Good Question. And it’s one that has been asked of us on more than one occasion.
Building a custom website specifically for the needs of a local business is no small task. It is a full time job that usually requires the effort of multiple people within a web design/development firm/agency working countless hours to plan, prepare and execute.
When you pay a web professional to create and build you a custom website, there is a financial and moral obligation to deliver the end product, your custom website, in a timely manner. Therefore, when your friend (or relative) offers to build you a website for free, you should ask yourself three key questions:
Is My Friend Qualified to Build me a Custom Website?
Sometimes your friend may turn out to be an IT person, which means he or she usually doesn’t have any direct experience in designing and coding websites. Or your friend may have recently graduated from school in computer science and needs practical experience by attempting to build a website for you. But let’s assume that your friend is actually an experienced “web developer”, which means he or she may be qualified to build (code) a website, but not to actually “design” it. A web designer is the person who focuses on how to design the look and feel of the website. If your friend is solely a web designer, he or she may not have the necessary experience to code the design correctly or be able implement website functionalities (parallax scrolling, scroll reveals, the latest animated hover effects, etc.) that you may desire. Sometimes, though, a web professional can actually both design and code websites well.
Does My Friend have the Time to Build me a Custom Website?
In most cases, the friend who offers to build you a website for free already has a full-time job, hopefully designing and/or developing websites. That means your friend will have to work on your website project after hours. Now, I don’t know about you or your friend, but most web professionals I know after working a 10+ hour day, don’t want to come home to start working on another project, even if they’re getting paid. Now, imagine if they aren’t getting paid. That’s a lot of work to be doing outside of a full-time job to not receive any compensation. People are people…we all need some free time to relax and forget about work. That is why the clients who come to us in this scenario, do so, after many months of broken promises and excuses from a “friend”. A free website from a friend typically means, “Sorry, I haven’t really had the time to work on your website because I’ve been so busy.” This is the kind of thing that has sometimes ruined friendships.
Can My Friend Show Me a Portfolio of Completed Web Projects?
You want to see what your friend is capable of don’t you? If your friend does not have a portfolio of completed web projects, then you might be disappointed that you wasted time having your friend take a stab at building you a website, months down the road. Believe me, we have seen this happen.
When it comes to a website project for your business, who has potentially months to waste? If you would like to find out more about the hiring our professional web design team, please call us at 480-306-4260 or complete and submit the Contact Us form on this page.