Whether you should design that website yourself or hire a professional web designer depends on several very important factors. One of the most important things to consider is the level of expertise that you or your employees have in the necessary web technology needed to create an attractive, professional looking website that functions the way you want it to be. The decision whether or not to do it yourself comes down to your skill levels, the features you want or need, the image you want to project for your web site and the amount of time you have to devote to building the website.
Some of the necessary skills to design and build a website are:
HTML knowledge – some basic knowledge is necessary but good web design software can help.
Artistic ability – a good eye for color and generally good taste are necessary for a web designer to create an attractive web site.
Graphic software expertise – some knowledge is necessary to produce attractive clean photos and site graphics. It is also needed to optimize the pictures to the smallest possible file size for quick loading.
Navigation Expertise – Understanding the functionality of website navigation design and implementation is a critical skill.
Marketing and business experience – whether you are building a personal website, or a business website, there are some major business and marketing aspects that need to be taken into consideration right from the beginning design stage of the website.
What if I Can’t Do All of That?
If you don’t have either the time or the skills needed to build your own website, you can hire a professional to do all or part of it for you. A good place to find a professional web designer is one of the many freelance jobs websites available. These freelance job boards allow you to hire individuals with the expertise you need: web designers, programmers, SEO specialist, copywriters and more. It can be one person or an entire team of individuals. Alternately, you can hire a local web design firm. Freelancers are usually cheaper because many of them live in countries where there is a 5:1 ration in salaries. That means $1 in the US is the equivalent of $5 in their country. So, paying them $5 an hour is like paying someone in the US $25 an hour, which is the minimum price you can hire people with the necessary knowledge.
Content writers who are native English speakers charge from $0.05 per word and up. Non-native English speakers can be hired for around $0.02 per word. But if your website is in English, you probably want to hire a native English speaker to write your content.
Make sure you communicate to the web designer, web developer or copywriter you hire exactly what you need to achieve. A good website designer understands how to build internet marketing into the site design to make it search engine friendly.
What does outsourcing cost?
For a simple five or six page website, expect to pay anywhere between $100 for just the web page design and $1,500 for the entire site with graphics and content. For a more complex interactive website you may pay from $500 for just the programming to $10,000 and up for the entire website.
There is all a cost in your time as well. You will need to manage the project: writing the project specification, spending time writing emails to the freelancer, doing some quality assurance testing, etc. In some cases you will find that developing a website in-house can be cheaper then outsourcing it.
Remember, it’s not always about the money. If you already have an established company brand, you probably want to seriously consider hiring a professional web designer to be certain that you maintain your brand and present it professionally on your website.
The decision whether to hire a professional web designer or to build the site yourself depends on what skills you have, how much time you can spare and really whether or not you want to do the work yourself.
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