Custom eCommerce Website Design vs DIY Design

A common question asked to e-commerce business owners is whether you should pay for a custom website design, or use one of the many Do-It-Yourself (DIY) platforms. It’s a tricky question that involves more then just a generalization. Below are some questions you need to ask yourself when deciding between the two options. You have a lot to take into account, and should think over your decision carefully. By the time you answer the following questions though, you should have a good understanding of which route you’re going to take. 

Question #1 - How Much Do You Know?

This is a simple enough question that should be easy for you to answer. Are you comfortable using HTML and CSS? These are the two core languages you NEED to know if you’re going to accomplish anything on your own. You should really have even more knowledge then that though if you’re going to create your own custom website. Programming languages, Javascript, vast knowledge of web security techniques and other coding is often required along the way too.
If your answer is “A good amount”, then you should move forward with a custom website design. That’s fairly obvious. However, If you’re answer is “Nothing” or “Not a lot”, then you need to ask yourself question number two. 

Question #2 - Are You Willing To Learn?

Even if you don’t know anything right now about website design, or coding, you can always learn. Yes, it’s going to take some time, and no, it’s not that easy. My advice to you is to learn and work at the same time. Pick up a book, and start writing out your web page while learning. Nothing comes easy in life, and learning to design a website is no exception. Learning a new web language takes time and effort. If you’re trying to start you’re own business though, you probably don’t have a lot of time to spare. This is where question number three takes over. 

Question #3 - How Much Are You Willing To Pay? 

Money can buy happiness, at least in the case of owning a beautiful website. With all the freelance websites in existence today, you can always hire people to do exactly what you need them to do. All it requires is money. If you have money, then I suggest spending it on a nice website design. I’m sure you have something in mind already, and if not, you can always come up with something. Most companies don’t need a lot to get started. Just a basic outline, and they can help you fill in the blanks. Be warned though, even if you’re willing to spend money on a beautiful web design, you’re going to need to still work hard in other areas of the business to succeed. 
If you are broke, and don’t have the time to learn how to do it yourself, then your best bet is to use a DIY design. I know I’ve made it sound like the last resort option, but it’s not as bad as it sounds. Most of the newer DYI templates are very nice looking, and offer a lot of useful functionality. If you’re just starting out online, then the DIY route is probably the best way to go. It will save you both time and money, and the only drawback is that another company may be using the same design as you. This is usually not a problem though, and you shouldn’t worry about it. If your website is run properly, you can succeed using any design method.
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