I have a little secret. Do you want to hear it? OK…here ’tis.

Building and maintaining a website is not that hard. Of course, I say that just like a surgeon would say an appendectomy isn’t that hard either. We at Fiddler Online have built hundreds of websites. We have become so good at it that people pay us money to create website masterpieces. That’s called capitalism, folks.

But seriously, we do get people sweating over our prices (which are by far the best bang for your website buck), and then they wonder if they really have to pay for a website. The truth is, there is no way-out of paying for a website. It is either going to cost you money, or time, you pick.

There is nothing wrong with doing a website yourself. There are a lot of really good resources out there that you can trade time, instead of money, for a website. For example, check out TrendyandTrue.com. This is company that rents prom dresses to those in Pocatello, ID and the surrounding area. It was started by a stay-at-home mom that has turned a bedroom in her house into a classy rental studio. It’s a great website that works! She did it all by herself and pays the minimal hosting fees (around $10/month). She’s able to make changes by herself and continue to have an effective presence online.

Here are a few DIY website options with minimal costs:

For a small business that doesn’t have any cash but does have lots of time, these are great options. There are some technical tasks that can be a little tricky setting up a website (i.e. hosting, domain management, email), but you could easily pay Fiddler Online hourly to get those things set up. Or Google might help you find technical direction.

Building your own website may work for some boot-strapping businesses; however, there are businesses that really should avoid doing it themselves. Here are 4 types of business owners that should not build their own website.

1. Business owners that produce more than $249/month

A lot of small businesses can barely sell one pair of their proprietary bubble wrap underpants. Starting a business is hard and it requires you to make some sales to grow. However, if you have an established business that is making at least a couple hundred dollars, for Pete’s sake, you might as well have a jaw-dropping website that reflects your business. Seriously. Call us.

2. Business owners that want traffic

If you have a little quilting hobby on the side, DIY websites are probably the best move. But if you really want to have new customers come from your online presence you have to start with a really effective website that Google recognizes, understands, and ranks. Like I said before, building a website doesn’t automatically generate traffic, but ranking on Google gets very easy when you have a well designed website.

3. Business owners that are really good at what they do

If you are good at being a bankruptcy lawyer, then be a bankruptcy lawyer. If you sell insurance, sell more insurance. If you are good at doing surgery on ingrown toenails, then do more toenail surgeries. Why on earth would you take time to build a website when you don’t have a clue what you are doing? Sure, you can figure it out with time, but you aren’t making as much money as you would digging out ingrown toenails. Better to pay someone, like us, who does it full-time. Especially at our prices.

4. Business owners that don’t understand design

Many of the cheap options listed above have some great looking templates, but at the end of the day, that’s just what they are–templates. Those visiting your website will be able to see the difference between a template design and a custom design. If you want your look to feel as good as the quality of your work, leave it to the professionals.

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Kurt

Kurt Francom is a former partner at WordXpress. He currently lives in Salt Lake City, Utah. He has two kids and a massage therapist wife Alanna (a mechanic never has time to work on his own family cars). Kurt enjoys reading, writing, time-travel movies, attending college football games in the fall, and drawing caricatures.