what type of website building professional you need, the next step is to learn how you can find good professionals that can work with your website design and developmental needs.
How to Look for a Web Design and Development Professionals
When hiring professionals to build your website, it is important to understand that it is not really wise to immediately hire the first professional you came across with just because they offer a very affordable compensation requirement. There are many considerations to look and the following can give you a brief overview of some of the most important aspects that can help you with your search for website design and development professionals.
- Check their expertise by looking at their portfolio
- Check their experience with modern designs and technologies
- Perform online searches about the provider and watch out for red flags about their services
- Ask for references or information about previous customers
- Compare prices with other providers but remember that low prices are not the only criteria
- Gauge how well they can communicate with you and the level of quality customer service
- Check how well they would respond to possible changes and modifications in the design
There are other considerations aside from what was listed above and these will be discussed in further detail in upcoming articles in the near future. In the meantime, the list above provides an overview of what website owners should look at when outsourcing website design and development work to external service providers.
Pros and Cons: A Comparison between DIY and Outsourced Web Design and Development
The following summarizes and compares the pros and cons of building your website using in-house or DIY methods and outsourcing work to an external provider:
Pros of DIY Web Design and Development
- More savings
- You have full creative control of design and content / Personal touch
- Gives you sense of achievement
- Empowers your staff
Cons of DIY Web Design and Development:
- Consumes considerable man-hours that should be allocated for core activities
- Additional work load for you or your staff
- Customization may be limited due to lack in skills
- Higher possibility of very costly errors
Pros of Outsourced Web Design and Development
- Cost-effective if seen from the big picture
- Can be done in parallel without affecting normal business operations
- Reduces workload for you and your staff
- Professional features and higher levels of customization is possible
Cons of Outsourced Web Design and Development:
- Higher initial cost outlays
- Less creative control in the design
- Needs additional assessment and sourcing out service providers
- Subject to availability of service provider
With everything else laid out, the only decision remaining is whether you or your staff can take on the responsibility of building your website in-house, considering the availability of skills and other resources, or outsourcing the task to external experts and professionals. The final decision will depend on your current business situation – which only you as the business owner can ultimately decide on.
Whatever your choice may be, the fact remains that if you’re planning to build a website for your business, you have clearly understood how important a website is in taking your business and operations into a higher level of competitiveness in a constantly evolving market.
Download this infographic.