So, you’re asking yourself: should I hire a professional developer (ahem) or do it myself?
Before I answer your question, let me ask you a question first (don’t you love when people do that?):
Do you know the difference between a web designer and a web developer?
One of us works on the look and feel of a website, the other focuses on how to make a website do the things you want it to do. Now, quick, decide which is which.
It’s pretty easy, right?
So, to answer your question:
Yes, I firmly believe you should hire a professional to develop your website, and here’s why:
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It takes too long to learn how to code
To truly understand what you’re doing in web development, you’ll have to invest plenty of thankless hours staring at a computer screen. It takes tons of trial and error to figure out why the exact same line of code doesn’t work for you even though it works for someone else. The life of a web developer is spent building logical, intricate, and flexible webs.
It’s not as easy as it looks, folks. We’re basically coffee-powered spiders.
If you’re hoping to save money by DIYing the backend of your web design, you’ll end up caught in your own web.
It takes time (years) to learn how to code effectively without getting confused and frustrated by disobedient code. Your time is better spent doing what you do best: growing your business, interacting with your community, and creating valuable products, services, and content for your customers. Prioritize your time by hiring others when necessary to build a professional, high quality product.
Hiring a professional saves you money
Piggybacking off of the above,
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Here’s how: To develop your site by yourself, you’ll take away time you could be using elsewhere to acquire and work with clients. For example, let’s say it takes you 20 hours to create and fully develop a website from scratch (it’ll probably take much longer than that, if you’re a complete beginner). That’s 20 hours you could’ve used to work with (and bill) clients.
How much do you make per hour?
That’s how much you’ll lose per hour by attempting to develop your own site.
And then what happens when you inevitably run into a roadblock? You’ll spend even more time (and possibly money) in troubleshooting the problem.
“Free” sounds good initially, but you may pay for it in the end.
You can create a unique website
There are a ton of website builders out there that produce cheesy, generic websites. I don’t want you to suffer the same fate. Friends don’t let friends create cheesy websites.
Instead, aim for a website that wows your customers, and makes them feel like you’re the right choice.
You’ll do that with a website that offers a unique browsing experience-- one that interacts with users quickly and intuitively. That’s why you should run far away from cookie cutter website templates. A cookie cutter website can’t possibly create the customized browsing experience you’d like to offer your visitors.
Coding changes all the time
Let’s say you’ve completely ignored what I just said (it happens) and decided to code your site anyway.
What happens when standards change and your website (which used to be on page one of the search results) is now so far buried that Indiana Jones has been sent to find it?
It happens more than you think. Google frequently comes out with new updates to their search engine algorithm, changing how results are displayed. If you’re not aware of these updates or how to tweak your site accordingly, it could tank your search engine rankings.
You’re worth the investment
I love the idea of saving money where it counts, but your website is no place to pinch pennies. It’s the first impression users have of you and your brand. Do you want to convey the message that you’re a generic, interchangeable brand that’s okay with looking and behaving just like everyone else?
Or do you want to present your brand as fresh, innovative, smart, and dedicated to a customized user experience?
I bet I know the answer.
Your brand isn’t like anyone else’s, so why should your website be a carbon copy? You deserve to be an original.
User experience is a priority
User experience should never be sacrificed. Form and function work together in beautiful harmony. It’s not enough for your website to look good. It must be able to interact with the user on demand. Can your website do that?
With user experience, you need to pay special attention to these two areas (or hire someone to do it):
Your website should load quickly on all browsers, including mobile ones. Information architecture makes a huge impact on the speed of your website.
Mobile browsing is a priority for all websites, and is absolutely essential for search engine optimization (SEO). Your website should respond to all viewports immediately without the need to pinch to zoom.
There are many more areas of user experience, but these two areas can make or break how visitors interact with your site.
No matter how lovely your site, folks won’t stick around if it’s slow to load.
No matter how perfect your content, very few people are patient enough to magnify your text on smaller screens.
When it comes to user experience, it’s all about the small stuff. If you’re more of a big picture person, it’s best to hire someone who can handle the details. This is how you’ll create a flawless website browsing experience.
Over to You
Are you ready to create an engaging user experience? I offer three types of development services to help you create the best darn web project ever. Let’s work together.
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