Cost To Build A Website 2017 | Our Trials & Experiences

Last updated on September 13, 2017

cost to build a websiteThe “real” cost to build a website was a complete mystery to us at the very beginning. Would it be $500? $1,000? $5,000? Or heavens forbid, more??

When we decided to build websites to experiment with generating income on the side back in 2010, we didn’t even know what the first step is to build a website, never mind the cost of building one.

We didn’t know how to code, so building a custom website on our own was completely out of the question.

We looked around the web and there were a few discussion articles about the cost of building a website. While those did give us a few reference points, they were focused on the costs of building custom websites.

At that time, a custom designed website might be in our future, but we were not ready for that kind of financial, mental and time commitments just yet.

After our long, bumpy journey of figuring things out (meaning, pulling most of our hair out, and feeling like we’ve become really angry people from time to time), we do have a few data points to highlight, insights, and self-reflections to share with you.

This is a Part 1 of a 2-part series on understanding the cost to building a website:

Part 1 – [You Are Here] – We share important lessons from our own trials & experiences, so you won’t repeat some of our mistakes (losing time and money).

Part 2What to watch out for when costing out your website projectespecially if you are new to building websites. Written by an experienced web designer for beginners and includes detailed cost breakdown.

GUESSING THE COST OF BUILDING A WEBSITE – OUR FUTILE ATTEMPT

confused-about-cost-of-building-a-website-minWe tried to figure out the final cost of building our website when we first started, and it just became such a heavy point of focus for us that it paralyzed us from taking the first step towards creating a website.

We were so focused on money and budget, that it really blinded us in terms of focusing on the bigger picture. For us, it was to start building websites to sell products online.

We were completely obsessed with questions like:

  • Do I REALLY need a website designer?
  • How should I hire a designer or developer & how much do they cost in developing countries (such as India) or in developed countries?
  • Do I need both a designer and a developer? One is to make the website look good, and the other is a code technician that builds the engine of the website.
  • Where do I find good designers and developers?
  • How many hours will they really need? They said it will take them 1,000 hours. Really?
  • Will I really get what I want after paying?
  • Would they “really” understand my vision?
  • How do I know they won’t rip me off? I don’t even know them!
  • If I get ripped off, what can I do? Will I ever get my money back???
  • I don’t have a big budget, so if they do rip me off, I’m really screwed!!!!
  • Blah blah blah (other random, frantic questions)…

If you are thinking about the exact same things – STOP!

Having the benefit of making all sorts of mistakes over the past few years, one of the biggest mistake we made was that we didn’t ask the right questions.

Looking back, our minds behaved like an over-hyper monkey trapped in a small cage, just rattling it to try to free ourselves from feeling stuck. Not knowing the average cost to build a website kept us from moving forward….

START SMALL WITH BABY STEPS – LIMIT YOUR POTENTIAL LOSSES

After coming to a standstill, struggling to figure out our next steps, I recalled what my high school mechanic shop class teacher said:

“To learn how to build an engine for a car, let’s start with building this tiny engine for a lawn mower.”

The simple idea is to start small, get our feet wet, before moving on to bigger things. That way, the damage (if any), can be limited.

The mental mistake that we had, was that we envisioned a grand, complex website.  If a visitor did this, our website will do this.  If he/she did that, then this other thing will magically do this.  

We didn’t even have the basics learned and we were thinking about how to build websites that worked like Amazon, or Facebook, or Groupon.

That’s like planning to build a Ferrari when we didn’t know what an engine is for, or how to put gas in the gas tank.

Crazy?  Yeah.

It’s the same thing with building websites. Don’t get so bogged down with building the perfect website.

The most important thing is to get started, build some momentum, and limit your financial commitment if things don’t work out (just like all investments).

Yes, the cost of building a website is a concern, but there are ways to “manage” this  – which we’ll go over below.

Take a DEEP breath and let’s moving forward…

4 QUESTIONS – FIND OUT WHAT YOU ACTUALLY NEED BEFORE YOU START

In the beginning of our journey, we asked all the wrong questions and that led us to throw everything against the wall, praying that something would actually stick.

This is a classic case of “I don’t have a darn clue what I really want…

If you’re feeling that way, it’s perfectly normal.  Nobody expects you to know what to watch out for and that’s why you’re reading this article, right?

We experimented with drag & drop website builders, WordPress, free templates, paid templates.  We even dished out a few thousand dollars to have a custom WordPress website built.

So it’s fair to say we’ve “been around the block” a few times and took our fair share of bump and bruises.

In hindsight, we were running in circles because we asked all the WRONG questions.

So we took some time off, regrouped, and adjusted our approach to planning our website.

We simplified the process with these four questions that you should ask yourself:

#1. What’s your realistic budget for your website?

The cost of building a website goes beyond the design and initial set up.

There are a lot of ongoing maintenance costs like hosting, debugging / troubleshooting, adding new features / tools, etc.

So you really have two layers of costs to budget for (1) the initial setup and design and (2) the ongoing monthly or annual maintenance costs.

If you have financial resources that can go up to hundreds of dollars per month to invest in your website, then something like WordPress might work well for you.

If you’re not ready to spend more than $100 per month as your business is not at that stage yet, then a hosted solution (such as a drag & drop website builder) might be the better approach.

So think about how much you are prepared to invest on an ongoing basis.  Is it over $100 per month?  Or less than $100 per month?

We’ll get into some more numbers below.

#2. How do you want to manage your website?

Do you want to have full control over your website and do things yourself?  Or do you want to hand off all the work to a designer / developer?

This was a very important consideration we missed.

Keep in mind that if you don’t mind handing off the work, you’ll generally have to wait for the work to be done unless you hired your own full-time designer / developer. The waiting time can vary, depending on the workload and general responsiveness of your contractor.

Back then, we already have a custom designed website on WordPress. While a custom design sounds sexy, there were a couple of problems we didn’t expect.

After operating the custom WordPress site for a few months at that time, we discovered we didn’t like it that much due to:

  • Some WordPress plugins conflicted with our design.  When we installed some of the tools / plugins, they broke some of the custom features that our developer built. So we had to pay our developer to re-configure our website to make things work. When you’re piecing together tools that are built by different developers, it’s not surprising that some of them won’t work well together. It’s just part of the process, and it was frustrating for us as that added to our mental burden.
  • WordPress doesn’t have the most user-friendly layout design. For example, if you want to add large slideshow at the top of your page, you may need to add a plugin or custom code snippet (if the template doesn’t have a slideshow tool pre-built into the layout).  If you want to move some content around the page, you have to edit codes.  It felt like every time we wanted to make edits to the design, we had to pay our developer to help us, since we didn’t know how to code back then.

