Websites to do-it-yourself or not do-it-yourself – that is the question!

I’m aware that many individuals and organisations can’t afford to pay for a complete and bespoke professional services with the professional charges that come with it, and that many businesses need something asthetically pleasing while still achieving the goals in terms of technical and functional operation. All singing, all dancing graphic or web designs when produced carefully and properly can of course be very impressive – but you don’t always need them to achieve an excellent solution which can more than exceed your expectations.

There is an ever increasing availability of ‘stock’ graphic and web design solutions via on-line resources, DIY websites, off-the-shelf solutions, cheap graphics and stock photography. Although using ‘stock’ resources means your site may well not be unique, its important to weigh up the potential cost of being unique. Large companies will have needs that small companies and individuals don’t actually need – so perhaps the real money spending can be left to them, and a less bespoke solution might work better for your project. You might have to compromise on features and functionality and unique design, but chances are, you can create something excellent for your requirements using already designed, cheap or free readily available resources. If you have enough technical and design knowledge, you will be able to produce something to satisfy your requirements with little investment.

The original ‘framework’ for this web site has been built using cheap methods including readily available resources, and shows what you can do if you are prepared to invest time and already have a comprehensive understanding of the internet, website design and development and technical knowledge but a very, very small budget. If you don’t have the time, or creative or technical knowledge, you might well need to out-source your project.

The gap – its ‘either, or’

I think it’s true to say that a gap is opening up whereby you either ‘Do It Yourself’ for little or even no money using resources already available, or pay a premium for a professional to do nearly all of it for you costing anything from hundreds of pounds upwards into thousands. It depends what you’re looking to do, and how you want to achieve it.

But availability and ease of use still doesn’t necessarily make good design, particularly in regards to the internet, these days where ‘content is king’, it doesn’t matter how good a design you choose ‘off-the-shelf’ if your content lets you down, or if the context and use of that design is wrong. One of the problems on-line today is too much choice! The choices you make about graphics and websites are just as important as if you’d actually designed it and programmed it all yourself.