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Should CTOs Outsource Commercial Website Development?

Recently founded startups or companies leveling up their digital marketing need to build a new commercial website. But while the marketing department will often prefer in-house developers who are more responsive and know the company; the development team will prefer an out-sourced solution, so they can focus on the actual product.

Website builders like IM Creator or Webflow are also becoming more prevalent, making marketers more independent and less dependent on development teams.

Development managers: when choosing the best website development solution for your company, here are five aspects to take into consideration.

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5 Considerations When Deciding Who Will Build the Marketing Website

1. The Speed of Making Changes

Marketing needs the ability to quickly edit, publish and remove website assets. These include webpages, text, design, lead generation features like banners and pop-ups, and plugins. Waiting weeks for a small change will not enable marketing with the agility they need to respond to ongoing events and ramp-up activities in an efficient way. Here at Swimm, we make it a point to enable our marketing team to quickly make website changes.

  • Outsource: An outsourced company will often be quicker to respond and make the changes, because these are the services they provide and compensated for.
  • Inhouse: Inhouse development of the website is often a sidegig. Therefore, making changes will usually take longer. If the company decides to keep the solution inhouse, a good way to deal with marketing needs is through developer shifts or allotting a certain scope of marketing tasks to each developer. This is what we do here at Swimm.
  • Website builders: Most non-complex changes can be performed by the marketing person, enabling the fastest response. More complex changes will still require coding and thus still need a solution from the development side.

2. Developer Proficiency

Website development is a skillset. It requires knowing the nooks and crannies of page speed, CSS, responsiveness, and more. These things could make or break a website. In addition, website developers need to know how to build an SEO friendly website, and integrate with marketing tools for marketing automation, Google Analytics, heatmaps, and more.

  • Outsource: Out-sourced developers are proficient in web development because this is their main profession. They know the different website building technologies from end-to-end.
  • Inhouse: In-house teams have to learn web development to hard-code a website. In essence, they are building a CMS product for the marketing team. Here at Swimm, we came up with a solution to overcome this challenge - we discuss it below.
  • Website builder: Standard needs are supported out of the box. Sophisticated and complex changes require an experienced developer, either inhouse or outsourced.

3. Unique Integrations

Each company has its unique integrations with the website, from product login to a special CRM integration to showcasing part of the product in the website. These are important for lead conversions and are an essential part of the marketing funnel and product adoption.

  • Outsource: Outsourced developers are not familiar with the product code and are usually not able to perform the integrations themselves.
  • Inhouse: Inhouse teams know the product because they wrote the code. They have the abilities to create these integrations.
  • Website builder: These integrations do not come out of the box and require development.

4. Costs

A website can become a very costly product, when adding up storage costs and working hours, not to mention additional costs like design.

  • Outsource: This is the most expensive solution. Any website change is billed and storage costs are very high and can climb to a steep number as the traffic grows. Therefore, even if you outsource your development, we recommend obtaining the code inhouse afterwards for changes.
  • Inhouse: Costs depend on the cost of your team. The bill at the end of the month will not catch you by surprise though.
  • Website builder: Many solutions are affordable, reducing the cost of working hours. Storage and unique changes still need to be taken into budget considerations.

5. Security

Websites need to be secure to prevent cyber attackers from making any changes to it and gaining access to valuable assets.

  • Outsource: Many outsource companies choose a standard, non-secure solution like WordPress. Therefore, if you choose WordPress, it’s important to change passwords and take additional security measures.
  • Inhouse: A hard-coded website enables complete control over the site security.
  • Website builder: Some solutions are more secure than others.

Website Development Proficiency at Swimm

Here at Swimm, we developed the website inhouse to enable control and ensure security. We decided to serve a completely static site but with the perks of developing with Vue.

So we chose NuxtJS. We added a content management layer using Netlify CMS, which is Open Source, and uses Git for tracking content versioning and publishing. We can host the website wherever we want as the result of our build is a completely static dist library.

To overcome the developer proficiency challenge, we created a Swimm playlist for building and maintaining the website. It explains how the website is built, which technologies we used, and it has exercises to practice.

By running the playlist, any developer can become proficient in the website code and work with marketing to develop and work on the website. Here’s what is looks like:

As you can see, it covers Netlify, Nuxt, and deployment steps. By using these playlists, we have overcome the challenges of developer proficiency, enabling us to control the website, reduce costs and enable marketing agility.

Conclusion

While there are several considerations to keep in mind, here are the key ones that should guide your decision:

  • If you need to integrate your product into your website and security is an issue - develop inhouse
  • If you only require a landing page style website - choose site building tools
  • If money is not an issue and you want to buy peace and quiet for your dev team - choose the outsource solution

*Whether you choose to outsource your website, develop internally or rely mostly on a website builder, you can reduce the friction when requiring internal development with documentation and code proficiency tools like Swimm. Request a demo to see for yourself.*