If you are reading this blog, the question stated above is one that you have most likely asked yourself at some point. But before we answer the question of who you should hire, let’s look at another question: “Why do you want a website?”
Most of our clients have a pretty straightforward goal for their site. They want potential customers to be able to find their business online and they want their message to be clearly and professionally conveyed. They know that their website will be viewed as part of their brand and reputation—therefore, they want it done right. With that in mind, let’s look at the website creation options that are available to you.
Who doesn’t love a good weekend project right? I recently found plans to build a coffee table online and it worked out great. But that was for a coffee table.
Would I have tried going the DIY route when replacing my roof or rewiring a breaker box? No way. If my coffee table isn’t perfect, it’s not a big deal but I need the wiring in my house to be reliable. When something needs to be counted on—hire the pros.
With that being said, we understand that most startup businesses have a tight budget.
So if you are strapped for cash, you have to do whatever it takes to get the job done. BUT, if you can afford it, and you are viewing your site as an investment business asset that is going to work for you, we highly suggest passing on those DIY sites. You get what you pay for.
Free Lance Web Developer
Hiring a freelance web developer will likely give you more flexibility than you would find on a DIY type site. They may also be more cost-effective than going to a large agency or even a small web company, but it’s also less likely that the developer will be around to offer ongoing customer support.
Imagine that you had a new site built and the freelancer set you up on a third party hosting platform. Everything is going great for a few months and then all of a sudden there is an issue and nobody can visit your site. Is the problem with the site or the host? You can call the hosting company but you may not know a thing about the backend of your own site. So, you reach out to the freelancer but you can’t get a response.
That’s the thing with freelancers, they tend to move from project to project. You may catch them at a good time, or they might be in the middle of a massive project with a fast approaching deadline. A one-person shop can only handle so much.
Small Design Company
Small shops offer their clients an excellent (and affordable) alternative to the limiting functionality of a DIY site and the spotty customer support of freelancers. Still though, not all small shops are the same.
It’s important that you find a shop that has the technical knowledge to build a sound site and an eye for design to grab the user’s attention. Some focus too much on the site aesthetics and not the code behind it. A good small design firm should be balanced and skilled in both disciplines.
As far as ongoing customer support is concerned, it isn’t enough that a design company is available, they should also be responsive, competent, and trustworthy. Your website will need some TLC from time to time. From software updates to adding new products, images, or web copy, this maintenance takes some back and forth communication. Save yourself the headaches and pick a design company with excellent customer service.
Large Design Firm
Great if you can afford it. The topnotch designs and customer service that clients receive from large design agencies come with a major downside—price. With these prestigious firms, you are often not only paying for the quality of the work but also for the name brand.
We believe wholeheartedly that Jonesen is in the sweet spot. Our Team possesses the creativity and knowledge to rival the big shops at a price point that small businesses can afford. We know what it takes for small businesses to achieve success online, and we work hard to make that happen for our clients.
If you’re in the market for a new site, let’s talk about your needs and develop a game plan for online success!