This is my 200th blog post on this site! That’s pretty exciting.
Recently, Kronda Adair posted a nice article on NTEN’s blog called “Can You Get a Good Website on a Small Budget?” In it, she made a great point:
Here’s the problem with drag and drop, no-code DIY websites. You still don’t know anything about what makes a good website. Chances are, your site will turn out to be as effective as if I ordered a build-your-own-car kit on the Internet and tried to put it together…
User Experience (UX), design, layout, Search Engine Optimization (SEO), copywriting…these are individual areas of expertise that professionals study for years in order to do well.
When you hire someone to help you build a website—or almost anything—what you’re often really paying for is expertise. That’s expertise built up over years of experience that just can’t be learned any other way.
To use an example from WordPress, I am convinced that I save my clients a lot of time, frustration, and, in the long run, money by selecting the best plugins for their site. Anyone can go to WordPress.org/plugins/ and start searching, ((If you do, make sure to follow these tips for picking a plugin!)) but it takes time to develop preferences between similar plugins, learn to recognize red flags, and develop a sense for when plugins might conflict.
Profit in Time and Happiness
I offer a maintenance plan for clients that offers updates, backups, and security. I briefly was offering this to other sites too, but I found that my sites just didn’t break as often when compared to sites built on the cheap: either the DIY type or from less-experienced (and often cheaper) consultants. Buying some expertise can provide a much smoother experience for you and your website visitors.
So if you feel like you or your organization doesn’t have the budget to hire someone to build your website, ((Relatedly, I’ve written in the past that I think volunteer-built websites often result in lower quality and frustration. If at all possible, nonprofits should pay for websites.)) at least consider buying a bit of consulting time to try to make up for the inevitable blind spots that come with inexperience. It only takes a consultant a few hours to recommend some themes and plugins, and I bet a site built with those would last longer and work better.