Today, it is easier than ever to get your business online. Do-it-yourself (DIY) website builders continue to improve and no coding skills are required to build a basic website. The options discussed below will help your business decide if a DIY approach will work or if you would benefit from collaborating with a web professional.

If your business is considering a website redesign, please see our website redesign checklist.

Low-end: Free Website Builders

There are countless simple and free website builders intended for people who don’t have technical backgrounds or web development experience. Low-cost website builders often use pre-designed, industry-specific website templates to get you up and running quickly. These website options are referred to as WYSIWYG (What You See Is What You Get) and utilize drag-and-drop editors. DIY website builders are great for short-lived sites like parties and events. They also prove enticing to small businesses on tight budgets, yet according to Yahoo:

"...just 3% of websites are created using do-it-yourself platforms. Amateur users find it hard to finish the process on their own and only a small percentage of registered users (1%-3%) end up with a published website on a domain."


  • technical skills not required
  • extremely affordable (i.e. free)


  • unoriginality (note: search engines do not like duplicate content, so swap out any pre-filled text with your own unique content)
  • limited functionality

High-end: Custom-Coded Websites

Larger companies often have advanced business requirements that necessitate hiring web programmers. These processes might include membership management, integrating an existing database, or providing highly-filtered search results. In these instances, a custom coded website is currently the only option. Although, it is reasonable to predict that out-of-the-box solutions for these processes may exist in the near future.


  • original website
  • advanced functionality 


  • costly
  • sites usually require on-going maintenance from a web designer

Mid-range: DIY + Web Professional

A popular option for many businesses is a balance of the above approaches. For example, here at Collaborada we build small business websites using the content management system (CMS) Squarespace. Clients appreciate the all-inclusive hosting, security, and easy maintenance after launching. Squarespace allows for quick development on our end which saves clients time and money. Small businesses benefit from a collaborative approach because web professionals bring expertise to projects in the areas of UX design, branding, content strategy, information architecture, SEO, advanced CMS features, and more. 


  • you get knowledgable advice every step of the way
  • polished end product that is easy for non-technical staff to maintain


  • portability — with many easy-to-maintain options, if you decide to change platforms, the website will need to be rebuilt


If your business requires advanced online processes and deep integrations with company data, then a custom coded site is the solution. If you have no money to budget towards a site, then a free website builder might be your only option. If your small business wants a polished online presence with the technical aspects done right the first time, then hiring a website professional to assist your business is the way to go. 

Keep in mind, for most businesses, building and launching a website is only the very beginning of their online efforts. Most websites require on-going quality contentpromotion, and tweaking to stay current and relevant for site visitors and search engines

Squarespace Support

Are you a DIY-er who just wants a little help? Check out our website audits, training, and support options, or subscribe to our free 5-day optimization series.

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