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DIY vs Professional Web Design: Which is Best for your Small Business?

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Figuring out how to design your small business website? We’re here to help with both DIY and professional web design recommendations!

A group of people participate in DIY web design.

DIY vs. Professional Web Design

As a local business in Colorado Springs, we’ve assisted small businesses of all kinds with web design, leveraging our expertise in the field. When it comes to web design, it’s important to do your research. Identifying whether a DIY website vs a professional one is best for your small business is a great place to start! 

At Succeeding Small, our goal is to give our clients the resources they need to achieve their goals! Through experience with our clients, we’ve seen firsthand just how different each small business is from another. There is no one-size-fits-all approach to web design. As a small business owner, you hold the power when it comes to the web design techniques you choose. 

The biggest question:

Is DIY or professional web design the best option for your business? 

Let’s break it down!

Identify your Website Goals & Budget

Before choosing the best web design option for your business, identify your goals! Your small business is unique, and as the owner, you know what it needs. The development and design of a website is a big business decision. 

For example, the website of an e-commerce store will have different goals than that of a service-based business. This is because one shop aims for online sales, and the other for clicks and contacts. Evaluating your company and your website goals will allow you to understand what web design options are right for your business.

Designing your website can be expensive and time-consuming. This is why free website builders like Wix and Squarespace have become more popular. While they can be handy, they’re not the best option for every business. Let’s discuss what design option will be the best fit for you and your business!

DIY vs Professional Web Design

There are pros and cons to both building your own site and hiring a professional designer. 

Building your own website requires investing a significant amount of time in learning new skills. Once you acquire the necessary skills, building the site from scratch will also be a large time commitment. Taking into consideration how much time you’re able to invest into your site can be a determining factor of whether you go the DIY route or not.

On the other hand, hiring a professional website developer is a simpler solution for business owners with little free time. Going the professional route will allow you to save time, ensure that the site will be of high quality, and enable you to meet your goals. Of course, this option is more costly and friendlier for businesses with a bigger budget. 

Web designers can charge anywhere from $20 to $200 an hour, with the average charge typically being $75 an hour. Depending on the designer or company, they could offer a flat rate or an annual one. Many web designs charge for the yearly maintenance of a site, which is necessary for it to perform well. This is why it’s important to keep your business’s future and budget in mind. 

Professional web designers plan a website.

Web Design Tips for Beginners

If you decide to do it yourself or want to work with a professional on your site’s design decisions, here are some helpful web design tips

First, establish a brand identity for your business. Take these questions into consideration:

  • What’s your brand’s tone? For example, will it be portrayed as knowledgeable, friendly, or intuitive?
  • What sets you apart from your competitors? What ‘it’ factor will be displayed on your site?
  • How do you want to serve your customers? How will you communicate this on your site?

Next, prepare an identity package for your company! An identity package is an organized file where all of the branded content for your site will be stored for you to reference. Select your logos (primary and secondary), colors, fonts, and any other relevant content that visually defines your brand!

Having a unique brand image on your site is important, but be sure to keep it organized and uncluttered. Choosing a user-friendly font and a limited color scheme are important web design techniques to consider. Doing so allows you to have a website that effectively displays your brand image but is not overwhelming and cluttered. 

Many web design decisions will determine how your site performs. Various factors affect your site’s speed and ranking on Google. An important one is how your site is modified for mobile use. Optimizing your site for mobile allows users to have a good experience viewing your site from their phones! In other words, neglecting to optimize your site for mobile use will result in the formatting and layout looking different compared to when you designed it for desktop viewers.

Most sites offer a viewing tab that allows you to switch between desktop and mobile perspectives, enabling you to adjust both to your liking!

Professional Website Design

If you’re a business owner with no web design experience with a flexible budget for a professional web designer, this option is great for you! 

The two primary professional web design providers are companies and freelancers. Companies like Digital Silk and Clay are great for business owners with a larger budget. These companies have proven experience and results, which raise their prices

If you prefer to hire a freelancer for your website, browsing Upwork is a fantastic way to find the right one! Upwork allows you to view thousands of freelancers at various price points. Choosing a freelancer to work with to design your site is a great choice for business owners who want an active role in their site’s creation. A major benefit of hiring a professional designer is that you get to build your site from scratch. This makes it possible for you to obtain a detailed and unique site with fewer limitations than DIY site providers.

DIY Website Design

There are many DIY website design platforms out there for small business owners to choose from! Each platform is unique—some offer premade templates that you can customize, while others allow you to build each page from scratch!

Website providers like Wix and Squarespace offer affordable site templates for business owners to customize and launch. While these options are easier and quicker than others, they have design limitations that can prevent your website from competing. 

Using a site provider like WordPress offers more flexibility. WordPress links with external design programs, allowing users to build sites from scratch with very few design restraints. Elementor is a great design platform that can link with site providers like WordPress and offers a wide variety of website design features. 

Canva and the Adobe Creative Suite are other affordable website design options to use with your site provider.

A computer has a web design project on it.

Web Design Techniques

Your number one goal for your website should be making it memorable. Retaining viewers’ attention and keeping them on your page should be at the forefront of every website decision you make. 

How can this be achieved? 

Through really effective website design.

Your site’s appearance determines a viewer’s first impression of your company. Creating a visually appealing site will draw customers in and lead them to find out what your business offers. 

The top section of your home page, where viewers first look, is arguably the most important part of your site! This section most often determines whether a user clicks on your page or remains on your site. Design it to lead viewers to your services or products. 

An important design principle is building your site to lead the viewer’s eyes. This can be achieved through movement! Movement doesn’t just encompass animations—it can also include designing blocks or sections that entice viewers to scroll further and click on a product or service.

An important web design principle to keep in mind throughout the creation of your site is:

Your business is unique, and your site should be, too! Looking at competitor sites is a great way to get inspiration and compete, but originality is your friend when building your site. There is no one-size-fits-all approach! 

Take your time to explore your options and evaluate what your business needs and which web design route will best serve your customers!

Grow your Small Business With Succeeding Small

Succeeding Small is an expert in growing small businesses through our amazing digital marketing, SEO, branding, web design and social media services.  Learn about our services today!

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