Web development used to be a process reserved only for tech-savvy engineers and computer science graduates. Today, all sorts of Do-It-Yourself tools exist to simplify things, making decent web development a process that nearly anyone can achieve.
Is this really a good idea, though? After all, just because you can, doesn’t mean you should.
Let’s review some of the pros and cons of DIY website development versus outsourcing it to the professionals.
Do it Yourself
DIY website development means one thing: control. You’re in charge from start to finish—from drag-and-drop editors to pre-established templates, DIY web development allows you to create your site on your own terms and without extensive technical skill.
The cost is usually reasonable too, as many online editors are free to use or only charge small fees for their services. DIY options are ideal for small blogs and micro-businesses that don’t need extensive or customized functionality.
Let’s be honest—if DIY web development was all it’s cracked up to be, boutique web development firms wouldn’t exist. Some folks who forge ahead on their own find the development process to be more than they bargained for—even with pre-set templates and applications. And honestly, many DIY editors aren’t as user-friendly as their sites claim.
Poor website development can lead to a storm of back-end compatibility issues, errors, and loss of functionality that may result in losing traffic and potential revenue.
Leave it to the Pros
A professional website development firm has the dedicated resources to create quality that’s hard for an amateur to match. And not just that—web development firms have the organizational infrastructure to clearly delineate project goals and timetables for completion.
Sure, DIY kits offered by Wix or Website Tonight make the creation process simple, but can they perform research and development? Will WordPress provide milestone-based client deliverables? Can Squarespace brainstorm customized themes that highlight the benefits of your site?
Don’t underestimate the value of experience in website development. Professionals can guide you through the development process, keep you informed on best practices for design, and ensure that both the back-end and user interface of your site run smoothly.
Not surprisingly, the biggest drawbacks of a dedicated site development firm are the costs. Some small businesses who prioritize staying lean might not have the revenue to outsource their web dev—leaving them with no other choice than DIY options. There’s also the matter of personal preference: those of us who are control-freaks might not like the idea of strangers designing the online face of our business.
In the end, you should assess your business model and personal skill set to determine your web development needs. Creating a website is easy—creating a website that is functional, attractive, and aligned with the specific goals of your business is a little bit harder.