So ask yourself – do you want full control over the editing aspects of your website, without knowing how to code?  Or are you okay with handing off all the edits (big and small) to hired contractors?

If you don’t want to pay and wait for someone to do all the changes for your website, so you can retain some level of control, then a drag & drop website builder will be more suitable.

If you have the budget and want to offload most things to a hired person, then something more advanced like WordPress may work well.

#3. What features do you need NOW, what features do you need LATER, and what features are just “nice to have”?

When we first started, we wanted everything.  We wanted all the bells and whistles that we see other cool websites have.  We wanted what we thought would be the perfect setup.

After hitting the wall a few too many times, we realized that our lives were much more pleasant without the headaches that complexity brings.

We didn’t need all the bells and whistles for our business to work.  If our business model was flawed, all the design complexities won’t make a meaningful difference.

So we decided it was best to keep things simple and ruthlessly cut features we don’t absolutely need, to build a lean, functional website that is good enough to get the job done. We knew that once we are making money from the website, we can always upgrade later.

Ask yourself – do you need everything right now? Will your business fail if you didn’t have the perfect website?

Businesses don’t fail because their websites are lacking bells and whistles.  If you can figure out a problem that needs solving, we promise you that you don’t need the most advanced website to build a business.

Don’t forget – we guarantee that you will need to re-design your website at some point. It can be a big revamp, or just re-designing portion of your website. You will be making a lot of changes to the layout and content as you better understand what your website visitors are looking for, and what’s working on your website and what isn’t. Keep this in mind and plan accordingly. We wished someone told us about this back then.

Build a basic, functional version of your website and upgrade later when you need to. The worst thing you can do is spend months and commit a lot of money building a website, then finding out that your business doesn’t quite work.

#4. Do you want to deal with the hosting, security and technical aspects yourself?

Operating a website can be very administrative. Things such as configuring your hosting services, monitoring it, updating your platform (such as WordPress updates that are issued from time to time), ensuring the updates won’t conflict with your template and plugins, etc.

These might not be a big deal for seasoned veterans or people who don’t mind rolling up their sleeves to do a bit of technical work.  But are you that person?

We haven’t experienced enough back then to consider this question before setting up our WordPress website, and ended up with a lot more technical work to manage than we bargained for.

Managing the technical aspects of your website is a personal preference. You don’t have to if you don’t want to (with the help of drag & drop website builders – more below).

Some people don’t mind it and have the time and resources to deal with it.  Some won’t have the time, financial and mental resources.  Do you?

KNOW WHAT TYPE OF WEBSITE YOU SHOULD BE BUILDING – IT AFFECTS YOUR COSTS!

How did you answer the 4 questions above?

A more flexible and intensive platform such as WordPress will work well for you, if:

  1. You have a higher and flexible budget (for BOTH the setup stage and ongoing maintenance stage).
  2. You prefer not to be too hands on with building and editing your site.  You have the financial resources to outsource the work to designers / developers, even when it comes to making small design edits.  You also don’t mind waiting for the changes to be done.
  3. You really need advanced features and more bells and whistles, that can be custom coded into your website and you’re okay with paying someone to fix them if they break.
  4. You don’t mind managing the hosting yourself, performing updates to WordPress and monitoring your website performance – basically playing the role of IT Manager for your website.

If you have concerns over any one of the questions above, then you might want to consider using a drag & drop website builder to get started.

You can always upgrade to more advanced website builders (such as WordPress) if your business gets to a point when such an investment is justified.

Jumping into using something like WordPress requires a substantial investment of your time (which can be limited as you probably have other things to do).  It is also a big financial investment as well.

So if you’re not 100% certain that you need something as advanced as WordPress, how do you manage / reduce your risks?

Detailed Cost Analysis of WordPress vs Drag & Drop Website Builders – breakdown of what costs to watch out for (written by a web designer for beginners)

LEARN THE BASICS OF WEBSITE BUILDING TO LIMIT A FINANCIAL DISASTER

chapter-2---easy-to-use-website-builder-minWhat we finally decided to do was to start really small. One small step at a time, so to speak.

We were pretty beaten up from chasing all the latest features and frankly we just didn’t have the time to deal with all the technical work that came with more advanced web builders.

All we wanted (and needed) was a functional website that worked and didn’t require a lot of time, money, and ongoing maintenance commitments.

We were trying to build a business, so committing a lot of time and money to a website wasn’t a priority or a “must”.

Drag and drop website builders are online software that enabled us to create websites without knowing how to write a line of code. So that was perfect for us.

They also have support teams to answer any questions, and technical teams to manage all the technical aspects of building websites, so we don’t have to.

If our business concept worked or gained traction, we can always invest more money and time into building a more advanced website, or even hiring a developer to help us.

guide-section-thumbnail1-minBut before we get to that point, we wanted to protect ourselves from a financial commitment perspective, and “prove out” the business idea first with a drag & drop website builder.

By using a few website builders, we became more familiar with what domain names are, how to connect them to websites, how to set up emails, how to use simple image editors to create graphics, how to perform basic SEO (search engine optimization), how to create blog posts, how to generate content, etc.

These are all basics of building a functional website. Using these simple to use, code-free, website builders, enabled us to free up a lot of our time so we can “practice” other aspects of building a website.

Looking back, if we were too caught up in learning how to code, or learning how to manage a developer without having the benefit of building a few simpler websites first, I still think we can get to where we are today, but that road would have been a lot rockier (mentally and financially).

Building websites, and making your business thrive with the website, is not a single moving part in isolation. It is an entire system that involves a lot of different moving parts (marketing, product creation, etc.)

Leveraging the help of a drag & drop website builder, something that’s quite simple to use, enabled us to free up so much of our time and mental energy to focus on other things.

We really attribute the fact that we were able to unburden ourselves from mental anxieties of building a complex website, re-channel our energy into other more important parts of our business, to what we’re able to achieve today.

WHAT ARE SOME DRAG & DROP WEBSITE BUILDERS & HOW MUCH DO THEY COST?

If you feel that using a drag and drop website builder might be a potential option for you (where it’s easy enough for you to manage your entire website, and without you having to know how to code), then it’s time to test out a few of them to see which website builder might actually work best for you.

Since we’ve used a lot of them extensively in the past, we put together a comparison to highlight the pros and cons of some of the website builders.  It really depends on what you need, and how you liked using their user interface.

Here are some of the website builders we used, some more extensively than others.

If you are considering building an ecommerce website, here are some that we tested.

Take our Free Quiz – Not sure which website builder to try? Take this quiz to see our recommendations.

Using a website builder costs anywhere from $4 – $25 per month, depending on which website builder you use, and which plan you sign up to.

