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Can I edit my own website?

Hiring a professional website designer doesn’t mean you have to pay for every edit going forward.

I was talking to a prospective client recently about their website. We were discussing moving her website to a new platform to better serve the organization’s growing needs.

She expressed to me that she was worried about not being able to edit her own website going forward. What took me by surprise was that, not only was she ok with a monthly free and contacting me (the web designer) for future edits, but was actually expecting this.

If a website designer says that you need to pay a monthly fee for ongoing edits, run away fast!

This is 100% unnecessary.

With the new tools we have as web designers, it is possible to build a custom professional website that you can edit without code.

Let’s dive into how this is possible!

Where the myth began: the old HTML days

Back in the day when websites were built from scratch using static HTML pages, you needed to know code to build them and edit them.

Which meant you needed to contact your designer for every little edit.

So what’s changed?

Today we have extremely versatile third-party platforms that offer drag-and-drop builders, templates, and more.

What does that mean?

It means professional website designers are using these new tools to create incredible custom websites without writing code.

This means you can edit your own website without code too.

So why do some designers require monthly fees and build sites that can’t be edited by you?

I’ve seen perfectly good sites unnecessary mangled with custom code.

This can happen with big agencies, freelancers, and even on cheap freelancer sites like Fivver*.

It is unclear if these designers are implementing custom code so that the client is forced to come back, or if it’s just how they prefer to build sites….but it doesn’t have to be to done this way.

Custom code is sometimes be required for extremely large and/or complicated sites with unique features. For most people, especially creatives and small businesses, this is not the case.

*A short rant on cheap freelancer website: While you may feel like you are saving money using a freelance site, but if you want to be able to edit a website without code, look elewehere. These cheap designers often use static design with custom code (making it impossible to edit and completely useless for conversions).

Why hire a website designer if you don’t need code to build a website?

This is a great question!

I am a big supporter of DIY websites, but when the time is right, hiring a website designer can be a game changer.

Here is what they should be doing for you:

  • Helping you find the right platform so your website is successful
  • Taking the overwhelm out of the process
  • Setting up global elements (like fonts, colors, spacing, etc)
  • Designing a layout that is easy for people to navigate (also called UX or User Experience)
  • Designing a website that converts (Aka content thrown on a page doesn’t guarantee people will take action—make sure your website is going to make you money with someone that understands how to build it in this way)

Here is what your website designer should not be doing:

  • Adding in so much custom code that you can’t make edits yourself
  • Requiring a monthly fee for maintenance and edits if it isn’t necessary (it’s usually not)
  • Building out custom features that’s in their best interest, instead of looking for a solution that works best for you
  • Not being upfront about costs and charging you more once you get going
  • Changing a monthly fee for content updates should be able to do yourself such as editing text, swapping photos, adding events or blog posts, etc. Unless you want their help with this.

Wait, so you don’t use any code?

Personally, I do sometimes implement some minor CSS to get a specific custom look, as needed. As long as the custom code or CSS doesn’t affect the areas you need to edit, you will be good to go!

However, you don’t need to write your own CSS on today’s platforms to build a custom website.

Next steps for you: a website you can edit yourself

I’m here for you and would love to talk to you about your website needs. If you have been considering getting some help, I offer a variety of starter packages (DIY option included), but we ultimately can build a custom package that works specifically for you.

And of course, I’m not the only one building professional websites this way. For example, the amazing ladies at NR Media build conversion based websites that can be 100% edited by you afterwards. So, as you move forward with your website options, just know that you don’t have to pay for every little edit!

Comments (1)

[…] Yes, you absolutely can. If your website designer requires you to reach out for every single edit, or if they require a monthly fee, I recommend you look elsewhere. Unless you are needing a very large or complex site, this is usually unnecessary. You can read more about this topic and what to look for in your web designer search. […]

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