Before I met with Sophia, I was overwhelmed with the ins and outs of Squarespace ad didn't feel like I would be able to put together my website. After only two hours with an interactive, live format, I felt like I was well on my way to being able to figure it all out. Sophia was able to answer all of my questions, had a depth of knowledge and tools to teach me, and I recommend to anyone that this is an investment 100% worth it. Sophia was an absolute pleasure and I plan to work with her again on my projects!
I usually don’t blog about the entrepreneurial journey here on the blog but I do think it is relevant because, you, as my reader, get to know a bit more about the person behind the words and videos that show up on this site. I am taking my first three week break of my working year starting this month and going into October and I feel this is a good time to share what the backstory to this break is.
Hiring a Web Designer Vs. Doing-It-Yourself (DIY)
This article is for you if your are caught in the moment where you need a new website but aren't quite sure if you really need to hire a professional web designer or to go build it yourself using one of the many drag-and-drop website builders.
Now, as a website designer myself who loves to design websites, I don't think hiring a designer is right for everyone. There is a certain need that website designers fulfill and if you actually have those needs then go hire a designer. Otherwise, invest the time and effort to learn all about website building and build it yourself. Use the questions to make the choice that's right.
Should you hire a web designer or do it yourself with a website builder?
I've prepared a set of 3 questions for you that you need to ask yourself when it comes to deciding whether you should hire a web designer or do-it-yourself using a website builder. They are all around the concepts of Money, Skills and Time.
1 | Funds
Hiring a website designer comes with many pros. But to tap into their services and expertise, it is important to have the funds to hire them. If you are starting up a business that doesn't have a starting capital or if your business doesn't generate enough revenue to cover your costs, then you should wait before hiring a designer.
Now I know some of you may say, "Hey, but I want to hire a website designer because I want to create more revenue in my business". To that, I would say,"Okay. Then start with a small website that will not cost you an arm and a leg. Hire a designer who is also starting out and wants to prove what they are made of."
When starting out as a solopreneur* for example, you may have more time than money on your hands. Use this time to learn about web design and building websites that will generate revenue."
*solopreneur = a business run by one person (often online)
So the question to ask yourself is:
Question: Do you have trouble finding enough funds to hire a website designer's services?
Answer: Yes / No
2 | Tech Skills
Website building is fun and exciting for me. In fact, learning about building a successful business online has been very interesting for me and I have spent thousands of hours pouring into books, blogs, videos and courses. If you feel you want to learn about web building then go ahead and DIY your site. You will stimulate your brain and feel happy about yourself when you create your site. There are tons of resources out there (like my blog) that will show you the many aspects of building a site that also is a high-converting site (creates revenue/ builds lists/ enrolls members, etc).
However, the same tech jargon and nitty-gritty can quickly get overwhelming and stressful. If you cannot stand anything around templates, design fundamentals, conversion-principles; or if the sound of Settings, Analytics, Security turns you off, or if you feel overwhelmed by the idea of watching tutorials and sitting through trainings about website backend technology, then the answer is clear, I hope? A web designer will be the right partner to help you birth your vision into a stunning online presence so you can focus on your core genius and leave the tech to the pros.
Tip: Even if you have your site designed by a website designer, I highly recommend that you inform yourself on the basics of running your site, updating content like text and photos or new pages and service packages. This will save you hundreds of dollars when it comes to updating your site with new content later. Some designers (such as myself) include video trainings as part of their design package so that the clients know how to work with their new sites.
So ask the question to ask yourself is:
Question: Does dealing with tech stress or overwhelm you or do you prefer not to learn about it?
Answer: Yes, I love it / No, I'm already overwhelmed thinking about it
3 | Time
As much as learning about the tech behind building a website can be fun and exciting, it is time consuming. My first website that I built was back in 2010 for my personal development site which has gone through countless updates and design tweaks over the last years. And with every site that I've built, from a site for a folk-rock music band from North Carolina, to a non-profit organization for education in New Jersey, I've learnt more and more. I'm constantly learning and not because it is part of my job as a web designer. But because I love to learn everything about web design and digital marketing. If you have the time to invest in learning, go ahead! You can learn all you want, the world is your oyster.
However, if you want to launch your site in the next couple of months, then you will need the expertise of a web designer. If you are at stage where you are working full-time and building your side-hustle during weekends and evenings, then time is of the essence. You want to leverage all that you've got. A web designer can help you take your vision and bring it into reality and your focus will be about reaching out to your ideal clients not fussing about tech details. In such a case, your next step will be more about two things: 1. which designer is a right fit and 2. which platform is a right fit for you.
So ask the question to ask yourself is:
Question: Do you have the time to invest in learning right now?
Answer: Yes, I do / No, I want to launch my website in the next two months.
Review the answers to these questions.
If your review shows that you need to delegate the web design work, then you will benefit greatly from the services of a professional web designer. He or she will take the stress and headaches away from you. They will handle the tech, the design and take the time to understand your needs. They can advise you on things that will make a big difference in your business, based on their experience and expertise. All of this allows you to
to focus on your message, your vision and your goals for your site.
Building a website is an important part of building your business. And I hope these three questions give you a good guideline in your decision-making process.
Let me know in the comments what questions you are currently facing around building your next website or redesigning your current website.
~ Peace, Sophia
Hello there! Glad to meet you.
I am Sophia - the person behind this website. My intention is to provide useful content that helps solopreneurs, small businesses and not-for-profit organizations to build trust with their audience, grow the number of beloved fans as well as happy clients. I'm a Squarespace Authorized Trainer and a Certified ConvertKit Expert.
I love helping people through producing my weekly video tutorials and blogs, live workshops and online courses. Also, I work directly with clients in all aspects of content and email marketing strategy + implementation as well as designing high-converting Squarespace websites. Let me know in the comments if you've got a question and I'd be happy to help.
You are an artist. Illustrator, calligrapher, pottery maestro, photographer, musician, maker of hand-made crafts and goods - these are just a few examples of what I mean when I think "artist". Artists tend to be wonderful at showcasing their work locally at art events, festivals and farmers' markets. But where they also need to be is online. See my step-by-step guide for all you need to do before you launch a Squarespace Website.
Some weeks ago, I wanted to buy a birthday gift for my friend and I wanted it to be a massage session so she could relax after some exhausting photography projects. After a Google search for massage studios, it came down to two websites. Watch the video as I show you why a site that has sub-par design actually got my money.