Most of these websites have a free plan so you can test them out for free before committing. There are no time limits to their free plans, so you can keep using the free plan for as long as you want to. If they don’t have a free plan, they will at least have a free trial period of 2 weeks at the minimum.

While the paid plans are monthly, recurring fees, keep in mind the idea here is to limit your financial risks.

Our thought process was – we can stomach $25 per month (and that’s at the higher monthly plans), instead of paying an “unproven” developer hundreds to thousands of dollars.

Further, at $25 or so per month, we get support from their customer care teams and their technical team works in the background to ensure all the technical aspects of our website are fully managed.

What’s the worst that can happen? We can always cancel our plan with the website builder and walk away.

Don’t forget, you can get fully comfortable with the builder as you can use their free plan or free trial period. In fact, you can almost build a full website with a free plan without paying a dime to them.

The website builders will give you most of the tools you need to build a functional website, including hosting services (so your site can be published online), content creation tools (ability to insert titles, text, graphics, slideshows, etc), and design templates.

Click here to see some free website templates you can start using to build your website.

Click here to see some free ecommerce templates you can use to build an online store.

You get all of this for free, and to unlock more tools you have the option to upgrade.

That’s how you can effectively manage your financial risks, and just as importantly, to stop mentally obsessing over the average cost to build a website.

Some of the website builders will give you a free custom domain name for the first year if you sign up to their annual plans.  After the first free year, it typically costs around $20 to renew every year. If you prefer to buy your own custom domain name elsewhere as it is usually cheaper, you can purchase your domain name is through GoDaddy, and it will cost you about $12 – $15 per year. From a bigger picture perspective, it’s not a significant difference.

Beginners Guide to Domain Names – learn how domain name works and what some issues you should be aware of that’s not commonly discussed.

COST TO BUILD A WEBSITE USING A DRAG & DROP BUILDER, WORDPRESS OR CREATING A CUSTOM WEBSITE

We know you’re quite eager to dive into some rough numbers.  So let’s get going.

If you want some broad-stroke guesstimates, here they are on a per year basis:

  • Drag & Drop Builder – $100 to $400
  • WordPress – $140 to $500 **
  • Custom – $2,000 – $10,000+

We’ve loosely factored in the cost of a domain name, cheaper hosting and premium template for WordPress, and some data points from our own experiences in having a custom site built.

** We feel it’s REALLY important to point out that for the range of cost for WordPress, we have NOT factored in hiring a WordPress developer to help you out with changes.**

WordPress commands much higher learning curve and so you do have to have some technical skills to become proficient with designing your site.

If you factor in the cost of hiring someone to help you with WordPress, this can cost you anywhere from about $30 per hour (from developing countries like India) to $100+ per hour for a good WordPress developer in developed countries.

For our WordPress sites, we pay $100 per hour to a capable developer to help us out from time to time (after building websites since 2010, we still need to pay a WordPress specialist $100 per hour for some tasks).  But it wasn’t until we were quite knowledgeable about WordPress did we have the capability to determine if a WordPress developer was good or not.

Generally speaking, in the world of WordPress, the higher the fee per hour the developer charges, the more capable he/she is. But please exercise good judgment, though, this is only a high-level guidance / rule of thumb.

Here are some discussion articles that we have which you give you a more in-depth idea of our thoughts on comparing using a drag & drop website builder against using WordPress.

Elegant Themes (one of the best WordPress theme developers today), estimated that it can take around $200 – $1,000+ just to get started with WordPress (and this does not factor in hiring someone to help you).

cost to build a website - elegant themes

Source: Elegant Themes (note: assumes you don’t hire someone to help you)

They also estimated that a custom WordPress theme will cost around $3,000  – $6,000 (for design and development), and a custom WordPress website is around $6,000 – $15,000 (for design and development, with custom plugins).  You can see their estimates here.

It’s important to realize that it’s really challenging to pinpoint even a ballpark cost. If you’ve ever spoken with some people who attempted to build their own houses, then a fairly consistent story is budget over-runs due to unforeseeable circumstances. The same concept applies very much the same way to building a custom site.

The cost to build a website is a constantly moving target, especially when it comes to WordPress or custom sites.

This is why using a drag and drop website builder is a good way to start learning the basics of website building, experimenting with your ideas, and to limit your financial risks (since the monthly fee is fixed, and you can build your own site as without any codes – you don’t have to be technical at all).

YOUR TIME IS ALSO A COST TO BUILDING YOUR WEBSITE

Let’s face it, time is money.

If you want to build a website, be prepared to commit a lot of mental and physical energy into your project (even if you outsource the building of your website).

How do you factor this cost into building your website? Well, you’ll have to take a guess at how much an hour of your time is worth.

Is an hour of your time worth $20? $50? $100? If someone approached you and asked how much it will take to “purchase” an hour of your time to help them do something, what’s a fair price to you?  The amount your employer is paying you right now can also be a rough gauge.

Take that number, multiply it by how many hours you plan/ budget to building your website, and you will loosely guess how much additional costs it will take to build your website (based on your time commitment).

So, will you be spending time on figuring out all the technical stuff, such as hosting, security, coding? That adds up really fast based on our own experiences.

Not only are technical aspects a major time-suck, they tend to ruin your mood, outlook on life, and just makes you a pretty grumpy person to be around (that’s what happened to us!)

So the cost extends beyond time, and may affect your personal happiness!

Using a drag & drop builder removes this pain point to a pretty large extent. They deal with all the technical headaches, so you can focus on other more important things, and in general, keep you in a much better mood!

CONCLUSION – THE COST TO BUILD A WEBSITE

We know how frustrating it is to build your own website, especially when it is your first time. There are a million things and concerns running through your mind, and we’ve been through that ourselves.

As with any major endeavors or projects that you want to explore, start with small, baby steps, to help limit your downside risks.

So instead of going out with all your guns blazing, committing thousands of dollars to an unproven developer to build your website for you, why not try doing it yourself with a smaller monthly commitment of $4 – $25 by using a website builder?

If you change your mind after a few months, your financial losses are only limited to around $100 – that’s pretty decent in terms of risk management.

Using a website builder removes a lot of the technical headaches you’d encounter, and limits your financial risks.

This also helps you free yourself of the mental anxiety of worrying constantly about how much it will cost you to create a website. You can always stop your monthly payment plans.

If the website you create shows potential, and gets your business / project moving in the right direction, you can always consider investing more money in building a more customized website later. By that time, you’ll have a general sense of how website building works.

This is one of the best approaches to limiting your financial risks when it comes to building your first website.

Website builders allow you to get started quickly, to gain momentum so you can see actual tangible results. Versus going through a series of mental gymnastics, trying to sort out all the technical “stuff” of building websites, and worrying about how many thousands of dollars a bad developer can potentially rip from you.

