If you’re a small business owner or considering starting an online business, you’ve probably asked yourself, ‘should I outsource website work?’
Well, as someone who started an online business by first building a website (with no previous experience), I’m living proof: building websites from scratch may be easier than you think (see how).
To outsource my website or not to outsource my website – that is the question.
And the answer depends on your time and resources, goals and skill level.
Let’s dive in.
Who SHOULD Outsource Their Website
Obviously, if you’re an existing company on the Fortune 500 and you’ve got tons of employees and lots of revenue already, or you’re an Instagram influencer with hundreds of thousands of followers … well then, you probably already have a website, and you probably outsourced it. (And, let’s be honest, you’re probably not reading this blog post!)
But let’s assume your scale is a little bit smaller.
You should at least consider outsourcing your website and have someone else build it if:
- You’re already working 40 to 50 to 60 hours a week or more, and you can’t allocate any of your current workload to anyone else. If you just don’t have energy at the end of the day or on weekends, your website will never get built (but I will show you how easy it can be to build a website below, with even just a little spare time).
- Or maybe you can find just enough time to build a website, but you’re a one-man or one-woman show. Websites require a little upkeep. It’s good to have someone monitoring and tweaking it regularly.
- You’re reeeealllly scared of computers in general. ‘Drag and drop’ sounds scary to you, and you just don’t feel proficient enough to learn some new basic skills.
And that’s it! Because if you have a little bit of time, and if you’re very ‘hands-on’ with your business, then it really does make sense to learn the ropes. Don’t you want to build and maintain one of the most important pieces of your company?
A quick note. If you do decide to outsource your website, then please don’t skimp on paying your web developer. Not just for their sake – but for yours, too.
In my experience, you get what you pay for. As a freelance web designer, I can’t tell you how many times I’ve helped small companies redesign and replace their current websites, because they cheaped out on Round One and were unhappy with the results.
Protip: if you’re looking for a legit web designer who’s a reasonably priced, try Awesome Web. Lots of good freelancers on there.
But if you’ve got a very specific vision for your website and would like to make multiple edits and customizations, then you should think about building your own, or plan to pay up for it – at least a living wage
Websites also require upkeep, like if you want to maintain a blog for content marketing, update content with new specials, etc., or simply run security scans and keep the software up to date and protected.
In other words, websites aren’t ‘one and done’ projects.
That means you’ll want to pick a web designer who can continue to help maintain your website, even if that’s just once or twice a year. And it also means you’ll want to maintain a friendly relationship with said web designer, which implies that you also treat them with respect and pay them accordingly.
A final note on keeping your website updated and safe. If you DO decide to outsource your web design, then I DON’T recommend you have your web designer use a custom built WordPress theme.
‘Custom’ sounds nice and fancy and like a good bang for your buck.
But ‘custom’ also means that likely only your web developer will be able to update it in the future. And custom designs are harder to tweak and adjust 6 months or a year down the line. So you’re kind of locked in.
Plus, if your developer isn’t updating the custom theme frequently, you’ll be more at risk for viruses and the like.
So if you do outsource, find a web designer on AwesomeWeb who works with premium WordPress themes (like the premium theme I use), but not custom ones.
Who SHOULD NOT Outsource Their Website
Who should not outsource their website? The short answer is – just about everyone!
That’s because today, all you need to build a great-looking website is a bit of time and a little comfort using computers (ie, can you use Microsoft Word to write documents and can you drag and drop things on your desktop?).
Thanks to the many, many resources available to us now (many of which are free), you can easily build a branded website with very little previous experience.
That’s because web and graphic designers who have devoted their lives to their crafts have also made tools to make things easier online for the rest of us.
Don’t believe me? See how you can build a logo for free here.
And how to pick a colour scheme here.
And (♪♪♪dun-dun-dun-DUN!♪♪♪), here’s a complete newbie guide to building a website from scratch.
Now, I’m not going to lie. There is a learning curve upfront. It will take a bit of time to get used to your website building software. Especially if you’ve never done anything like this before.
But if you’re hands-on with your business, then you can and should be hands-on with one of the most important vehicles for growth for your business.
And if you outsource your website, then you’re not really going to have the final say over how it looks and functions, and how it grows overtime.
Who REALLY Should Not Outsource Their Website
If you’re just starting an online or MLM business, then … come on. You probably already know that if you’ve got an idea for a killer affiliate site or a must-read online magazine, but no proven income yet, then you should do the work now to stay in control of your online business.
I especially encourage would-be affiliate marketers to consider using a premium blogging theme like Extra, which I’m using to help them manage their content easily.
And if you’ve got a small business idea that you haven’t actually launched yet, then you’ll probably want to consider making a website first to see if you can drum up interest. You might even want to start with a totally free website (here’s how) if you’re really tight on budget (aren’t we all??).
Finally, I should also note that if you have one of these types of businesses, then Elegant Themes will make it reeealllly easy to build a fantastic site. Click on these links to learn more (and yup, I’m an affiliate marketer for these – they’re just that good).
And there’s more where that came from – here’s some (but not even all!) of your options. If your industry is on this list, you owe it to yourself to see if you can make it work:
Restaurant, Agency, Learning Management (for e-courses), Design Agency, Fashion, Coffee Shop, Farmer’s Market, Yoga Studio, Wedding, Travel Agency, Photo Marketplace, Copywriter, SaaS Company, Web Agency, Interior Design Company, Digital Payments, Pottery Studio, SEO Agency, Business Consultant, Juice Shop, Software Marketing, Babysitter, Design Conference, Food Recipes/Blogger, Marathon, Cosmetics Shop, Tea Shop, Boutique, Auto Repair, Architecture Firm, Real Estate, Law Firm, Author, Handyman, Jeweler, Doctor’s Office, Travel Blog, Job Recruiter, Digital Marketing, Cryptocurrency, Animal Shelter, Elementary School, Locksmith, Life Coach, Wedding Planner, Car Dealer, Pharmacy, Graphic Illustrator, IT Services, Car Rental, Accountant, Insurance Agency, Construction Company, Meetup Website, Therapist, Moving Company, Carpenter, Business Coach, Language School, Electrician, Transportation Services, Food Catering, Gardener, Hosting Company, Plant Nursery, Cleaning Company, Makeup Artist, Bed and Breakfast, Web Freelancer, Political Candidate, Notary Public, Dentist, Nutritionist, Funeral Home, Soccer Club, Personal Trainer, Church, Driving School, Plumber, Fitness Gym, Podcast, Day Care, Laundry Services, Charity, Bank, and Suit Tailor.
Ultimately there’s no right or wrong answer. Some people need to outsource their website, some can’t possibly afford to, and some are just hands-on and ready for a little challenge. Either way, please feel free to reach out at firstname.lastname@example.org if you’ve got any questions.
Psssst …. like the Pinterest graphic in this post? I built it super easily and FOR FREE using Canva.
And all these great images are from Unsplash, and they were FREE too!
They’re two of my favourite online resources available to digitial marketers …
find them all with links here!