Wait… a professional designer is saying there are times where DIY-ing your website might actually make sense? Hold up! *record scratch*
While it may seem odd for me to talk about this, I do believe there are cases where DIY-ing your website is the best route to take. Today, I’m going to give you some #RealTalk behind my thoughts.
Of course, there are a lot of pros to working with a trained designer that stretch far beyond the design of your site, but it doesn’t mean DIY-ing your website should be out of the question.
When I first started Digital Grace Design, I worked with creative entrepreneurs who were in all different stages of business. They all had different goals, interests, and visions for the future, along with different reasons for wanting to hire me.
As I’ve become more selective over time with who I work with, I’ve noticed that there are a few instances where staying in DIY mode might make sense.
I like to give leads my honest recommendations on what’s best for them because I want to make sure they are set up for success. I want the same for you which is why I’m diving into this topic.
Reasons why you may want to DIY your website design
While I usually recommend working with a website designer, there are a few times when it might be better to DIY your website. Rather than walk you through yet another pros and cons list, I’m going to walk through each scenario and give you my reasoning for whether or not you should DIY your site.
If you are launching a new business
Some aspiring and new entrepreneurs choose to invest in a professionally designed website right away, but more often than not, you can probably DIY your first website.
When you first launch a business, you will likely be in an experimental phase. This means that many facets of your business will change within your first few years.
This can include evolutions in your:
- Niche (like changing from a business coach to a communications strategist)
- Audience (like deciding to serve stay-at-home moms instead of all parents)
- Offers (like shifting from offering freelance services to digital products like courses)
Despite how you may feel in the moment, change is a good thing! It’s much better for you to make these adjustments now rather than years later when you have more time, energy, and money invested into your business.
This is a big reason why I usually like working with clients who have been in business for a few years. It’s a smoother process to design their website because they have a solid brand foundation. They’ve already tested their offers with a target audience who identifies with their niche and expertise. This is where you want to be before investing in a website!
The last thing I want is for new entrepreneurs to feel like they need to drop four- or five-figure investments on the first version of their website. Sadly, this happens so often. The entrepreneurs who do this usually find that they’ve completely changed their business model or edited their website so much that it’s hardly relevant anymore after a year.
I want to save you from those headaches by encouraging you to save money and budget for a professional website when you have more clarity around your business. It’ll make the process so much easier for everyone involved!
If this resonates with you, it might be helpful to look into:
- Showit templates you can customize on your own (like templates from Oregon Lane Studio, Elizabeth McCravy, and TONIC Site Shop)
- DIY website design courses (like classes from Showit’s help team or even free trainings on YouTube like this tutorial)
These will all give you affordable options for DIY-ing most of your Showit website without having to start completely from zero. You can also look into other website platforms if you’d like, but I always recommend Showit to service providers.
If you want to strengthen your website design skills
If you’re interested in learning how to code or want to dig into the back-end of your website, it might make sense to DIY your website. After all, it will be a great learning experience for you and will give you inspiration as you add more projects to your portfolio.
Some business owners would rather be very close to their website design while others want to outsource this task as fast as they can. It’s best to check in with yourself to see what you’re most excited about, and how that may influence your decision.
If you’d like to become more known for website design or you want your website to be a shining example of your design work, it might make sense to DIY your website. That way, you can take full credit for the result!
Most of my clients have no interest in learning website design BUT they have a vision for what they want. By partnering with a website designer like myself, they’re able to make that vision come to life without needing to add design skills to their resume. In the end, this factor purely comes down to preference.
If you want to regularly make big updates to your website
When I talk about making updates to your website, I don’t mean publishing new blog posts or increasing your price numbers over time. Those minor changes are easy for anyone to learn, no matter if you see yourself as a tech-savvy person or not.
A professional designer will be able to guide you through this process so you (or a virtual assistant) will be able to make these small changes on your own. I do this with my client so they feel self-sufficient with their website after we launch the final design.
The big updates I’m talking about include adding completely new pages that are designed from scratch, changing the entire layout of your current pages, or adding elements that take a keen design eye. These significant changes usually require a professional or someone who has experience with a specific website platform.
If you read through that list and got really excited, it might be a sign that you want to be more hands-on with your website. If it feels overwhelming and you’d rather have someone else handle your website, you’ll likely want to hire a professional designer.
Signs that you may be ready to work with a website designer
We’ve talked about why you may want to follow the DIY route, but to round out this article, let’s cover some of the common signs that you’re ready to work with a professional.
If you find yourself checking these off or nodding along, it might be time to start searching for the right website designer for your unique project. I have a list of 5 Questions to Ask Before You Hire a Website Designer that you can read through before you begin the process.
Let’s jump into this checklist!
It might be best to work with a professional website designer if…
- You have been in business for at least two to three years.
- You can easily describe who your ideal client is.
- You have a comfortable budget of $2000-7000+ for this project.
- You’re looking to rebrand your business.
- You want to fully redesign your website from scratch.
- You want to migrate from one platform to another with ease.
- You want to outsource the project to an expert.
- You don’t have time to DIY your website or learn how to design.
- You feel like your DIY designs can only take you so far.
- You want to raise your prices and the perceived value of your brand.
- Your website’s content or look is outdated and irrelevant.
- You don’t mind being added to a designer’s waitlist based on their availability.
- You don’t plan on making significant changes to your website.
- You’d rather not be directly involved in every part of the design process.
How many of these points did you check off? If you have more checked off than not, it means that you might want to work with a professional website designer.
If you want to learn more about what that process could look like, we can meet for a free discovery call to discuss your project in more detail. You already know I’ll give you my honest recommendations based on where you’re currently at in your business. 🙂
This is a big decision, so feel free to take some time to think about it before moving forward. You’ve got this!