Not saying this happens a lot, but it’s the “fear factor” that paralyzes you from taking action and moving forward. That’s what happened to us back then, and it wasn’t particularly fun at all.

So to save yourself time, headaches, and to minimize your financial risks, we do recommend you consider testing out your ideas with code-free, website builders.

Click to see Drag & Drop Website Builders

Click to see E-Commerce Store Builders

Found This Guide Helpful?

Did this guide benefit you? Leave a comment below. 

Do you know anyone who can benefit from this guide? Send them this page or click on the share buttons on the left.

You’ll be helping us out by spreading the word about our website, and you’ll be helping them out!

 

Jeremy Wong

About Jeremy Wong

Maybe just like you, at first we didn't have a darn clue about how to build a website, nevermind write half a line of code if our life depended on it! We wanted to build a website to start a side business, and felt overwhelmed, confused & scared about how to actually do it, which builder to use, and making wrong decisions. After years of trials & errors using different website builders, we're here to share our experiences with you.

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Jeremy Wong

About Jeremy Wong

Maybe just like you, at first we didn't have a darn clue about how to build a website, nevermind write half a line of code if our life depended on it! We wanted to build a website to start a side business, and felt overwhelmed, confused & scared about how to actually do it, which builder to use, and making wrong decisions. After years of trials & errors using different website builders, we're here to share our experiences with you.

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93 Responses to Cost To Build A Website 2017 | Our Trials & Experiences

  1. #

    This article really gave me perspective on what I know and what I don’t know – I feel a lot more prepared now to make my investment and how to vett a exceptional website developer by asking better questions.

    • Tom Watts
      #

      Hey monica,

      Really glad to hear the discussion proved useful for you!

      Feel free to give us a share on social media if you think others could benefit too. It’s a great way of building up good karma 🙂

      – Tom

  2. #

    Thanks, this is really useful. I hope to have a website very soon. Thanks.

  3. #

    Thank you for the helpful article 🙂

  4. #

    This article is really helpful and easy to understand especially for non-tech-savvy people.

  5. #

    Thanks so much! Great answers and alternative solutions!

    • Tom Watts
      #

      Thanks Deb. Best of luck with your website.

      If you think someone else could benefit for our advice, then please share this article on social media – you never know who you might be helping out!

      – Tom

  6. #

    This article is very helpful

    Thank you

  7. #

    Jeremy,

    Thank you.

    Feels like you have read my mind and written an answer to All my questions, concerns and mind-blocks within a few paragraphs.

    This has to be one of the best, informative and useful article I have read in recent times.

    Wonderful job!

    • Jeremy Wong
      #

      Thanks for your feedback Rakesh. Glad you found this website building cost guide helpful.

      Jeremy

  8. #

    In all my article reading looking for specific, relatable information in starting a business I have never come across one that was more useful or insightful!
    This is exactly what I needed, thank you! 🙂

    • Jeremy Wong
      #

      Thanks for reading this guide! Good luck with building your website!

      Jeremy

  9. #

    Hi Jeremy,

    Great article! Question though — I’m starting an editing/proofreading company. I need to have to ability to upload/download documents. I also need a site where clients can make payments online. What do you think it the simplest, cost effective way to go about it? I really like some of the Wix designs but I don’t know much about creating/maintaining websites and have no idea if they are able to do what I need.

    Thanks,

    • Jeremy Wong
      #

      Hello Olga,

      While Wix allows you to accept payments online, I don’t think it gives you the ability to enable your clients to upload and download documents as if they have their own account with your website. To do that, you’ll probably need a much more advanced platform such as WordPress and hire someone to create this function for you.

      An alternative way is to manage your clients via email (simple and effective). So once your client pays you (via Wix ecommerce, or any other website builders) you can conduct your business via email.

      They can email you their documents that require your services, and you can email them back the completed / edited versions.

      Keep in mind that you can also use free sharing tools such as Dropbox. You can create separate, dedicated folders with each client and share these virtual / online folders with them. They can upload their files into their dedicated folders in your Dropbox account, and you can upload your edited / completed versions there as well so they can retrieve the files.

      You don’t always have to have a “super” website to conduct business! Keeping it simple is just as effective!

      Jeremy

      • #

        Thank you so much Jeremy! I will explore that option. Let me say again how helpful this article has been to me. Great job!

  10. #

    Hello Jeremy, I related to most parts of your post very strongly. When we started our business a few years back, we needed websites developed. We had the same fears, with the most important question being, would the developer understand our business?

    We strongly believe making a website is more than just coding. It involves understanding the business model and the psychology of the customer. Talking to freelance developers showed us how clueless they were when it came to gaining a perspective on our business, while agencies just tried to rip us off! Finally, we took up programming courses, and built our own website! Now we have multiple websites and have opened a new division with a small team of designers and developers who think like us.

    With time, we realised how big this need was, between people who needed thoroughly thought out websites and people who provided them. So we thought why not lend small businesses a helping hand, and at the same time give our team the challenge of working on new projects? So we launched hashtag17.com. It’s not so much the money that is the driving force, it is the satisfaction of making a great product, something for which we had originally to struggle a lot.

    Cheers!
    Meenakshi

    • Jeremy Wong
      #

      Hi Meenakshi,

      Agreed as we shared similar experiences. But everybody will have their own unique set of experiences, but yours is not an uncommon one!

      Jeremy

  11. #

    Tons of great info! I get so thrown off by the big technical terms of everything that it has been a struggle just figuring out what kind of template and builder company to use let alone dragging or dropping anything!!

    I want to create a website with educational information and multiple video instruction (ranging anywhere from 5-20 minutes each that I will be recording) that I can upload, like a lot of videos. The main attraction in fact will be educational step by step videos. What would be the best route for me to take, I have a limited budget and after reading this think I can handle doing the drag and drop myself, but which one?

    • Jeremy Wong
      #

      Hello Lora,

      Any one of the recommended website builders will be able to help you accomplish what you’re trying to do. You can see our comparison chart for website builders here.

      It’s fairly straight forward to create pages, then insert videos with Wix, Squarespace or Weebly. Just drag in a video element on to any one of your webpages, then connect it to a YouTube video.

      The good thing is that YouTube is free to use. So after you’ve finished creating your videos, just upload them into YouTube, then insert the video links into the video element inside your webpage. Your videos will show up on your website.

      I understand the idea of building a website can be daunting! But as with some new skills, just give it a try and it’s not as challenging as you think! Wix, Squarespace and Weebly all have free trial plans so you’re not obligated to keep using them if you don’t like them.

      Good luck!

