Why I’m paying someone else to build my website

chrislema-face

I'm also a client

Let's get some stuff out of the way first

The first HTML that I wrote was in 1994.

The first ASP that I wrote was in 1996.

I wrote a lot of ColdFusion in-between those times.

And I started with ASP.NET back when it was ASP+ in 2000.

Sometime after that, I wrote a touch of JSP and then later, wrote in MXML that would compile to Flash – because of an Adobe product called Flex.

I'm telling you this not to suggest I'm a serious software developer, but simply to tell you that hacking on PHP and working on WordPress sites wasn't a new thing for me when I started with WordPress in 2005.

I know how to create a theme. I know how to not only leverage a plugin, but even tweak some of its code.

Which brings up the question that I'm addressing here.

But guess what? It's not just with websites.

Before I answer that, let me tell you about a few other things I can do.

  • I can clean my own house.
  • I can wash my own car.
  • I can spray chemicals around my house to eliminate pests.
  • I can mow a lawn.

But can I tell you the truth?

I don't do any of those things. And it's not because I'm independently wealthy or something crazy like that.

The reasons I don't do those things are pretty simple and come down to three things:

  1. Others do it better.
  2. Others do it faster.
  3. I do other things better.

Do you remember this commercial?

In the 1980's, I saw commercials like these all the time. I must have heard this line a thousand times: “I'm not only the Hair club President, but I'm also a client.”

Here's why I bring it up. I think every designer and developer likes to think we can see things from the perspective of a client. But more often than not, we can't. Because we don't do it enough.

Being a client is a really different kind of thing. And I'm not talking about asking your friend to help you out with something. I'm talking about formally becoming a serious, go thru each step, paying client.

Well, I'm not only a web developer, I'm also a client.

I'm paying someone to build my site

I have several sites in the works. So in this particular case, I'm not talking about chrislema.com or wpadvisor.com. I'm talking about a new site that I'm having built for the Rainmaker platform.

I've told you several times about Brian and Jennifer Bourn. One is a designer (Jennifer). The other is a developer (Brian). And together with their staff, they focus on branding and web development.

Like I told you recently, I've been following their work and wanted to be a client for a while. I just needed the right project.

And now we've started. And it's been great.

Why I'm paying

So with all that preamble, let me tell you why I'm paying for a website I could build myself.

The first reason is focus. When I pay someone else to work on code and graphics, I get to work on content. Since that's something only I can do, I stay focused on it, instead of messing with little tweaks and adjustments (or big tweaks) that others can do.

The second reason is commitment.  Do you know how many developers buy domain names with an intent to do something, but then never end up doing anything (except spending money on domain names)? It's huge! We should create a support group. But putting money into a project changes things from a nice idea into a commitment.

The last reason is education. I'm good at what I do. But what I do isn't often about designing websites. I design and build products. And I manage people. Those are the things I do well. The Bourns design and build sites well. And more importantly, they manage clients well. And I wanted to learn from them. So I hired them. To see how they work with folks like me. I'm pretty sure I'll get more than just a website from the process.

So let me ask you this – what if you hired out for something you could do, but chose not to? Might you learn from others? Might you be better able to focus on things only you can do? Or maybe the spending of some cash gets you committed?

What could you get from hiring someone to build your site?

About Chris Lema

Chris Lema has been working with WordPress since 2005. Over the years he's been a blogger, a speaker at WordCamps, a coach for WordPress product companies, and the founder of the conference for WordPress business owners, called CaboPress. Today he's the VP of Products at Liquid Web, where he manages the world's first managed platform for WooCommerce stores.

Chris Lema

Chris Lema has been working with WordPress since 2005. Over the years he's been a blogger, a speaker at WordCamps, a coach for WordPress product companies, and the founder of the conference for WordPress business owners, called CaboPress. Today he's the VP of Products at Liquid Web, where he manages the world's first managed platform for WooCommerce stores.

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