DIY is all the rage right now. Just turn on the television, and there are numerous shows dedicated to doing it yourself, whatever that “it” may be. It always looks so easy during that 30 minutes of television magic, but in reality, it’s never as easy as it seems. If a homeowner who is not knowledgeable about electricity tries to install a new electrical outlet in their home themselves, the decision to skip hiring a professional electrician could have serious consequences.
Along those lines, many companies decide to DIY important aspects of their business, such as a website, digital marketing, or content creation. And while a botched DIY in business may not be a matter of life or death, the result can negatively impact your success and profitability.
Today, it’s common knowledge that every business needs an online presence in order to be competitive in the marketplace. Whether it’s a website or a mobile app, creation of these products takes time, money, and knowledge. Many web hosting companies promote DIY website templates so businesses can create a site on their own with minimal time and cost. And while it’s tempting to try to do it on your own and save some money, you often get what you pay for, and that inexpensive DIY website could cost you sales and profit in the future. This is why it’s important to carefully weigh the decision to do something in-house or hire it out.
Just like an electrician is an expert in managing electrical needs in a building, a reputable software/web developer is an expert in creating and managing websites and custom applications. Although a professionally created website may start in the $7,500 range, it is truly a sound investment which should provide you a significant return on investment.
Imagine creating your own website from scratch. Typically, most employees do not have the level of coding skills needed to develop a user-friendly website that will perform consistently and have minimal downtime. If you have more complex needs, like e-commerce, then the skills needed are even greater. You may then think that it’s best to hire an in-house developer, but consider the cost. Not only will you have to pay someone a full-time salary, but also the associated benefits, which can come at a cost of about 30% of that salary. That one employee will also need to be up-to-date on the best and latest web development technologies to keep your website secure and user-friendly. More importantly, your business will have a single point of failure should that employee decide to leave the company.
Even if you initially launch a DIY website successfully, ongoing maintenance and associated costs could become a burden to manage in-house, taking up valuable resources and possibly resulting in lost profit. There are so many things to consider when it comes to maintaining a website or app – some examples are SSL certificates, hosting, security updates, and third-party integrations (e.g. Facebook login or Google maps). All of these factors must be incorporated when coding and testing; successfully making everything work together takes skill, knowledge, and experience. If you build and manage your website yourself, what will you do if your website goes down at a critical time, or if your server runs out of space? If you hire an experienced software company to manage all of this for you, you will not have to worry about the upkeep and integrity of your digital products.
Once your website or app is developed and launched, the work doesn’t end. In order for prospects to find you online, you must engage in digital marketing. This includes using social media platforms (like Facebook and Twitter) and employing tactics for search engine optimization (SEO) so that your site can rank high on Google’s search results page. When done correctly, digital marketing can really boost your web traffic. On the other hand, lack of correct implementation can waste your money and bury your site on page two (or beyond!) of Google search results. This is especially concerning since the majority of people do not click on links past the first page of Google results when they are searching online.
A good digital marketing agency can optimize all of your web pages to make sure that they rank high in Google. They can do this through relevant content, well-labeled photos, and other techniques to keep your website at the forefront. A business can certainly manage their own content in-house, but it is beneficial to let software professionals handle the development and ongoing SEO management required for a website.
While DIY might be a tempting method to save money, it’s not always a good idea for a website or app that is such a critical part of your business. It could actually cost you more in the long run. Hiring out jobs that are not your speciality helps you focus on growing your business without the constant stress of managing additional tasks. When it comes to a successful web site or mobile app, hiring a good software/web developer is a very wise investment.