By Tim Priebe
January 25, 2022

The pros and cons of DIY website design

When choosing a do-it-yourself or agency-built website, consider your resources.

There are a lot of pros and cons to DIY website design. On the one hand, it’s free, and you can do it yourself. On the other hand, professional web designers have years of experience and know-how to design a website that looks great and converts visitors into customers. Let’s look at the pros of each so you can know when it is best to DIY and when it is best to hire a professional.

Pros and cons to DIY web design

For many, the single biggest pro to DIY web design is the money saved. There are many reputable tools for building a free or extremely inexpensive website. Those include:

Each of these services offers customizable website templates.

If you have an eye for design, another advantage to doing it yourself is that you have complete control over the layout and design of the website. The catch here is that while many people think they have an eye for design, they’re still not nearly as good as a professional.

Finally, if you’re a lifelong learner, there is a huge opportunity for learning about web design, psychology, and the technical side of things by creating your own website.

As far as cons go, there are plenty. Here are three major disadvantages:

  1. The results will likely not be as good as hiring a professional.
  2. It usually takes longer for non-professionals to create a website.
  3. You may go through the entire process then decide you should have hired a professional. That can result in a lot of wasted time and plenty of frustration.

Pros and cons to investing in a professional web design agency

While I’m obviously biased, there are plenty of pros to hiring a professional web design agency. They have years of experience and know-how to create an effective website that looks great and accomplishes your goals.

If you hire someone that’s a good fit for you, they will save you time and ensure that your website is designed correctly and meets all requirements. And rather than relying on one person, an agency will have a team of experts who can help with all aspects of your website, potentially including:

  • Branding and logo design
  • Website design and strategic layout
  • Professional photography
  • Compelling writing that also appeals to search engines for SEO
  • Technical SEO
  • Ongoing hosting and support

The chances that any DIYer will be good at all of those things is extremely slim. Let’s just say that in nearly two decades in business, I’ve never seen any one person with all of those skillsets.

That said, even I’ll admit there are cons to hiring a professional web design agency. Here are a few:

  1. You may not have the budget for it. Depending on what stage of development your business or nonprofit is in, you may have way more time than money. Investing dozens or hundreds of hours may make more sense than hundreds or thousands of dollars.
  2. If you rush into things and hire an agency that isn’t a good fit for you, you can waste tons of money. If someone seems too eager to work with you, be wary!
  3. Some agencies use a proprietary CMS—Content Management System. In short, that means that if you ever decide to leave them, you can’t take your website with you.

The choice is yours

So, when should you DIY, and when should you hire a professional? If you’re on a tight budget or have more time than money, go for DIY web design. If you want an effective website that looks great and meets all your needs, hiring a professional is the way to go. Just be sure the agency is a good fit for you and your organization.

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About Tim Priebe

Tim is a public speaker, author, publisher of Edmond Business, and the owner of Backslash Creative. He helps businesses that are worried they don’t have the expertise or time required to invest in doing their own digital marketing. He helps them plan where and how much to invest and often helps execute the plan.

Tim started the Edmond Business online magazine in May 2020 to fill a need in the community when The Edmond Sun shut down and stopped publishing their monthly magazine, The Business Times.