by Kevin D. Hendricks
If you run a small business, organization or cash-strapped project and you need an online presence then it’s time you embraced the do-it-yourself web. It’s cheaper, faster and easier than you think. Plus you get to be in charge and changing your mind doesn’t break the bank.
The best advice I heard when I started my own business was to hire people to do what I’m not good at it. It’s proved to be very good advice when it comes to finances, insurance and anything legal. But when it comes to the web it’s getting easier and easier to do it yourself, even if you’re not a technology lover.
Here are five reasons why you should do your website yourself:
1. It’s Cheap
So often running a small business is about bootstrapping everything. If you can get it done for cheap, do it. And a DIY website can be incredibly cheap. A powerful content management system like WordPress is free. A professionally designed and coded theme from iThemes will run you $30-80. Spend a few hours setting it up and you’re good to go. You could pay a designer and a programmer a lot of money, but unless you need something complicated you’re going to be better off doing it yourself.
2. It’s Fast
Sometimes you need stuff done yesterday. Well, the quickest way to get a website up is to do it yourself. With WordPress and iThemes you could have a site up today (OK, probably tomorrow by the time you wait for the url to point to your new site). Compare that to hiring a designer and programmer—they’ll laugh if you tell them you want a site today. Even a week would be incredible turn around time.
3. It’s Easier Than You Think
Unlike the legal, tax, or insurance fields, you don’t need to be a pro to pull off a good website. Technology is becoming more and more user-friendly. It’s to the point where if you can work something like Microsoft Word then you can run your own website. You can set it up, keep it updated and add frequent updates without a problem.
4. You’re in Charge
The best reason to do your website yourself is that you get to be in charge. If something needs to be changed, you can change it. You don’t have to pay a techie and wait for them to get around to it. You can get urgent news out there immediately, you can add updates to your heart’s content, and you never have to be the site with breaking news from 2006 (unless you want to be). Being in charge of your website is the best way to make it as easy as possible to update your website, and the easier it is the more likely you’ll do it.
5. It’s OK to Change Your Mind
Because it’s so cheap and easy to do a website yourself, it’s also cheap and easy to change your mind. So you can start with a DIY website and see how it works. If it doesn’t work you haven’t made a major investment so it’s no big deal to scrap it and call in the pricey pros. The alternative—spending big money on a website only to discover you could have done it yourself—is a much bigger waste. Plus a DIY site can be a nice transition. Maybe you need a site now but can’t afford a custom site. You can always do the site yourself for now and upgrade when you can afford it.