When To Design Your Own Website and When Not To

How do you decide when to design your website in-house (use your existing IT personnel) and when do you outsource the web redesign work to a web design firm?

Here are some factors you ought to consider.

1. Do you have the right people?

Do you have someone in the company who is well-versed in web design?

If you don’t, you need to pay and send your staff to learn up some website design skills. However having a skill but not the motivation or interest isn’t very useful at all.

Just because I can pick up a brush and paint does not mean I can paint magnificent masterpieces like Michelangelo. The real challenge in designing a profitable website does not lie in its technical specifications (anyone can achieve that) but the marketability of the website. Plus your IT staff may not be familiar with your business strategies.

2. Do your people have the right knowledge?

Your staff may not have the interest or desire to learn, except just to satisfy your wishes. Building a website is just the beginning. You need to send them for more seminars and courses to learn how to maintain the website, perform search engine optimization in-house and update their knowledge about the industry as well as its methodologies.

3. Are you able to hire the right person?

If you hire someone specifically just to design your website in-house, you control the design process but the true cost of hiring a website designer is higher than you think particularly if you intend to hire an expert.

If you are not hiring an expert (because the expert will ask for his expert’s salary naturally), will your non-expert web designer know how to maintain and manage your website once it is completed?

If you do not hire a web designer but place the task with an existing staff, he might not be able to focus totally on the task of maintaining the website as he has other job responsibilities too.

4. Will your website perform up to expectations?

Once the design is completed, you need to think about website performance.

And how would you know how the website performs if your staff have not been trained for the job of monitoring your website?

What are your key performance indicators for a good website?

What do the numbers mean?

If you want to see some real results from your website, the best is to spend your money on people who not only design websites for a living but also know the business aspects of a profitable website too.

5. Who’s going to advise you when you need rock-solid advice?

Whom do you call if you want solid advice on what’s happening to your website? Or if you want to add additional programming to your website? Or if you decide to advertise using Google Adwords? Or if you want to know the pros and cons of a certain web strategy versus another? Or if you are ready to start blogging? Or if you want to try out social media strategies like Facebook and Twitter?

Your IT staff can provide information to the extent of what’s there but a web design firm is always and should always be on the forefront of technology and also what works and what won’t. Your staff may not have as much time to dedicate to learning, not especially when the company website is a side project of theirs and not the main focus of their day’s work.

It will not be their fault if they don’t know; they could well retort that they were not hired to design websites but to oversee and manage the company’s overall IT issues.

Plus they are not business people; they cannot be faulted if they do not know what you want to do with your website. It is easier for you to share your marketing strategy in full confidence with an external web consultant than with your IT people or IT department!

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