Years ago, creating your own website was extremely difficult.
Your ‘DIY’ options were limited, and beyond paying a developer thousands of dollars, your only other option was to learn basic coding skills like HTML in order to throw up something that looked half-decent (and didn’t cost you a fortune).
The end result was merely OK. And it took HOURS to pull off.
Thankfully, times have changed.
Especially now with a Content Management System (CMS) like WordPress, it’s never been easier to get our own website up-and-running in only a few hours.
However, there’s still a lot of confusion around this topic unfortunately.
For example, I still get 8-10 questions a month on this topic. People are under the impression that they still have to outsource or pay an expert hundreds (if not thousands) of dollars just to put together a simple website for their business or personal use.
And some people, like James below, want to know whether I think they can really do it (or if they should find someone else to help them).
Hey Robert. I have no experience in creating websites whatsoever, so I’m a bit scared to start. I was wondering maybe I should outsource it? It’s mainly for my business, but I don’t have a big budget to spend on it. Maybe you can suggest me something?
James is understandably anxious about trying to create his own business website. It’s one of the first places people will look for information about him, and credibility is everything. A mediocre website might frighten off potential customers and cause James to loose out on sales.
But on the other hand, he also admits that he doesn’t have a ton of money either. So even if he did outsource the work, his options are going to be restricted based on his limited budget.
Here was my reply:
Hey James. So you need to set up a business website, right?
While I definitely understand your hesitancy, I always suggest people try to set up their own website by themselves first. Even though it might look a little daunting at first, it’s honestly not that difficult once you get the hang of it. And you’ll be able to put your small budget towards promoting the new website once it goes live to bring in more customers.
Here are the simple 3 main steps to get started
- First up, go to my website homepage: https://websitesetup.org. There you’ll find clear instructions — written in plain English! — that will walk you through the initial setup process step-by-step.
- Next, you’ll need to get a domain and hosting account. Unfortunately, these are always required when setting up any business website.
- Now use WordPress to create your site! Most reputable web hosts have a ‘one-click-installation’ process that’s super easy to use. And once you’re able to log in, you’ll find that WordPress is very intuitive and user-friendly. You’ll be able to start making updates immediately to create a pretty good looking site in just a short amount of time.
Just make sure the web developer uses WordPress!
Why? At the end of the day, you’ll still be able to add, update, or remove content by yourself without needing to hire someone every time there’s an update or change required. Best of all, there’s no knowledge of coding required!
For example, here’s one tutorial on how to add content to your WordPress site: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ahkPUB-rnQ8
As I mentioned above (in my reply), outsourcing can be an option if you think that WordPress is too hard for you. So here are some Pros and Cons to consider when weighing up your options.
Outsourcing website creation (Pros And Cons)
The good news, is that you can always decide to outsource your website creation if things prove too difficult. However, I wanted to be sure and explain the typical Pros and Cons you run into when trying to hire someone to build a site for you.
- You don’t have to do anything besides adding content when it’s finished.
- You’ll save some time trying to set everything up.
- You don’t have to learn anything new (although WordPress is fairly easy and user-friendly).
- You will spend some money, usually around $300 – $3000 (and possibly even more) on the low end.
- You will still have to add content to your site. Web developers typically don’t add any content to your site. If they do, they will definitely charge you more money for it.
- You might get scammed. Unfortunately, you need to be aware of this possibility and protect yourself just in case. Here’s a great guide on avoiding being scammed when hiring developers. And here’s another one thorough guide – How web designer asked $2000 for a site that costs $30.
So… which way should I go?
If you have a little discretionary time, go ahead and try building a website for yourself first. (Especially if you are on a budget and are worried about possibly getting scammed.) The worst case scenario is that you spend a few hours learning something new and will know at least understand the basics behind building a website.
If you’re lucky enough to have a friend or colleague who designs websites and is reliable, let him or her do the job for you! Just don’t overpay. Most of the WordPress themes you’ll look at are free, while even the paid ones are less than a $100 bucks typically. In fact, you can install any theme by yourself within few minutes and save some cash at the same time.
In short, if you are pretty familiar with basic internet activities like, browsing, writing e-mails, or buying online – you are most definitely capable of setting up a website by yourself.
It might take you 20 minutes to a couple hours, but at the end of the day, you should have a fully working website online (and a few new skills to go along with it).