Do you need a web developer or can you DIY?

5 min read
Claudia Bouma

You’ve decided your small business needs a website and you’re looking at engaging a web developer ... or should you do it yourself?

Before you can answer this question, consider the following:

  • How much do you want to spend on a website?
  • Are you happy with a prebuilt theme or template used by others or do you prefer a completely one-of-a-kind website?
  • What features do you need — appointment scheduling, a blog, a way to sell products?

To make it easy for you as a small business owner, we’ve created a list of five things to consider when deciding whether you need a web developer to build your website.

Web Developer Build a Website Comparison Chart
This chart shows your site building options, from DIY to having a pro design and build it.

Who will build it: 5 things to consider

There are a few things to think about at the start of a website building journey. There are benefits to using a web developer, but there are equally as many reasons to do it yourself.

  1. Cost
  2. Time.
  3. Technical know-how.
  4. How much customisation you want.
  5. Access.

We’ll take you through our list one by one to help you pick a path.

1. Cost

Sit down and work out a realistic budget for building a small business website. Maybe business is slow and you need to be careful, so splashing out money on a big, fancy website is not a wise decision.

A DIY website can be as cheap as a hundred dollars.

If your budget is healthy and you’re willing to spend $600 or more on a professionally-built website, then involving a web developer is a good option. You’ll have peace of mind that your website is in professional hands.

2. Time

It’s important to evaluate how much time you have to work on building a website. Most small business owners are time-poor and don’t need an extra project to add more stress. Hiring a web developer means you delegate the work to a professional who will do all the work for you.

Websites also take some upkeep, so you’ll need to factor that in as well. If you’re willing to make time available to create and maintain your small business website, DIY is a good choice.

3. Technical know-how

Today’s drag-and-drop website builders don’t require you to understand coding — or anything technical. So with basic skills, you can create a well-designed, functional website.

If you’re looking at advanced features, such as a database or client login portal, you’re probably better off enlisting a web developer. Making mistakes on your own and having to resort to a web developer to fix your site could result in a very expensive re-do.

4. How much customisation you want

Web Developer WordPress Websites Template
WordPress Websites offer dozens of prebuilt websites for every industry, each with its own ‘look.’

You need to think about the level of customisation you need for your small business website. WordPress themes abound. If you’ve found one you like that suits your business needs, then DIY is a great option.

Themes or templates come with pre-designed pages. All you do is add photos and words.

Maybe you’re looking for something original and you want to steer away from themes that are used by other businesses. You want to stand out.

In this case, full customisation is your obvious choice. A web developer will work with you to create a unique website with all the features you’re looking for.

Related: WordPress templates for home service professionals

5. Access

Even though your small business website hasn’t been built yet, you need to consider how much access you’d like.

Do you want to take care of regular software updates and have the option to jump onto your website to make changes or add another page? In that case you’re best off creating your own website so you have full control of your site.

Web Developer Woman Working at Laptop
It really depends on how much you’re willing to pay for convenience.

Maybe you’re happy to leave your website in your web developer’s hands, contacting her whenever you need something changed or added. That way you don’t have to worry about updates or things going wrong.

Using a developer does mean you might have to wait for things to be done as you’ll rely on your web developer’s availability. This option will result in additional fees, which can add up over time.

A web developer or DIY?

So should you splurge and hire a professional to create your website or save the cash and DIY? The answer depends on how you’ve answered the above questions and what’s important to you.

Here are the pros and cons for each option:

Hire a web developer


  • A customised website with advanced functionality
  • No need for technical knowledge
  • More time to spend on your business


  • More expensive option
  • Takes longer to build and update

Go the do-it-yourself route


  • Cheaper option
  • Full control over website
  • Easy to make changes and additions yourself


  • Customisation limited by website builder and your skills
  • Requires a time commitment

Now pick your path and go for it! The world is waiting for you.