1) DIY 🤔
If you’re comfortable using online design tools, and you have the time, this could be the quickest and least expensive option. Think Squarespace or Wix. This is a good option for startups that don’t have a lot of content yet, small businesses that don’t intend on selling products online, and hobbyists who want to their own branded site. Keep in mind that a website is more than just a pretty design on the Internet, you’ll want create a marketing strategy around it, but more about that in another blog post.
2) 😉 Hire a professional.
Hiring an expert seems like the costly way to go, but we can tell you from experience that this is not the case. If you need a website with custom features and graphics, not to mention a website that is useful to your business goals, paying someone who knows what they’re doing will save you the time and money you would otherwise spend trying to learn how to do it yourself. The best part is that you will own your website and have complete control. A professional can guide you and work within your budget.
Let’s talk money…
The thing is, making a truly useful, professional looking website can get costly at first, but it can save you money later. Let’s work out the math for a DIY website, shall we?
Hosting & Design Tools
$18 – $29 each month to host and design your own website.
$216-$348 per year
Some DIY services include the domain, some others will charge you for it.
$3-$15 per year
Depending on the complexity of your site, you’ll spend anywhere from 20 – 80 hours of your time building it, and let’s say you value your time at $20/hour.
Depending on the size your of your business, you will need at least one professional email address. Some services include at least one account, others charge you up to $5 per account, per month. For now, let’s say you need only one email account.
$0-$5 per month
You will soon realize that updating your website is necessary. Let’s say you spend two hours making changes monthly, plus the cost of stock photos and/or graphics.
$40-$100 per month
So far our total falls within the $1,099 – $3,223 range for the first year. *
But wait, you have to keep paying some of this all over again next year, otherwise your website and email will be taken down. Not only that, your website may not look as professional as you imagined after all of that work. Your annual cost just to keep the website hosted and keep your domain would be about $231, plus any time you spend updating it.
What if you hire a professional?
Although sometimes included in the price of the website project, most often it is not.
$0-$29 per month
You’ll need at least one domain to get your website started.
$3-$15 per year
Pricing will depend on your needs, style preferences, and feature requests. A professional will not just build the website to look pretty, they will help you figure out how to link the new website to your branding and marketing goals.
$1000 – $10,000
Having a professional email is easy and affordable. Sometimes it comes free with the hosting, and sometimes you need to pay an additional fee. Let’s say you only need one account.
$0-$5 per month
Wouldn’t it be great to have a professional to help you update your website, fix errors, and expand your website’s functionality?
$29 – $425
Our range here is $1,351- $15,523 for the first year.*
Your annual cost to keep the website hosted and renew your domain would be pretty much the same–$231, plus any time to spend updating it.
Ultimately, hiring a professional to design your website will save you time and help you focus on running your business. Hopefully this post helps you figure out which option is best for your needs.
TIP: Ask for a discount. Professional web designers and developers have ways to find you discounts on hosting, domains, and other services. Because they can provide you with this services, sometimes you can end up spending less than by going with a DIY online tool.
Coming up: We will write about optimizing your website for marketing, and then about the pros/cons of DIY or professional websites.
*These prices are based on a 5-10 page website with basic functions–ideal for small to medium sized businesses.