DIY v Agency v Done For You

Written on 11 January, 2016 by James Baylis
Categories: Web Design & Content | Tags: diy website, done for you, marketing, online business, web design, website

When it comes to building a new website for your business, there are countless options out there. Do you roll up your sleeves and create your own site from start to finish, or do you find someone to help you? Do you pay an agency for their time and expertise, or choose a theme and then adapt it for your own needs?

Here, we look at the different ways you can build a new website and weigh up the pros and cons to help you figure out what’s best for your needs.

DIY website

A DIY website is just that – a do-it-yourself model that is created, designed, built and maintained by you. Whether you build it from scratch or use a DIY website builder, DIY websites offer you flexibility and control over what you put on your website. For the tech-savvy creator, DIY websites are a great way to stand out, get creative and do something against the grain.

  • Pro: DIY websites are inexpensive to produce. Bear in mind, however, that if you use a website builder the cost will be higher. You may be required to pay monthly hosting fees or for a theme.
  • Con: DIY websites can be time-consuming. You’ll have to research best practices, design it, write the copy and optimise for SEO. You’ll also need to consider ongoing maintenance and bug fixes. However, by doing it yourself you can also work to your own timeline.
  • Pro and con: Your website functionality is only limited by your technical know-how. On the one hand, if you’re tech savvy you can create a website that stands out from the crowd and really puts your business at the forefront. If your coding and design skills are lacking, however, you might find yourself struggling to stand out in branding, design and SEO.

Website created by an agency

If your business doesn’t have the time to commit to building a website in-house, and you’re rich in funds, an agency can help build and maintain your website from brief to execution. Agencies have an abundance of in-house resources and connections, and can often turn around websites quickly – as well as react to any trends or updates in the digital marketing industry.

  • Pro: Agencies manage everything for you. You’re paying for the agency’s time and expertise, so you’ll just need to give them a brief, attend WIPs to make sure it’s on track, give feedback and sign off at the end. Agencies take care of the process from start to finish, freeing you up to focus on your overall marketing strategy.
  • Con: Because of the knowledge they bring and the time they invest, this option is the most expensive when it comes to building a website. Not only are there costs for the execution, including hours for creative, coding and testing, but agencies could also make you pay for additional hours if you want something changed.
  • Pro and con: Agencies can bring a wealth of knowledge. They often provide account managers who can help you figure out what your needs are for your website – and make sure it’s in line with market trends. However, this knowledge could also be a hindrance. You might need to rely solely on the agency to help maintain and update your site.

‘Done For You’ website

Previously, it’s been an either/or game when it comes to building a new website – either you invest a significant amount of time, or you invest a significant amount of money. However, a new option is emerging for businesses: the ‘Done For You’ website.

When you choose a Done For You website, you often pay an initial set-up fee, then make monthly ongoing payments for updates on design, copy and everything else you choose. In other words, it gives you the best of both worlds.

  • Pro: Your costs are predictable. Rather than agency websites that are billed by the hour and can be unpredictable, Done For You websites have fixed monthly fees that are affordable for SMEs. Done For You websites also offer unlimited changes so you can update blogs, copy and images as often as you want, and a dedicated account manager will help recommend the best strategy for your business. Done For You websites can also be up and running very quickly – sometimes in a matter of weeks.
  • Pro and con: One of the biggest benefits of Done For You websites is they often include a dedicated account manager who can provide you with all the knowledge for marketing, web design and technical components – at a fraction of the cost of an agency’s time. Make sure you choose a company that offers this expertise, otherwise that lack of knowledge could turn out to be a con.

Contact WebCentral for a free consultation to discover which web design solution is best for your business needs.