An obvious question when thinking about building a new website or revamping a current site is how should it be developed, work with a professional firm or an internal team for execution? Therefore, we decided to blog about it with hopes of educating folks in the market for a new site. Some clients are more knowledgeable than others regarding the process and what is really involved with web development. If you have not gone through the exercise from start to finish, we know, unequivocally, that you do not know all costs involved. It’s an a la carte web world, so buyer beware.

DIY sites are most often a “canned-product” that just requires your own messaging based on your organization. A custom site – which can utilize a base-line theme – provides a more compelling user experience that leaves viewers feeling like they know your organization’s personality, prompting increased engagement.

Having a sound web strategy in place is a solid starting point. It’s money out the window without having one.

A few things to consider if you are looking at a DIY template vs. a custom developed design:

  • Short and long term goals of the website. This includes your social media strategy in order to get your site in front of the right people.
  • Securing the domain name. Sometimes cheap, sometimes not. Tricky purchasing as some companies present you with extra items that are not needed. Pay close attention to details.
  • Who will host? Another cost. Will they do the updates and check for breaks? Financial game changer if not. Potentially an expensive venture to fix a broken site.
  • Will your email be hosted by the same company as your website or someone different?
  • To purchase or not purchase an SSL Certificate, that is the question. Yep, another cost.
  • Updates and site security – vital in the world we live in. Not only is it mission-critical to keep your site’s theme updated but also all the plugins being used. Who will do this and for how much?
  • Content. Do you have quality marketing content and high-quality custom and/or stock photos? Neither are cheap but both are well worth the investment. Solid content is your path to growth and visibility.
  • Site registration with all major search engines.
  • Search Engine Optimization (SEO), critical to the ongoing success of your site.
  • Plugins or no plugins. Not knowing what a plugin is could be the first sign you need advice before starting to think about a DIY approach.
  • If your site is an e-commerce site, you need guidance. This is a whole new blog post.
  • If you go the DIY route, knowing what team member will be in charge of doing the work and making sure they know what is involved should be first up on the list for making this decision.

DIY template site or custom site? 3 cases for each.

  • Template if you have the resources, knowledge and time to execute.
  • Template if you your site will change frequently (as in daily or weekly) and you have proper staff to make the changes.
  • Template if you having someone to call immediately with questions is not important to you.
  • Custom if you do not have the time, resources, patience, and knowledge to execute and manage.
  • Custom if you do not want to worry about security, breaks and possibly paying more in the long run to fix and/or manage.
  • Custom if your company relies on your website presence for generating new business.

Group 2 does not compete with DIY templates. Why?

Our staff will work with you from start to finish to be certain all of your web design needs are met. We will work with you and educate you along the way in order to keep your site successful, updated and safe. There are no hidden costs with us as everything is outlined in the proposal and we engage trusted independent contractors to fill the technical gaps when necessary. We will take the stress out of the effort and make the entire design process a fun and engaging experience. We like to think what we do is priceless.

Our staff is not only very knowledgeable in the website design arena, but we love what we do and it shows in our work. Have questions? Need some guidance? Our staff is ready to take the workload and worry off your shoulders to help you make a bigger and better footprint in your industry. As always, give us a call at 412-605-0834, ext. 3300 or email us at to learn more.