      Jeremy

  12. #

    Wow, being that I have made a very simple website with WordPress, I still have many questions about transferring a club website and managing it with WordPress. Your article was very relative to my questions, so, thank you for your time and efforts!

    • Jeremy Wong
      #

      Hey Suzzettaa,

      Glad you found this cost guide helpful to you. Thanks for your comment!

      Jeremy

  13. #

    Jeremy, I am a retired software guy (Scientific Programmer, Systems Analyst, Systems Engineer, Spacecraft Engineer, Computer Scientist, Director, President, CEO – Some of the titles I’ve held through a long career), and while retirement doesn’t suck, I do miss having meaningful obligations upon which other people are depending, and where the outcome is important to those people.

    I volunteered to build a website for a friend’s business and chose WIX after around 20 minutes of research. I don’t mean to sound cavalier, but software is software, and with my background, I didn’t imagine it would be difficult to learn, and it wasn’t.

    I began the process on Friday, Feb 24th, 2017, and completed it on the morning of Monday, Feb 27th. Frankly, it would have been finished much sooner if my friend had been timely in providing the information I had requested.

    I found WIX to be a piece of cake to learn and use, frankly, and while this is a pretty basic website, it still includes online ordering and a blog, so it’s not nothing.

    I’m thinking of offering my services as a retired guy working from home and building websites for, probably, smaller businesses at first, and since compensation is more a “nicety” than a necessity, I’d be willing to do it at very competitive prices. Whew, that’s a big introduction (sorry).

    My question is this, if you have a minute, take a look at the site I built for him and lemme know what you think such an effort should reasonably cost a company (NOT including the cost of the WIX subscription, hosting, domain, etc. – essentially, just the labor). I’d very much appreciate it. Thanks! Jacob The website is ‘www.thebelmarpubandgrill.com

    • Jeremy Wong
      #

      Hey Jacob,

      Wow – that’s a really nice site and it’s so awesome that you put it together in just a few short days (and could be shorter if you had the information ready). Thanks so much for sharing your experiences with Wix with us.

      In regard to how much to charge companies, it really depends and perhaps our costing guide will give you a starting point. It varies depending on whether you have to create and edit the graphics, how many pages, how much revisions, whether you need to outline the overall design for your clients (a lot of hand holding) or if they are hands on in steering the project.

      I suppose a good way to think about it is how many hours you estimate you need, based on your preliminary consultation, then putting a price tag on how much you would like to charge on a per hour basis (what your skill sets are worth in your local market).

      Jeremy

  14. #

    Good information

    • Jeremy Wong
      #

      Thanks, Kenneth.

  15. #

    Thank you I found the advice very helpful.

    Ed Buckley

  16. #

    Hi Jeremy – So far I’m getting lots of good information on your website.

    I built a website from scratch (HTML & CSS with some canned PHP and Javascript) several years ago for a local environmental organization. (This is volunteer work.) I like the site and so does the organization, but with so many people using mobile devices, it seems like it is time for a make-over. It has about 40 pages.

    I looked into using WordPress – but frankly, after a couple of months contemplating and researching, I felt totally overwhelmed. I’m liking the idea of using a website builder that is responsive and am just now starting to check out the options. With the free-to-try options, is there a builder that will allow me to fool around with this on the level I need before I commit to one or another? What do you think is my best option?

    Thanks!

    • Jeremy Wong
      #

      Hello Lynne,

      I think you should check out Squarespace or Weebly.

      Squarespace boasts some of the best designs in the industry and you don’t need to know any code. Their templates are mobile responsive and have a good selection. You have 14-days to try this website builder before you need to decide if you want to upgrade.

      Weebly also has some responsive designs, but they’re not as good looking as Squarespace and the selection is not as broad. But they are very easy to use (also no coding required). They have a free plan so you can continue to use this plan for as long as you want to. But options are quite limited under this plan (you can’t have your own domain name, etc).

      Jeremy

    • #

      Hi Lynne

      I can help you with info regarding a good WordPress platform that also incorporates training. Let me know if you’d like me to send you the info.

      Regards

      EduLearningCentre

    • #

      Lynne,

      I would recommend learning Bootstrap.

      Why?
      1) It’s free
      2) It’s easy to learn and implement
      3) You can keep your original site build

      “Bootstrap is the most popular HTML, CSS, and JavaScript framework for developing responsive, mobile-first web sites.”

      Checks this page out to start. YouTube tutorials are also ver helpful!
      https://www.w3schools.com/bootstrap/default.asp

  17. #

    Jeremy

    What do you think the best subscription box service website creator would be?

    Thanks
    Rhen

    • Jeremy Wong
      #

      Hey Rhen,

      Could you explain a bit more what you mean by “subscription box service”? Are you referring to signing up to newsletters? If so, Aweber, Mailchimp are both good newsletter subscription systems.

      Jeremy

  18. #

    Jeremy
    Thank you for this easy to comprehend site for building a web site.
    My question is in regards to the web site template. I am a individual business owner. I am an instructor in CPR and O.S.H.A. safety compliance. Which of your recommended sites would allow me to design or customize the site template. I didn’t find anything applicable to my business on Wix.

    • Jeremy Wong
      #

      Hey Michael,

      There might not be a specific template design for the exact business you are in, but one of the benefits of using Wix is that you can customize one of their templates to suit the design you have in mind.

      Wix provides you with flexible design tools to enable you to do this. But I suppose if you don’t have a specific design in mind, this could be a bit challenging.

      Having said that, I don’t think you have to pick a specific design that’s tailored to your specific industry (safety compliance) in order to have a professional looking design. You can find one that looks professional, use it and just update the pre-populated content with your own and get started that way. You can always update the design over time. The key thing is to get started and not let not being able to find the “perfect” design slow you down!

      Jeremy

  19. #

    Thanks for great and useful info on building a website. Im going to have a go now on Wix

    • Jeremy Wong
      #

      Thanks for reading our discussions, Nafiisah.

      Good luck with building your website! I think you’re on the right path by experimenting with Wix as they have a free account option, so you don’t have to commit financially yet.

      If Wix doesn’t work out for you, there are a other options too.

      Jeremy

  20. #

    Excellent! best advice I’ve been given. I wish there were more people out there being honest thank you for your honest advise.

  21. #

    Hi Jeremy,
    Thanks for the great information! Our nonprofit currently has a custom WordPress site and we do our own content updates. But the design is outdated and we cannot make changes to certain features because of the custom coding. We want a complete design update to the site, retaining most of our content. I’ve heard that WordPress has drag and drop options (page builder templates?). Do you think it is wise to stay with WordPress and migrate to a page builder template (without custom coding)? Thanks for your help!

