Every once in awhile, a person will ask me if there is a value in using a tool like Wix for their website. My answer may shock you because it’s not an immediate “No, are you crazy?” The answer always comes down to time, and the difference between a task and a project.
Tasks Vs. Projects
What separates a task from a project? Tasks typically take a short period of time. You buckle down, and in less than a day you have achieved your goal. Projects, on the other hand, tend to take several days. A task typically has one goal. A project has many small tasks—and goals—that add up to a much larger goal. Mowing your lawn? Task—go get some exercise. Changing out a broken wall socket? Task (remember to shut off the power first). Oil change? Task. Wiring your house? Definitely a project. Rebuilding a classic muscle car? Also definitely a project.
The last project referenced (rebuilding a classic muscle car) is something that many would consider pleasant. That project—restoring something from the past into its former glory—is the type of project that many would love to spend countless hours working on. A project that is not done for fun, on the other hand, is a job. Personally, I am not a fan of working for free; and due to a limited amount of time, my free time is expensive. Determine the cost of your free time and figure out if that cost is worth the savings incurred for not hiring an expert.
When to Tackle a Task
Whatever task you are presented with, from changing a lightbulb in a 2003 Ford Focus to fixing a breaker in your fuse box, there’s probably a video tutorial online to guide you. With this information readily available at your fingertips, there can be a large urge to tackle tasks that are out of your comfort zone. It’s outside your comfort zone because, let’s face it, you’re probably not a professional. And if you make a mistake while working on the task, whatever that task may be, you may need to hire a professional or devote an astronomical amount of your spare time to fix the original problem.
When considering whether to tackle a task yourself or hire a professional, there are two important questions to ask yourself:
- How much time will you spend by doing it yourself?
- What happens if you break it (worse)?
Fixing a leaky faucet is a single-goal task and will probably save you some time and money. So, going down the “watching YouTube tutorials on your phone while under the sink” route is probably worth a shot. Yes, if you break something you may have to spend more money at the end of the day…but go ahead; live on the edge.
What Does This Have to Do with Websites?
Your website is one of the largest parts of your brand identity. It’s often the first thing a potential customer will see after hearing about you, so making sure it leaves a good first impression is essential. Then there’s your digital presence beyond your website; all of the other places that your business has a digital footprint. Handling these aspects of brand identity is a series of projects, not tasks. And even with all the tools that exist in the marketplace, doing any of these projects correctly is going to take up a lot of free time (and you may end up hiring an expert anyway).
Ultimately, it’s up to you to determine if you have the time, the skill and the desire to carry out such a large project. But, more often than not, the cost of using such DIY tools as Wix for these types of projects is exponentially higher than hiring an expert in the first place.
Author: VP, Brand & Strategy Chris Gregoire.