As a web designer and developer I am approached by people all the time who are looking to hire a developer to build them a website. There are thousands of reasons one may need a website. Now more than ever, if you have something to say, something to sell, or need to raise support of any kind you will more than likely need a website!
Once you decide a website is something you need what do you do next? Let’s look at the normal process I see people go through.
You may start with a Google search for web designers or developers. After scrolling through a few hundred search results it will becomes apparent that there are quite a few of us, and picking a web designer or developer is not an easy task.
You will most likely start looking for recommendations. You begin asking friends and family if the know someone who “builds websites”. You may be sent someones email or website. Maybe that’s even how you ended up on this blog today!
You take a look at the designer/developer’s portfolio of work and see if you like his or her style. You may see if they’ve done work on sites similar to yours or in your industry. You may browse around their website and read up on how they talk about their services.
You make your move! You send them an email and set up your first meeting.
This is a great process and can lead to some very successful projects, HOWEVER I think there are a couple missing steps.
Thinking a bit more about your project and what type of web work you need before reaching out to a professional can drastically improve how you go about finding the right developer/designer for your website and could ultimately save you money! So without further ado.
Do you even need to hire a developer?
Let’s look at three reasons hiring a professional web designer/developer may NOT be for you.
1. Your budget is less than $1,000.
Budget is going to be one of our most compelling factors in whether you hire a developer. I use a $1,000 metric as a base budget for any project you’re looking to hire someone for. While you may find people who tell you they will build you a website for less, it’s a pretty good rule of thumb that if you’re paying less than $1,000 all in, your site will be sub-standard at least as far as professional sites go.
2. You’re tech savvy and have plenty of extra time on your hands.
This is by no means a rule for ALL websites. I would not recommend you building your own site if it is for a medium to large business, or an e-commerce business that will do medium to large volumes of traffic. However if you are needing a more basic site and think you can go it on your own there are TONS of amazing resources for those who need to put together an inexpensive and simple site. For basic sites I would recommend services like Wix or Weebly or for e-commerce sites I’d recommend Squarespace or Shopify*.
*The premier tiers of Shopify can and should be used in conjunction with a developer.
3. You can do what you need to on a FREE blogging or social media platform.
Is your sole purpose to have a place to post your blog entries? Or maybe you’re wanting to start a group to discuss your love for backpacking in Colorado. You may not even need a website (especially if you’re not planning for the project to generate revenue). There are literally hundreds of platforms you can quickly and easily set up to serve these functions. For blogging I recommend Medium.com or WordPress.com and for online communities I recommend Facebook Groups or Reddit. These are not going to be as robust and customizable as your own website. But unless you’re planning to create something that will generate revenue, or you have a ton of extra cash to throw at them, these free and easy options may be your best bet!
OK, so there you have 3 good reason you DON’T need to hire a developer for your project. While DIY solutions may be right for you, they can be very limiting and often times will leave you wanting more. If you can get past the #1 reason from this post and find a little more budget for your website, the benefit of a web professional is well worth the money! I will be posting another blog soon about the advantages of a professionally developed site and what to know before hiring your website developer/designer. Keep and eye out and until then keep exploring the incredible opportunities of the internet!