So you’re in need of a new website and before making any decisions you realise you have 3 options:
1) Pay a web developer
2) Sign up for online website building software
3) Learn to build it yourself properly
But which one is the best option? Well we prefer to advise people that they should always build their own website – “yes, but you’re a website training provider – of course you’re going to say that!” we hear you cry! Well, fair point but we cannot stress enough that there are MAJOR benefits to learning to build your own website over the other two options.
Pay A Web Developer
This is the typical option people choose because it’s easy and feels like someone else is taking all the stress away. Which can be true, however when you start to add up all the time and money you’re going to spend on someone else building your website, you can start to feel frustrated and wish you’d just done it yourself! Trust us…we’ve all been there when we were just starting out!
Cost-wise, unless you’re getting a friend of a friend to build your site then you are typically looking at a standard fee of about £1000 for a decent promotional website with approx 5 pages and all your content on there. This isn’t in reference to an ‘all bells and whistles’ website either, we really mean bog-basic. So the more challenging your site becomes to make, the more your cost increases – simple as that.
So let’s just say you need a simple promotional website which just showcases your key services and all information about your business. You’ll immediately have to pay the £1000 payment for that site to be built. So straight away your down on money. Then on top of this you’ll have to pay for your website domain name and hosting package (Domain Name = ‘www.yoursitehere.com’ – Hosting Package = where all the website files are stored so that your website exists online) which you’ll also have to pay on a yearly basis…whether you or someone else builds your site you will always have to pay these administration fees. So even more upfront money has gone.
Then in terms of your time, you will be required to provide your developers with all the wording on the site (just as you would if you built it yourself) and also supply them with your own images (again, same principal). So please don’t think using a web developer is a ‘get out of jail free card’ and you don’t have to do anything. You’ll still have to spend a lot of time developing your own content to fill the site, so you’re really just paying a web developer to make the site to look pretty in all honesty – you will be supplying the content.
So the time passes, your site gets built and you’re happy. Now what? Well a year passes, your company grows and perhaps you want to add some new team members to the site, a couple of new services you now provide and maybe you’ve even moved office location so need to update some contact details. What happens now? Well you go back to the people that built your website and will pay them an hourly/daily rate to complete all changes you want to make! Now this isn’t in any way meant to be a derogatory dig at web developers, of course they should be paid for their time – my point is you have to pay EVEN MORE money when you want to make simple changes to your site! And this will always happen forevermore as long as you have that website. As soon as you need a change made you’ll need to go back to the developers and pay them to update anything. So when using a web developer you are really tying yourself down to a life-long relationship with them in which you’ll always find yourself paying out for additional costs.
And finally let’s say you fall out with the web developers (trust me, it happens!) and you want to take your site to someone else? Well that my friend is EVEN MORE money. You’ll have to pay to take ownership back of the site in terms of transferring all files/hosting/domains etc to the new web developers and also some companies will put it in their Terms & Conditions that they own the ‘code’ to your website…this is an even worse scenario. This means they basically own your website and you’ll have to buy them out in order to take back YOUR website. This is a true ‘worst-case scenario’ but I’ve seen it happen many times and it is something to be aware of.
So in this instance you’ve:
– Spent a very large upfront cost to get the site built
– You’ve spent a lot of time and effort supplying all the content
– You’ll spend even more money getting updates and changes made to the site forevermore
– You’re tied down to the web developers for as long as you have the site
So what difference would there have been if you simply learned to build the website yourself?
– Spent a small upfront course fee to learn to build your site
– Spent the exact same amount of time creating your own content
– Spent NO money making changes/updates to your site since you control everything
– You’re not tied down to ANYONE since you own EVERYTHING
“We’ll when you put it like that Kelvin, then why isn’t everyone building their own websites?”…I know right!? It’s simply due to fear of the unknown and I totally understand that. Many people think of building a website and immediately just envision a matrix world of numbers and code – but it’s honestly not like that anymore!
Gone are the days of having to know html-coding and own expensive software in order to build a website. Now there are so many available FREE resources which allow you to build a website in the comfort of your own home and in your own time.
We personally use ‘WordPress’ which is an incredible piece of free online website building software which allows you to build professional websites using pre-made ‘themes’ that give you total control over all elements on the site, whilst enabling you to preview how the style of the website looks. So taking a course in learning to use WordPress can be a serious game-changer for many as it allows you to build your site and then have full control over all elements when it comes time to update and expand your site.
Website Building Software
Now this is a grey area, since as I stated above we use WordPress to teach people how to build their websites – and this is TECHNICALLY ’Website Building Software’…but not in the sense of what I’m describing in this next section. Here I am referencing online companies who offer you a program where you simply drag and drop your elements and physically build your website visually – I’m trying to avoid using any names here as I do not wish to slander anyone!
The point I’m making here is there are companies online which allow you to simply build a website using their software, however you’re not actually ‘building’ the site in the traditional sense, you are literally dragging and dropping elements all over the place and the system is trying to code your site to look how you’ve just dropped everything in your visual builder. There are 2 issues with this:
1) Because of the method in which these builders work, they are 99% of the time AWFUL code – which means the chances of your website ranking in search engines (google, yahoo etc) are very low. This is terrible for business since almost all of your website visitors will be finding your site by using search engines. The reason we use WordPress is because the themes that you use to build your site are all professionally coded so they are ready to be indexed by all search engines. Also a key aspect is that WordPress uses WORDS for every element (I realise how dumb that sounds!) which is very important to search engines – but many of these online builders will simply use images (or similar) in-place of words which means there’s nothing for that poor search engine to actually…search…therefore you don’t appear!
2) Although there are how-to-guides available for these online builders, you are VERY much left to figure it all out on your own once you sign. You can actually end up spending more time searching the internet for ‘how to do something’ than actually building your website! This is why we offer our training courses since they are easy to follow step-by-step guides following professional, industry standard methods. By the end of our courses you will have built your own website and have the knowledge to then update and make changes whenever you want.
So although it may initially seem appealing to use a ‘simple’ website builder to create your website, you can actually end up wasting a lot of time and effort then end up just getting rid of the site all together and starting from scratch on something else…again we’ve all been there as well in the early days!
So to conclude, the key reasons we like to tell people to learn how to build their own websites is because:
– You will own and control every aspect of your website
– You save a LOT of money by avoiding upfront and ongoing fees from web developers
– Once you’ve built your site you will then have the knowledge to change, update and develop your site whenever you want
– Using WordPress ensures you are building an industry-standard site which search engines will index properly
– You will be shown step-by-step by industry professionals to ensure you know exactly what you’re doing
So if this sounds like the right choice for you then feel free to check out our ‘Build Your Own Website Course’ here and we’ll see you there!