Web Site Design Options – Pros and Cons of a Free Template, Do-It-Yourself Or Hire a Web Designer?

How do you decide what option to choose when designing a website?

If you don’t know the pros and cons of each option you could make a big mistake that will affect your long term business success. Often the easiest and cheapest method is not the best one. It may work well in the short term but you’ll run into problems later.

Let’s look at the pros and cons of three options for web site design:

1. Free template

If you search Google you’ll find hundreds of free templates available to you but how do you know if these are any good.

Pros

  • Easy to build a website
  • Inexpensive
  • Easy to customize
  • Freely accessible
Cons

  • Contains proprietary or bloated code
  • Code errors ie html/xhtml code doesn’t validate
  • Must not remove links to template owner’s website
  • Doesn’t present unique image for your business
  • Template may look the same as 100s of others sites
2. Do it yourself

The do-it-yourself kind of person likes to learn, get their hands dirty and makes time to do the work themselves.

Pros

  • Build a customized website
  • Learn how to code html/xhtml, css, javascript or learn how to use html software ie Dreamweaver
  • Easily update, modify and/or maintain the website yourself
  • Save money
  • Attain skills that can be used for future projects
Cons

  • You’re not a professional web designer who has many years of experience
  • Learning curve: it can take weeks or months to learn how to code or master html software
  • Create an unprofessional looking website
  • Create a website that is not search engine friendly
3. Professional web designer

Although a professional web designer costs you money you have the satisfaction that you’re getting a design from a person or company that designs websites for a living. They live a breath website design (and probably website marketing) every day.

Pros

  • Experienced professional
  • Has extensive knowledge of current design technologies and how to use them effectively
  • Knows how to design a website that is search engine friendly
  • Knows how to design a website that is profitable
  • Obtain a unique custom design that reflects your online business
  • Receive ongoing technical support
  • Design flexibility: easy to make design changes in the future
  • Takes care of website maintenance so client can focus on attending customers and building the business.
Cons

  • Initial design costs can be expensive
  • Takes time to build a professional website the client is happy with
  • Ongoing maintenance costs if you don’t maintain it yourself
  • If the designer disappears or closes down you’ll need to find alternative solutions
My recommendation

  • If you don’t need a unique design or simply want a blog to add content to…get a free template or use WordPress dot com to get a free blog.
  • If you can afford the time and money to learn the skills needed to build a professional website select the do-it-yourself option.
  • If you’re looking for a unique design that you’ll be happy with and want a person who knows all the intricacies of designing and marketing websites, hire a professional web designer. You’ll be glad you did.


Author: Herman Drost