Building a Business Website: DIY vs. Professional Services

Running a small business means juggling a lot of unexpected tasks and learning new things all the time. Building a website is one project many small business owners think is beyond them – but that’s likely not the case.

With more and more free website builders available nowadays, do you really need a professional web developer, or is DIY the right approach?

Let’s look at the pros, cons and considerations of designing your own site, including what to look for in a website builder and how rolling in domain registration can streamline how you manage your online presence.

The DIY approach

A free website builder is a budget-friendly solution for establishing an online presence. Some basic technical knowledge is required, but building a simple website shouldn’t be daunting for savvy small business owners.

Pros of DIY website builders


Most popular website builders are free, potentially saving thousands on development costs.

But there’s a catch. Some all-in-one providers give you a free website builder and then sting you with website hosting or domain registration costs.

We don’t do that. We want to give small businesses a head-start, so we give you three months of hosting for nothing when you purchase a website domain with Registry, plus a free website builder with 230+ templates.

Easy to use

All the best free website builders in Australia, including ours, give you a “WYSIWYG” (What You See Is What You Get) drag-and-drop interface.

WYSIWYG means you can build a great-looking website without ever looking at a line of code.

SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) is usually baked into the templates as well, boosting your potential to get found in Google searches.

Suits most small business use cases

A good website builder offers a wide range of editable, mobile-friendly templates with the flexibility to include blogs, eCommerce stores, social media widgets and rich media.

For example, Registry’s free website builder offers 230+ templates in 20 categories. We’ve pre-built professional templates for every type of small business, from art to events to food, tech and travel.

You can customise virtually every branded element – colours, fonts, images and text – to build a unique home online.

Cons of DIY website builders

Limited customisation options

While templates make building a functioning website easy, free and fast, they don’t provide full flexibility. You may need to invest in a web designer's services if you have a specific vision for your website’s design and functionality.

May not support sophisticated functionality

Complex features and third-party connections may not come standard with free templates. Most integrations are easy enough to manage with the right website hosting provider, while functionality like personalised content, customer portals or multiple language support is the realm of a pro.

Going pro

A professionally built website is a powerful brand tool. But it’ll cost you.

Before reaching out to a website agency, consider whether you need a designer specialised in web elements and user interaction, or a developer who can build complex features and functions with custom code.

Pros of professional website

Highly customised design

A skilled designer can create custom graphics, icons, interactions and components specifically crafted for your business.

They also consider how your site performs across various devices and platforms, ensuring a consistent and enjoyable experience on desktop, mobile and tablet.

SEO and technical expertise

Although free website builders are SEO-friendly, a professional web developer possesses a deep understanding of SEO principles, search algorithms and technical performance.

This kind of technical expertise is particularly suited to larger businesses and those in competitive, online-first industries like eCommerce or marketing.

No technical skills required

Free website builders are getting easier to use every day, but some small business owners simply don’t have the time, interest or capability to build a website with the bells and whistles they need.

Cons of professional web designers

Significant cost

Cost is the main barrier between small business owners and a professional website.

Professional web developers and designers charge at least a few hundred dollars, but more likely in the $5,000 to $20,000 range. A complex website with custom functionality can even cost $100,000 or more.

Difficult to find a good designer

There is no shortage of freelance web designers thanks to gig economy platforms like Upwork. But finding someone who understands your brand, has the right skills, and quotes within your budget? It’s tricky.

Risk of over-engineering

Unless your website is your primary source of business, a simple, functional site could be all you need.

More important than anything else is bringing your brand to life and making important information easy to find.

Which option is right for you?

Ultimately, the decision to DIY your website or hire a professional comes down to four key questions:

  • Budget: How much can you allocate to your website? Include domain registration, website hosting and ongoing maintenance in your calculation.
  • Complexity: Does your website need complex coding, or is a professional-looking simple site better for visitors?
  • Time: When do you need the website to be live, and how much time can you invest in building it?
  • Brand Identity: How does your brand come to life online?

Whether you opt for the simplicity of a DIY website or a professional’s expertise, Registry Australia is here to help you build your home online.

Our online support services include .au domain hosting, a free website builder, website hosting and custom email addresses. Feel free to get in touch with our Australian support team if you need a hand getting started.

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