May 7, 2018Posted by Hifyre Admin

In today’s world, if your business hasn’t embraced digital trends, you’re likely in the minority. But not everyone is comfortable with building a website or a web presence for their business entirely by themselves. Luckily, when it comes to the basics of getting online, there are a lot of great options available out there.

The first and most obvious option is you could build your website yourself (assuming you know how to code and feel confident that you are the best person for the job). Another option is you could hire a freelance developer. Yet another — you could build one using a pre-made template from sites like Squarespace, Wix, or WordPress. And finally, you could hire an agency or studio to build the products that you need for you. With every choice on this list, there are pros and cons. So let’s break it down.

Doing it yourself.

For anyone that knows the basics of building a website, you probably also know that it can quickly become a complex job — depending on what you want to do. There are definitely major upsides to being able to do create your website yourself. The most obvious being that you know from start to finish what is happening on the project. You set your own deliverables. You are responsible for your own timeline.

However, there are also some major downsides to building your own website. As someone running their own business, you are busy and being pulled in many different directions. Building a website isn’t a quick task. It will consume your focus for a significant amount of time. Even if you know how to build a basic site, are you familiar with the intricacies of making it mobile-friendly? According to Statista, 52% of global internet usage is on mobile devices. This means that if you aren’t optimizing your site for mobile, you’re missing a huge portion of your potential customer base.

Using a pre-made template.

The alternative option, when building a website yourself, is to use a pre-made template. Websites such as Squarespace, Wix, and WordPress are well known for these ready made sites. There are numerous benefits to using these sites to build your own. The first being that it’s significantly less time consuming than building one from scratch. The second — they are mobile-friendly. Your site will be converted into a mobile version as well with most template-driven sites. The simplicity of filling in content into a template is very tempting, but there are downsides as well.

There are limitations to the templates; you are restricted to what you see. Customizing these templates can get complicated, fast. Not only that, testing the site can become cumbersome. Because the templates are meant to be a “one size fits all” solution, use cases specific to your site may be harder to accommodate appropriately. Lastly, if you ever need to augment your site to make it more robust, you’ll be faced with trying to transition off the pre-made template you started with, hopefully without any disruption to your customer experience.

Hiring a freelance developer.

Hiring a freelance developer also has both pros and cons. On the plus side, freelancers are more experienced than you are. Building digital products is their job. Assuming you have found a really talented developer — your developer can help walk you through the design process, build the site, and run tests to make sure all of your use cases are accounted for. In addition, their hourly rates are usually quite reasonable.

However, the downside to hiring a freelancer is in their availability. Once again — assuming you found a great freelance developer, there is a pretty good chance that you aren’t their only customer. As you would expect, developers that are great at their jobs are in high demand. So don’t be surprised if it takes longer to finish creating a website with a freelancer. They are working by themselves and usually juggling numerous different jobs. The other downside is that if you aren’t lucky, and have hired someone that is not right for the job, you likely won’t realize that until you’ve sunk a lot of time and money into them. There is nothing worse than being left with a half-finished project or a finished one in poor condition.

Hiring an agency or dev shop.

Hiring a digital product studio has a lot of benefits. You get an experienced team that has been through hundreds, if not thousands of jobs, before yours. That breadth of experience and knowledge is all getting put towards your build. Beyond that, they have the resources to devote the time necessary to your project, ensuring that your deadlines are met and you don’t lose any time. Perhaps you decide that you want to make your website more robust and include a chatbot or a customer service management suite of tools. A digital product studio would be able to take that in stride without a problem. In the case of Hifyre, an additional benefit is our high standards. Every product that we ship out the door is held to exceptional standards to ensure our clients are getting the best that money can buy.

The only time that a digital product studio may not be the right fit is for very small scale projects. If all you are building is a landing page, hiring a team of people to build it is probably overkill unless you really need the expertise of a tried and true team. In most cases, for the amount of customization necessary that occurs behind the scenes and the knowledge base that is necessary, a digital product studio is the way to go.