    • Jeremy Wong
      #

      Hey Alicea,

      I believe there are some software (not built by WordPress) that enable you to drag and drop content around. But if your WordPress site is custom coded, then using that software may or may not work.

      Those platforms are best used if you are building a website from scratch. I guess you can test it out if you don’t want to lose your current website. But if it doesn’t work, then you might have to start all over again either with a new WordPress site or with a website built by a drag & drop website builder (such as Wix, Weebly, Squarespace).

      There are pros and cons with each approach. Generally speaking, WordPress is much more flexible, powerful, but you need to be technically capable if you want to manage it yourself. It sounds to me you have a good grasp with what’s involved in building, operating and maintaining a WordPress website already.

      Drag & drop website builders have more restrictions, but you don’t need to be technical at all to build your website. They manage all aspects of operating / maintaining a website for you.

      We have discussions benchmarking WordPress with drag and drop website builders here if you’re interested.

      Jeremy

  22. #

    If i manage to make up a simple web site on square space can I move the site to an existing hosting plan or do I have to stay with your hosting?
    I gather the simpler the template the easier it is to build how will I select a really simple template?
    I guess it would be quicker to engage someone who has already sone a few sites first. ?

    • Jeremy Wong
      #

      Hey John,

      With Squarespace, you can migrate most of your information to WordPress (WordPress.org requires you to set up your own hosting). If you visit Squarespace’s support page, search for “export” and you’ll see how it works.

      Squarespace is pretty easy to use as you don’t have to know how to code at all. Their user interface is “drag & drop” so you can build you pages that way. The export feature is also pretty straight forward.

      But if you are referring to engaging someone to help with using / setting up WordPress.org, it’s not a bad idea as WordPress is much more technically challenging than using Squarespace. We have a comparison guide here that highlights some of their differences.

      Jeremy

  23. #

    The charge is $25 a month to both build the website and keep it running, or is it only $25 a month to build? I

    • Jeremy Wong
      #

      Hello Lydia,

      If you are referring to using a drag & drop website builder, it’s a recurring monthly charge. The fee doesn’t only enable you to build a website, it also pays for the ongoing hosting of your website (so it “exists” on the internet), support staff, ongoing security updates, etc.

      Hope this clarifies things.

      Jeremy

  24. #

    Thanks for the article. At what point skill point would you consider a hobby builder to enter the realm of developer?

    • Jeremy Wong
      #

      Hi Bernard,

      I don’t necessarily think that drag and drop website builders are only for “hobby” sites. There are a lot of large, reputable businesses that are built with these website builders.

      For instance, check out some of the businesses that built their websites using Squarespace. From large ride sharing companies (Lyft) to one of the best Japanese restaurants in New York City (Masa), etc.

      But obviously, if your goal is to become a developer where you’ve mastered coding, then you should probably go with something much more sophisticated like WordPress or Drupal, where you can customize your website to your hearts content.

      It all depends on understanding what you’re trying to accomplish, then picking the right tool to help you accomplish what you want.

      Jeremy

  25. #

    Hey . fantastic article and almost all points i could very well relate to…

    I have just one doubt ..If i plan to move form a website builder to a full fledged website later on .. Can i retain the same doman name or would i have to take a new domain altogether?

    • Jeremy Wong
      #

      Hi Vishal,

      When you move on to another platform (such as WordPress), you can definitely keep your domain name. If you purchased a domain name through a domain name registrar (such as GoDaddy), you just have to disconnect the domain name to your “old” website, and reconnect it to your “new” website.

      If the domain name is purchased through a website builder (such as Wix, for instance), you can transfer it out of Wix. So you can definitely retain control of your domain name.

      We have a much more thorough guide on this topic here.

      Jeremy

  26. #

    Hi Jeremy,
    Nice article you have here. However, I tried looking for a web builder to suit the website that I am looking for, and I didn’t quite find such a template to even begin working on. They are websites like textbroker and upwork. ie, those where we have two kinds of people (clients and freelancers) interacting and either selling or buying services. I’ve looked around the internet for the perfect name for such websites but haven’t gotten any good answers. Might you be able to point me in the right direction for such a project.

    • Jeremy Wong
      #

      Hi Josh,

      It sounds to me that you’re looking to build a “marketplace” type of website. There are some hosted marketplace website builders out there, but I haven’t used them before, as we never had the need to build one!

      I’m sure you can find something if you just search for “marketplace website builder”, or something along that line.

      Good luck!

      Jeremy

  27. #

    I read through the article. Really well thought out. I would have liked it, if you mentioned a basic website with great SEO features that would come up in search engines.

    • Jeremy Wong
      #

      Hey TPB,

      I’m not sure if I understand your question? Are you asking about what we think of drag & drop website builders’ SEO capabilities? If so, I think you’ll find this guide helpful.

      Jeremy

  28. #

    THANK U SOOO MUCH!!!i been looking information on the web for a while and i finally found something that its really helping me, as i was reading i was thinking: thats me!,yeep i feel like that! have this guys been spying on me O.o? im so glad i found this page im very grateful for all the information,i do have a question hopefully u can guide me in the right direction.
    do i need to file for a business license or any other type of legal requirement before i get my website up and running?
    any help will be highly appreciated and again thank u sooooo much!!

    • Jeremy Wong
      #

      Hi Jay,

      I’m not a lawyer, and I don’t know where your are located (your legal jurisdiction) so this is just my own opinion.

      You might want to consider testing out your business concept first, just to prove that it’s worth your additional time investment in starting the business. If your idea doesn’t work out, then you’ll save yourself a bunch of work.

      Jeremy

  29. #

    I’m a web developer branching into WordPress and starting up my own development company. From a business perspective, this really helped me with how to engage some of my new clientele and gave me some more options for end users that might not be able to afford my time. Really great write up!

    • Jeremy Wong
      #

      Thanks Marvin. Glad that you found this discussion helpful.

      Jeremy

  30. #

    Very helpful…thank you!

  31. #

    Hi Jeremy,

    Thank you for all of your very helpful information. I currently have a basic website for a small preschool that I started a few years ago. A friend designed the site but can no longer maintain it. I also want to have control over my own site and be able to make small changes as needed throughout the school year. Having read your articles, I feel that Wix may be the best way to go for me.

    As my domain name was purchased through GoDaddy.com and the site is currently hosted with them, what would be the best plan of action for me in order to keep costs down? I only need a basic site. I am not interested in apps.

    I would like to incorporate as many photos as possible within the site, leaving it clean, clear and uncluttered. I do not want to have to make many changes throughout the year and the site will probably remain much the same year after year. Your advice would be very much appreciated.

    Thank you!

