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Should I hire a professional to program my website or do it myself?

Should I hire a professional to program my website or do it myself? by Mustafa Qamar-ud-Din

Answer by Mustafa Qamar-ud-Din:

It depends on:

1- Time?

If one has the time to build a website, then there is no harm in trying. Almost all required techniques are found on StackOverflow, SmashingMagazine, NextWeb, TutorialsPoint, W3Schools, … etc.

Moreover, there are plethora of open-source ready made templates, themes, and frameworks to get it done with a few mouse clicks. I’d recommend Drupal, WordPress, Joomla for CMS APPs. Magento, OpenCart, Shopify, WooCommerce for E-Commerce APPs. If one desires a custom solution, there are frameworks to build on which provides basic web components for routing, authentication, REST APIs,e-mails,…etc. If one is fond of Python, then use Django, Flask, and Pyramid. If one is fond of PHP, then use Laravel, Symfony, Yii, … etc.

2- Budget?

Usually professionals shall charge an hourly rate between USD $15 – $25 and a small website shall require 30 and upwards of working hours. If one can’t afford to pay for a professional, then one can always raise fund through many channels. Accelerators, Crowdfunding, Donations, Venture Capitals and Partners are just a few ways to raise fund.

3- Business Model?

This is so closely related to the previous factor of fund raising, since a promising and a potential business model for one’s APP shall entice incubators to support it generously.

In my humble opinion, most of the website or APP builders focused more on the technical aspects of the process. This is a fatal mistake, since a great APP with large user acquisition shines from the business model, value added, and user experience (UX). However, not investing enough time to think this process thoroughly, results in a great loss of time, effort, and money at the end. It is not uncommon to spend a year building a fascinating APP, and then find out that users do not simply use or even like it.

4- Scalability?

If one is building a website with 500,000 users in mind for the few first releases, and millions of users in future releases, then a poor architecture will not simply scale up to accommodate simultaneous requests. Maintainability will be a nightmare. It will be a real pain to release new features or bug fixes. Nonetheless the security concerns of the website or APP.

If one is planning to release a mobile APP along with the website, then this is another reason to hire a professional or learn what it takes to build a REST API based on the website. Not to mention how to build the mobile APP itself.

Should I hire a professional to program my website or do it myself?

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