Having a fully-functional website is no longer optional nowadays. Instead, it’s a basic requirement for doing business online. Consumers want the brands they work with to have a website, but not just any website.
Your company website is essentially the first point of contact between your business and a potential customer. It must not only be designed impeccably, but also built to convert incoming leads.
This brings on the question if you should outsource your website’s development to an agency or do the work yourself. If you haven’t yet made a decision, here is a complete list of the pros and cons associated with hiring a web development agency versus doing it yourself.
Web development agencies specialize in the complete process of designing, building, and testing your website. Small and large agencies exist across the United States, as web design is in high demand.
Hiring a web development agency to build your website is considered to be the traditional route. Both small and large companies opt to hire an agency for different reasons.
However, making this choice isn’t right for everyone. Below are the pros and cons of hiring a web development agency for your upcoming website project.
Web design agencies have the resources at their disposal to develop top-notch websites. Usually, a web development agency will employ all of the following:
The collection of all of these resources ensures that your website will be developed by a large team that can focus on every important detail. If you were to develop your website yourself, you could fall short in areas where you lack technical expertise, such as: content writing, SEO, and coding.
Once you hire a web development agency, you’ll receive a proposal that will lay out the framework of your project. This proposal will provide more details about the deadline for your website in specific deliverables.
Working around the clock, your agency will complete your website’s development with minimal delays, especially if they’re highly-experienced. Many people just don’t have the time to create their own website.
It can take anywhere from 16 to 48 weeks to build a website, depending on how complex the site will be and if there are any custom features. This time frame remains the same for agencies with full-time employees and freelancers.
It would take an average person much longer to build a website. If you’re a business owner, it may take even longer.
Most people who build their own websites resort to using DIY applications, such as WordPress, Wix, Squarespace, etc. While many of these solutions will allow you to create an excellent website, there are limitations.
These solutions allow users to select from a library of templates to build their website. If you want a custom-built website with unique features, then you’ll probably need to consult a web development agency.
For example, if you want to develop an e-Commerce website with several distinct category pages, doing it yourself isn’t the best idea. You could end up spending months trying to find a template that works for you.
The better solution is to hire a web development agency that will design your website exactly the way you want it.
Again, DIY website builders like WordPress and Wix don’t tell users that there is more to building a successful website than choosing a fillable template. The other half to developing a successful site is optimizing it to rank well on major search engines like Google and Bing.
There are trillions of websites on the internet, and search engines use algorithms to rank each website based on specific factors, which include:
As you can see, building a website is more about choosing the best design. It has to be technically structured to endure a tough online market, where potential customers can choose dozens of other websites instead of yours.
Hiring a website development agency isn’t cheap. Depending on your project’s requirements, you could pay anywhere from $2,000 to $15,000 for a standard website. eCommerce websites generally cost more since they’re more complex, ranging past $20,000.
Website costs can vary. Reputable web development agencies will almost always have higher rates, which can make small businesses uncomfortable. Nonetheless, choosing a sketchy and inexperienced agency can also be a hassle as well.
This creates a dilemma, as business owners often are forced to pay high prices for a website.
Vetting a web development agency can take a lot of time and hard work. To find the best agency for your business, you’ll need to browse online reviews, check references, and browse the past work of a prospective agency.
If you don’t have a lot of time on your hands, selecting the most suitable web design company can be challenging. This can lead you to making a premature decision and regretting it much later.
After your website is finished, what do you do? Websites require maintenance, and someone needs to remain invested in creating blog posts, scouting for new keyword opportunities, and improving its SEO ranking.
The unfortunate truth about web development agencies is that many of them only specialize in building websites. Ultimately, you’ll have to pay more money in hiring a marketing agency to make your website work for you.
With the internet and video streaming platforms like YouTube, handling DIY tasks have never been easier. With a quick Google search, you may find all of the information you need to create a brilliant website.
Is there a catch? There are certainly pros and cons you have to weigh before moving forward, which include:
This isn’t to say that a website development agency won’t live up to your expectations. However, most people have such a creative mind that it’s difficult for them to interpret what they want.
By creating their own website, they can easily design it the way they want without having to fully explain their ideas. WordPress and Wix make it possible to develop a functional website in a few hours.
If you find a template you like, you’ll have full creative control over your own web project.
One of the best benefits of developing your own website is that you can save money, particularly thousands of dollars. While you’ll still be responsible for paying for the domain name, hosting, and web builder fees, you’ll ultimately avoid having to break the bank.
For small and local businesses with limited financial means, this is a very lucrative advantage in favor of building a website in-house instead of outsourcing the work to an outside agency.
Although you’ll have full creative control over your website, your lack of developmental experience will become apparent as far as quality is concerned. Again, available website builders use templates.
If you need a distinct website to perform a unique function, then you may be out of luck. Templates cannot be directly altered, so you’ll need to add plugins to reinforce your website.
If there aren’t any plugins available, then you’re forced to accept your website the way it is. That may not be an option if you’re planning on starting an online store of a consultant business.
Web development agencies perform rigorous tests before finishing a project. This is to ensure that a completed website is fully functional and free from any major and subtle issues.
If you build your own website, then there’s a great chance you’re going to make a lot of mistakes that will go unnoticed. Once your website is live, these mistakes can hinder potential customers from doing business with you in two main ways.
To begin, technical issues such as 404 errors occur when a specific web page cannot be found. This is a rookie mistake people can make when replacing existing web pages with new pages. If a potential customer lands on a deleted page and receives a 404 error, it’ll prevent them from possibly contacting you and learning more about your company.
Also, technical issues are unprofessional and can give off the worst first impression to incoming leads.
If you choose to build your own website, you may not pay thousands of dollars toward an agency. But, you will certainly pay much more money towards a replacement in the future.
If your DIY website isn’t what you want, you may spend more money in hiring a freelancer to open the hood and make some adjustments. You may also have to pay for a replacement in the future if your website is completely subpar.
To maintain a successful website, you should focus on the return on investment (ROI). Although you may pay more for a website from a web development, you’ll make so much more money in online revenue from conversions.
If you do it all yourself, then your website will essentially bleed money by the day. A website is an extension of your marketing strategy, and it should be treated also like an investment.
If you decide to build a custom website for yourself and avoid templates altogether, you will spend a lot of time learning the basics and advanced courses of professional website design.
If you have time on your hands, it may take several months for you to be able to build your own website. If you’re busy like most people, it’ll take even longer. Learning how to build a great website rests in your ability to not only grasp coding, but also user experience (UX), SEO, and digital marketing.
So, what is the better option: hiring a web development agency or doing it all yourself? Everyone will have their natural preference of how much they want to spend and if they think either option suits them.
For most people who want a stylish, functional, and high-converting website, doing it themselves isn’t the best option. These websites can only be created by professionals within a reasonable time and budget.
Do you need a functional website for your brand and want to hire an agency to handle your project. We provide professional web development services for all kinds of businesses.
Contact us today to learn more about our services.
Ryan is the VP of Operations for DEV.co. He brings over a decade of experience in managing custom website and software development projects for clients small and large, managing internal and external teams on meeting and exceeding client expectations–delivering projects on-time and within budget requirements. Ryan is based in El Paso, Texas.