    • Jeremy Wong
      #

      Hi Oonagh,

      Thanks for your feedback and glad you’re finding our article helpful!

      Regarding your questions, you can keep your domain name with GoDaddy, and just connect it with your Wix site. The connection is free, as long as you pay your annual domain name fee with GoDaddy. Take a look at our Domain Names Guide for more discussion about this topic.

      As for uploading images, you can upload a lot into a Wix site. With Wix, you can easily drag and drop the images around, as you edit your overall layout. It’s quite easy to use! I’d suggest you sign up to a free account, and just play around with their website builder. You’ll get a much better sense of whether you like the platform or not.

      Jeremy

  32. #

    Thank you. This helped!! I have not even started building our website yet, just trying to figure out what we need to get started. AAGGHHH!!!

    • Jeremy Wong
      #

      Cool. Glad our discussion here is helpful to you!

      Take a look at our “Start Here – FAQ” page as well. It’ll cover some of the more frequently asked questions. Hope this helps!

      Jeremy

  33. #

    Oh my! Such a great article! Haha! Yes I want to pull my hair out! Thank you for sharing this with our audience. Really helpful.

    • Jeremy Wong
      #

      Hey Atena,

      I thought I seriously needed hair transplant when we first started out. It was frustrating as heck, but it gets easier (like any newly acquired skill!)

      Good luck and thanks for reading!

      Jeremy

  34. #

    Good article. You sound like me, an introverted thinker. I constantly second guess and analyze every detail, sometimes to paralysis. I’m an engineer by trade so If someone charges me $100 for a piece of electronics I know pretty well if that is a good price. Website design is 180 degrees away. We are starting a business and in need of a good functioning website. We’ve gotten prices ranging from $800 to $10,000 for a website design. My problem is I don’t have the life experience to know what I should look for in a website design partner. I know I need one. Any advice for what to look for when finding a good website designer?

    • Jeremy Wong
      #

      Hi Brian,

      Thanks for your comment. You’re not alone in all this!

      Take a look at some other discussions we have. You might find them helpful / insightful as well.

      * How Much Should A Website Cost

      * Why You Should Not Hire a Website Designer

      * Checklist to Building a Website

      At the end of the day, should you determine that you need to hire a web designer, just exercise common sense. It’s no different than hiring an employee.

      Test them before hiring them. Get credible references. Present you product and ask them what they think are the biggest risks (benchmark this with other designers’ response, and use common sense). Don’t be afraid to ask them to explain things again (and again). Challenge them if you’re not clear on something. Hold them accountable. Don’t be afraid to walk away if necessary (fire them).

      You’re an engineer so I’m sure you’ll be fine!

      Good luck!

      Jeremy

  35. #

    Thank you so much for the great article! I am just getting started with my business and have been going through all the frustrations you talked about. This was incredibly helpful. After taking the quiz, I think I will be trying out Wix.

    Thank you again!

    • Jeremy Wong
      #

      Thanks Cathie! Glad our experiences resonates well with you.

      Good luck with Wix!

      Jeremy

  36. #

    I wish I had found your site about two months earlier. I had no idea on the costs of building a website and was quite shocked when I moved to a hosting site. I found I couldn’t afford the fees so I am very grateful to the tips you outline in this article.

    I am currently starting from scratch after losing everything through a hosting site. So much of what you have to report I am learning from. I think for newbies they must take away the difference between custom (WordPress) and drag-n-drop sites (Weebly). One is financially more expensive with a higher learning curve.

    Now that you have been doing this awhile, what platform are you currently using?

    • Jeremy Wong
      #

      Hi Kelli,

      Yeah it can be pretty overwhelming. We know exactly how you feel as we were once there before. But everyone has to start somewhere! Hopefully our article here will help you avoid some mistakes we’ve made before.

      For this specific website, we are using WordPress. It’s more of a blog in nature so WordPress caters well to our needs. Plus, we’re pretty proficient with codes and are a LOT more technical than when we first started out.

      But we’ve come a long way (almost 6 years since we first started). We were using drag & drop website builders for years before attempting WordPress again. We got our butts whooped when we first dove into WordPress a few years ago!

      Jeremy

  37. #

    Fantastic article. Very well written. Thank you very much for sharing your experiences in this.

    • Jeremy Wong
      #

      Thanks Justin. We’ve certainly had our fair share of mistakes over the years (especially for our first couple of websites). But it gets easier over time.

      It’s just like any new skill. Building websites is a completely “learn-able” skill!

      Good luck in building your website!

      Jeremy

  38. #

    thank you for the tips

    • Jeremy Wong
      #

      You’re very welcome. Glad you found our discussions here helpful!

      Jeremy

  39. #

    Jeremy, just wanted to thank you for your generosity of knowledge sharing on this subject. I am just at the very beginning of this process and found your article very helpful. Thank you again

    • Jeremy Wong
      #

      Thank you for your kind words, Michele.

  40. #

    That was a very informative post. This question is asked by every person before hiring someone to build a website. And the cost is different for simple websites and eCommerce websites.
    And after reading this post anyone can have an idea for the cost of the website.

    • Jeremy Wong
      #

      Thanks for your comment. I’m glad this gives you some sort of pricing reference.

      However, your actual experience could be very different from ours (and others). It depends on the type of website you are trying to build, how well you’ve planned (a disorganized process will cost more in time and money), where you hired your team (developed or emerging markets), whether you are using a drag and drop website builder or having something custom coded, etc.

      So just keep that in mind!

      Jeremy

  41. #

    Very useful. Thanks alot for sharing.

    • Jeremy Wong
      #

      Thanks Saran. Glad you found our experiences helpful.

      Jeremy

  42. #

    I really appreciated the info in your article. What about Malware? If I use something like WordPress do I have to worry about Malware on my site? Someone told me I could be sued if someone gets a virus from my website. Is that true?

    • Jeremy Wong
      #

      Hello Carol,

      I’m not sure if someone can sue you based on that (but then again, I’m not a lawyer). I would imagine it’s hard to prove where the virus originated from? Plus, I think majority of the time, your website browser or standard virus / malware check that comes with your computer should be able to detect most intrusions – just keep these programs updated on your computer and most of them have auto updates.

      Good hosting services should have proper security mechanisms set up to protect all their users’ websites. That’s why I tend to encourage people to skip on the cheap $1 hosting services. “You get what you pay for” does apply somewhat here.

      Jeremy

      • #

        Jeremy, Thanks for your quick reply to my question.
        And again thanks for your helpful information regarding setting up a website. Carol

  43. #

    Hello Jeremy,

    As I am thinking of developing a web site I found your article very informative. However, I believe that your article only goes part of the way to inform people like me who are new to the process.

