I recently came across a discussion on an online forum which suggested that given the "off-the-shelf" websites/templates available, that it was possible to build your website on your own and forgo the development costs. Here is an extract of the comment from this user:
"i started my own business a few years back.. put a tender out for some one to do build my website... got quotes that ranged from 1500-10k..
i just basically said screw that.... jumped on google..... did my own research.... and discovered themeforest.... wordpress and basically..... registered my own domain....learnt how to build my own website using theme forest templates... and wordpressand saved myself a motza... most "web developers" will do exactly the same...
my suggestion... learn and do it yourself.....
SEO optimisation is a joke... i use wordpress for my word press... and i use wordpress SEO plugins for my SEO.....Name withheld
I have to say that while I applaud the resourcefulness of this user, I wholeheartedly disagree with their comments.
There are a wide number of freely available tools that can help you in building and managing the online presence for your business. But just because these tools are freely available, it doesn't mean that everyone can harness their power to achieve the best result.
You can look at this situation from another angle: let's say I'm interested in renovating/building a house. While I might be concerned at the cost of a builder, I understand the value of a good builder in the process of building/renovating ... just because I can go to Bunnings; doesn't mean I can build a house. The same applies in website development.
While I appreciated that a basic "web developer" may do the same as what you could do yourself - you have to weigh up the opportunity cost of getting someone to do the work for you while you focus on what you do best. And if you hire a GREAT developer, you'll probably get a much greater product as well as useful advice and guidance throughout the development process - often, great consultants/developers can add value and suggest new ways to develop your website that had not been considered.
In regards to Search Engine Optimisation (SEO); SEO is not a joke and ensuring that your website is visible in search engine rankings for highly contended keywords can be a great skill!
While it may be an easy solution to use a WordPress plug-in for your SEO, if all your competitors are using the same product then this doesn't leave much room for a competitive advantage. A 'skilled' SEO analyst can make a difference ensure that your website is both structures and coded in a way that will ensure it appears favourably in search engines and therefore is able to drive traffic to your website.
It is often easy to suggest using a template to design your website - these low costs solutions can be a quick, easy and cheap way to achieve a good look and feel for your site. But while it may be great for a quick website; it can also mean that anyone else can create an almost identical website - either by using the same template or a similar template. If you are looking to develop a unique brand for your business, then simply using an off-the-shelf template can often do more harm than good.
This post in no way is attempting to discount the value of freely available tools. But I do wish to emphasis that often these resources are simply tools; and tools are only as good as the skills of the craftsperson using them! So if you're looking to develop a website or web-application for your business, don't discount the value a GOOD/GREAT web 'programmer' can have on a website and its performance. Web development will always be specific to the requirement - as such, different approaches will suit different requirements and a skilled consultant will help you choose and execute the most relevant strategy to your requirements.
Here at DCODE GROUP, we specialise in building custom online systems - from websites to online software. If you need assistance in building a website or building an online solution, contact us to find out how we can be of assistance - we're always keen to work on new projects.
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