Question :
Build your own website platform or Pay for an expert? I’m looking to start a business for next summer in the tourism market. I want to have a website that will allow for people to book a time slot and pay (I will need to limit the number of cars that come on the property). I have used Squarespace for my husbands site and could probably work out wix or shopify if I needed to. SO my question is: If I did a DYI site which of the platforms has a good flexible booking capability?OR am I best to go with a local company to build it for me?Cheers A

Question submitted 07/05/20 @ 01:38pm
Industry: Digital and Technology
  • Generally speaking you may be better off using an out-of-the-box solution as long as your requirements aren’t too customised, because the cost of building and then maintaining all the operational facets of a website can get burdensome over time. Not to mention PCI compliance and data security requirements etc. Could your booking time slots effectively be constructed as SKUs and then loaded into a standard platform like Shopify or Wix? Shopify probably scales better and can be extended further later on – but it really depends on your available budget and volume. Happy o chat further offline, if you like.

    I would recommend using an out of the box system that you can customise to your own look and feel; or a plugin. I would be focussing on something fit for your actual purpose rather than trying to make another system work for you. So a shopping site is probably not what you are after.

    There are lots of online booking systems around. It’s a common business need so there are lots of well-built, mature solutions. Have a look at Resbook (https://www.resbook.com/). Just as an example.

    Good luck.


    Nearly always buy over build. You may lack some of the desired functionality/look and feel, but the cost of a) the initial development and b) the subsequent support will many times outweigh the compromises you’ll need to make for an out-of-the-box solution.

    Thanks for that – I think I will have a deeper look at Shopify and perhaps get a plugin for booking Cheers A

    Have a look at A mix of both – Shopify is very easy to use over all but, what I did for a client site a while ago was a mix of both – user a designed for the look at feel but (who used a Paid template for Shopify) they executed what we wanted as far as design and overall, and I loaded the products in apps for Shopify etc. Worked out very cost-effective and the team got to use the back of the website and put things in themselves, so saves any ongoing tech costs.

    Jumping in on this question if I may. I am wanting to start a website also. I am not very tech savvy – what is an out of the box solution? Make your own or pay someone to do it? Thank you

    Contact David Kelly (david@zeald.com), they are offering extremely subsidised (free) websites as a way to give back during Covid.

    Their pitch:

    GEM = Get Ecommerce Movement = help Kiwi SME’s achieve rapid digital transformation so that NZ experiences a digital revolution = starting with an initial batch of 500 free ecommerce sites.

    Zeald are a great company to work with, hope it goes well for you.

    “Jumping in on this question if I may. I am wanting to start a website also. I am not very tech savvy – what is an out of the box solution? Make your own or pay someone to do it? Thank you”

    You can build your own site, at the same time problem, is many times it doesn’t have the consistent look and feel (which equals trust) of a brand/professional design. That means when it comes to marketing, it fails to convert in sales.

    Shopify is an e-commerce platform you can get started right away – if you can post here you have enough tech skills already 🙂

    Good luck

    If you have some basic website knowledge (it sounds like you do) I think it’s well worth creating your own website, and then asking a group of friends to test it for usability. I have done this in the past and then paid for a web designer to give it a look over and point out anything I’ve missed. If you only need something simple you can update yourself there is no need to reinvent the wheel. Good luck!

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