    The creation of a web site is only part of the whole process. Can you please provide some idea of of the components that comprise the complete ‘experience’? For example, I assume the developed site doesn’t just sit on your lap top. It needs to sent/published/whatever somewhere. Where does it get published? How do I find out where to publish it? How does it get listed as the response to a search engine (e.g. Google) request? There are probably many more items I could have included.

    These are all things that newbies to web site building, like me, will need to consider.

    Alan S

    • Jeremy Wong
      #

      Hi Alan,

      Glad you found our discussions here helpful.

      Once you build a website (you can use drag and drop website builders to build websites and you don’t have to know how to code), and publish the website, then it will be “live” on the internet.

      People can then access your website on their desktop computers, mobile device, tablets, etc. Once a website is published on the internet, people can see it across different viewing devices.

      As for how to get your website to appear on Google, definitely submit your website through Google Search Console. It’s free to set up and you can manage how Google sees your website through the console.

      But just by submitting your website to Google doesn’t necessarily mean that your website will appear high in search rankings. You’ll have to perform “Search Engine Optimization” to your website. You can find a lot of resourceful discussions about this topic online. It takes a lot of time and effort, so definitely take a long term view to this.

      Hope this helps!

      Jeremy

      • #

        Hi Jeremy,

        Once again thanks for the reply.

        I understand all your points regarding building websites using drag and drop and that there is no need to code. Then you mention ‘publishing’ the web site, but you don’t explain what this entails me doing. How do I go about publishing it please?

        Thanks again

        Alan S

        • Jeremy Wong
          #

          Alan,

          When you add content to your website through a website builder (Wix, Squarespace, WordPress, etc), you have to click the publish button before your content updates are seen by people visiting your website.

          So if you don’t publish your content changes, your website visitors won’t see the changes.

          Jeremy

  44. #

    Thanks so much for this article. i know NOTHING about ANYTHING technologically related and this was written in a way that makes it easy to understand. Thank you for taking the time to put this article together. Its nice to know that people are in the same boat as me! Good luck!

    • Jeremy Wong
      #

      You’re welcome Laureen! Glad you enjoyed this post and found it helpful.

      Believe it or not, even the most hardcore tech nerds out had to learn how to use the keyboard at one point. So everybody has to start somewhere! It’s never too late.

      Do click on the social sharing buttons on the left to share it with others! I’d really appreciate that!

      Jeremy

  45. #

    Good day.I am in the process of setting up a one page webpage and want to link my suppliers
    generic websites to this one page.

    This is to keep overheads low.Can you give any insight on how to start and proceed.

    I found your web very informative and thank you.I am based in South Africa.

    • Jeremy Wong
      #

      Hi Dennis,

      There are a number of website builders that are very easy to use and you can get started with any of them if you want a pretty basic / generic website.

      Take a look at our comparison chart here.

      I’d say if you want to keep things very simple, take a look at Wix or Weebly. Both are free to try, so you get a feel of which one you like more before you commit.

      Jeremy

  46. #

    Why must you insist on spreading a rumer that developers are out to screw people? Why even put that in people’s heads? While i do agree it is good for one to educate themselves about the process, telling people that there may be some developers out there to screw them puts an inherent distrust in any client’s mind. A developer that screws people over will not last long anyways, there is no reason to tarnish the trust in the majority of us good developers.

    • Jeremy Wong
      #

      Hi Chris,

      Thanks for your comment.

      I also agree with you that it’s good as a general practice for people to familiarize themselves with basic website building / process before diving into customs. Not only will this help make the process a bit easier from the person who want to build a website, but also easier from the developer’s perspective so as to not having to spend as much time handholding the client throughout the process.

      But my point in this post is not to say that all developers are bad. But it would be ignorant to say that all developers are good. This applies across all industries / professions.

      I made that point out of our own experiences, and from a lot of people who have emailed us to share their stories with us.

      When we first tried to build a WordPress site, the developer we used, after spending a good amount of time screening him, pretty much took the money and ran and left us with a half built site. We were fortunate enough to recover 50% of the payment from filing a dispute with PayPal.

      So am I a bit turned off from our own experience? Yes absolutely. But does that mean all developers are bad? No.

      I’ve clearly shared that we do have a really awesome WordPress developer that work on a per hour basis for us right now, and we happily pay him about $100 per hour for his services. Granted, we’re pretty proficient with using WordPress ourselves right now so we only seek his services from time to time.

      I re-read the post above and I think I shared my thoughts based on my own experiences as much as possible (which of course, had a few road bumps along the way).

      So to re-iterate. There are really awesome and professional developers out there and they’re well worth their fees. But thinking that all developers are good is in my view, not a prudent approach.

      Do your due diligence, be as defensive as you practically can, and hopefully things will go smoothly as possible. In our case, it didn’t, and it was a good lesson. Such is life, right?

      Thanks for adding to this discussion Chris. I know it’s going to stir up some constructive comments. But it’s good to be aware of all aspect of things.

      Jeremy

      • #

        Hi Guys,

        Great article and a good one for people who are thinking of setting up their own website. I am a developer so I also feel what Chris is saying. However, I think the point is not that there are some developers who are out to screw people (obviously there are, they are call scammers and what they are doing is plain fraud in my opinion. But there are scammers in every industry).

        I think the more crucial concern with hiring a developer is their ability to achieve what you want them to achieve. I think Jeremy also touched on this as well, don’t set your bar too high at the beginning because if you’ve never build a website before and then you go and hire a developer and tell him/her you want this and that. You almost certainly wouldn’t get what you want. And the reason could be many things, such as communication breakdown, the developer’s ability to achieve what you want or what you want was just plain impossible and the developer didn’t have the heart to tell you so he said yes and try to make it work.

        I think website builders are a good way to go as a beginner who doesn’t want to invest too much financially into the project. However, there is still a major learning curve and I think people will need to be aware of this. Also, once you commit to one builder, it would be hard to switch to another one so I would suggest spending only 1 week on each (I would also shortlist the ones you want down to maybe 2) and then decide on which one suits you best (it could be their theme selection, their user interface or their pricing).

        Another thing to bear in mind is that website builders are great and starting with baby steps are also a good thing. But once you have your website built and you want to upgrade it by adding more features to enhance your users experience, your chosen website builder might not have the capability to handle this. So I would keep in mind that later on, you might have to migrate your site to something more flexible like WordPress or even a custom built website.

        • Jeremy Wong
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          Hey Federick,

          Thanks for your very sensible comment! Great tips and I’m sure others will find them helpful!

          I was just reflecting a bit more over our own experiences over the past few years. I still can’t believe how much the website building industry has grown. It used to be “impossible” to build a website, but now it’s really so much easier than ever before!

          Jeremy