For those who intend to have your very own website, you might be thinking, should you do it yourself or hire a professional?
Which would be the better option for you?
Website Builders vs Content Management Systems (CMS) vs The Professionals
Website builders like Weebly and Wix are popular among DIY web developers due to it being inexpensive. The packages include web hosting and sometimes domain name registrations. Most come with its own visual page editors, allowing web developers to easily build a website without having any programming or design knowledge. Despite the ease of use, website builders are better recommended for simple websites.
CMS like Drupal prove to be more well-suited for experienced web developers. Unlike website builders, the innerworks of the CMS is more complicated. Drupal web developers can choose a “theme” and use a WYSIWYG (what-you-see-is-what-you-get) interface to manage the content. A background in programming is often needed, and Drupal requires you to find your own web hosting and domain name registration.
Another option is to hire a professional web developer. The price range for professionals depend on the company and complexity of the website. When it comes to professionals, there is no limit as to what you can expect - at a price, of course.
Define Your Website
Before you decide on which is the better option for you, you should know what kind of website do you want to have.
The easiest would be a brochure site. Like a physical brochure, it provides basic information about your company - your products, services and contact details - to prospective clients. A good and simple way to create web presence. If you plan to conduct financial transactions, you will need an e-commerce site.
For some businesses, their website serves as a business platform and it comes with its own web applications - project management tools or price comparison engines. While it is possible to build brochure and e-commerce sites using web builders or CMS, it is best to entrust professionals to develop your web applications. The price of custom web applications can easily be in the thousands range, so be prepared to pay a lot for a good and reliable app.
As for hybrid sites, such as a combination of e-commerce and web application functions, it is best to engage the professionals. Another deciding factor is to determine the website’s role on your business. If you are not relying on a website to generate major leads, you can make do with a brochure site. Otherwise, it is best to hire a professional to gain greater mileage.
Your Web Developing Capabilities
Experienced developers who are confident with their abilities have limitless options. For the rest of us novices thinking of developing our own websites, we are left with website builders or CMS.
Beginners are recommended to start with website builders. As mentioned earlier, it provides the most basic tools and you do not need to be a programming wizard to create a decent-looking website.
CMS like Drupal require a greater degree of web developing knowledge, but it is still relatively easy to use. More flexible and customizable than website builders, you need to explore the Drupal community for the best templates and plugins.
Whether you choose to develop your own website or hire a professional, bear in mind the costs involved can be miles apart. A brochure website, although far cheaper than other types of websites, can fetch a high price if it is developed by a professional. The same goes for e-commerce websites, especially if it is equipped with complicated functions like real-time inventory management.
Evaluate Your Options
Some businesses definitely require professional services. Businesses that are, or rely on custom apps; businesses that expect to generate greater mileage from the website; and business owners who are unfamiliar with website builders will need expert guidance and the know-how on how to make their website work best for their business.
Businesses that generate less than 20 percent of their business from their website can opt for website builders.
Still stuck in-between?
Follow this tip then: Weigh out your options and think through which would be a better fit.
On another note, you could always go for the ever-popular Drupal platform. It is cost saving and allows a large variety of customizable features if you plan on adding additional functions to your website in the near future. We at Orangesoft have a long time experience with Drupal! Don't hesitate to give us a call or email us to get a professional help!
If you are interested in more affordable optional but still very professional looking website, have a look at JinggaWeb.