Creating Your Own Rental Website vs. Hiring An Agency

In 2021, it is no longer an option to take orders online for your rental business; it’s an essential requirement to be successful. Instead, today’s customers want to book equipment online through...

In 2021, it is no longer an option to take orders online for your rental business; it’s an essential requirement to be successful. Instead, today’s customers want to book equipment online through a professional website that provides them with the assurance of the service they will experience when renting something.

Their website will be the first or second piece of contact a customer has with their brand for many rental businesses. So unless you offer them something they can’t find somewhere else, they probably won’t convert into a paying customer if you can’t make bookings on your website.

So, should you take on the task of creating a rental website for yourself, or should you hire a web design agency to do it for you? Well, if you’re reading this, you probably haven’t made a decision yet, so we’d like to walk you through the pros and cons of each path. We hope to help you decide the best direction to take for your rental website design.

Creating your own rental website

We live in an age where learning to do things yourself has never been easier, thanks to YouTube and other video streaming platforms. So it could be as easy as doing a quick search to find all the information you need to create your very own rental website. However, there are still some pros and cons to consider if you choose this path.

Pro - You can design it just how you want it

We’re not saying that a website design agency won’t live up to your expectations. Still, it can be not easy to translate ideas into reality when it’s being articulated to you.

By choosing to create your website yourself, you can easily approximate a design you see in your head without explaining it to anyone. In addition, website building platforms like WordPress and Squarespace make it easy to put together a functional website within a matter of hours.

It just relies on you finding a template that you like that can be customized to be exactly what you want your website to look like. There are even plugins to add rental functionality to your online store, like our own WordPress plugin.

Pro - You can save yourself a lot of money

One of the most important benefits of creating your website yourself is that you can save yourself a lot of money. This does, however, mean you are responsible for purchasing the domain name, hosting, and website builder fees, but it will be much more affordable than with a website design agency.

For many small businesses, this can be a very lucrative option. However, they will have limited financial resources to dedicate to their website, especially when the cost of working with an agency vs working on it yourself starts to add up.

Con - Your website may not live up to your dreams

Despite having complete control over the creative aspect of your website, your lack of development experience can hold you back quality-wise. For example, if you need a specific function that there isn’t an easy fix or plugin, you could be out of luck.

This means that you could end up being disappointed in your website, and it may not live up to your requirements. Unfortunately, this means you’ll have to accept it the way it is or bring someone else in to help you.

Con - You may end up spending a lot more time and money

If you choose to create your own rental website, you will spend a lot of time learning how to put together a website. If time is sensitive, you could find yourself spending several months building your website while an agency could’ve done it in half the time or less.

Even when you have finished your website, you may end up having to hire an agency or freelancer to make changes to fix errors or meet your exact requirements. In addition to the marketing agency, you will probably need to hire to keep your website updated with high-quality content.

Your website should be viewed as a marketing investment, and just like any other, it needs to have a return on your investment. If you hire an agency to create your website initially, you could find yourself making a profit much sooner than trying to go it alone.

Hiring a website design agency

Website design agencies are skilled in the complete process of building and testing a website. There are many agencies to choose from across the world, and the price will vary from one to the next. However, be aware that they are in high demand, so you should be prepared to wait for your rental website to be built.

Of course, hiring a website design agency is considered the usual route to go down if you want a professional website. However, this choice isn’t always the right one for every company to make. Below we will outline the pros and cons of hiring a website design agency to develop your new website for your rental business.

Pro - Your new website will look and function great

Usually, website design agencies will have many resources at their disposal that allow them to create an excellent website for you.

This includes developers, who will create your website, project managers, who will manage their workflow, SEO specialists, who can optimize your website for search engines, inbound marketeers, who specialize in ads and social media; content writers, who can create copy for your website and designers who will be responsible for the overall design of your website.

If you were to develop your own website, you might not have access to all of these resources. Therefore your website could fall short, particularly in technical areas like SEO, content writing, and coding for certain elements.

Pro - Your website will be finished on schedule

If you hire a website design agency, they will come back to you with a proposal and a framework for your website. This will give you more details about the deadline they can meet and how long each aspect will take.

They will be working around the clock to complete your rental website with minimal delays, especially if they’ve been around for a while. Whereas If you were to develop your own website, you might not have the time required to dedicate to it.

A website can take 1-3 months of committing every working hour to develop a website for an agency to complete the design. Meanwhile, if you’re a rental business owner, this could take much longer as you can’t dedicate your full attention to it.

Pro - Your website will be optimized appropriately

Something that website building platforms like WordPress, Squarespace, and Shopify don’t tell you is the there is much more to building a successful website than just the design. The other 50% of the work required is dedicated to optimizing your website to rank well in search engines.

Many factors contribute towards this, including:

  • SEO: What keywords will your website range for? How easy is it to navigate your website?
  • Mobile-Ready: How well does your website perform on mobile devices? Google uses a mobile-first ranking system, so unresponsive websites can be punished if they don’t perform well on mobile devices.
  • Content: Is the content on your website relevant to your audience? The content on your website should provide value to visitors.
  • Backlinks: When other websites link back to your website, it helps to boost the credibility of your rental business.

Con - It can be costly

The cost of hiring a website design agency isn’t cheap, and you can be looking at spending between $2,000 and $15,000 depending on the complexity of your website and the agency you choose to go with.

If you choose a more reputable website design agency, they will generally charge much higher rates which can be uncomfortable for a small business. Though some smaller, less experienced agencies may charge less, the quality of the end product may not be on the same level as a more experienced one.

This means you are often forced to pay higher prices for your new website than you would perhaps like to be paying.

Con - Finding the right agency can be difficult

Taking the time to vet a website design agency can be a lot of hard work. It involves browsing reviews, checking references, and looking through their past work.

Suppose you don’t have a lot of free time to dedicate to this process. In that case, it can often be challenging to find the right company, leading to you potentially making your decision prematurely and potentially regretting it down the road.

Con - You could be left on your own

Once your website is finished, it needs to be maintained, and you need to invest time in creating blog posts and seeking new keyword opportunities to improve the ranking on your rental website.

Unfortunately, most website design agencies only specialize in the building side of website development. So, you’ll undoubtedly end up spending more money to hire a marketing agency to get the most out of your new website.

Conclusion

What is the best option for your rental website: hiring a website design agency or creating a website yourself? Unfortunately, the answer isn’t the same for everyone as some will prefer to have the reassurance an agency provides while others will choose to go it alone.

However, it makes more sense for most people to go with a website design agency if they want a stylish, modern, and functional website. This can only usually be achieved by hiring professionals who can create your website in a reasonable time frame or budget.

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