Disclaimer: I am a web developer. But in this article, I’m going to attempt to be as neutral as possible. I’m certain that many people are capable of building their eCommerce site without any professional help.

So you’ve got your product photography, your text content, and a logo. You’re ready to start building your Shopify store.

But, you don’t have a lot of time, you’re not sure about some things, or you know some parts will be very technical.

Should you hire a web developer and can you do it yourself? Or maybe you can split the work between yourself and the developer? Which parts?

Before we dive into the details, let’s talk about the single biggest factor in this.

Your Budget

Let’s get a couple of unavoidable costs out of the way first.

  1. Shopify’s basic plan costs $29 USD per month. You probably don’t need the more expensive plans.
  2. You will need to buy a Theme. This is the design of your store. I recommend only buying from the official Shopify Theme Store, where you will find most themes are $180 USD.

Now for hiring an expert.

You will need at least $500, but usually around $1000 to $3000, to have your site built by a professional.

There are of course people in less-developed countries that will work for less. They will usually need very precise instructions on what to do, so I recommend only using them for small and straightforward tasks.

If you don’t want to invest at least $500 into your website. Then you need to invest your time into developing the skills, and building it yourself.

Your Skills

If you consider yourself generally very tech-savvy, if you grew up with technology, or you love learning new things, then you will be capable and will probably enjoy building your store on your own.

You might only need professionals for certain specific tasks like code changes or landing page design.

The most important skills for building your store will be:

Bonus points if you know a little bit of code. Completing some short online HTML courses will help you a lot. I recommend Team Treehouse for this.

Your Time

Obviously, this will vary a lot depending on the size of your website.

If you only want to sell 5 basic products with a very simple theme, it will be a lot quicker than if you have a selection of 500+ products with different sizes and colors, organized into multiple collections and filters.

The average store setup takes me around 20 hours of actual work, plus around 10 to 20 hours of project management and communication with my client.

Keep in mind, I’ve done lots of setups and now don’t need as much time on research. You may want to at least double or triple this 20-hour estimate.

The bottom line is if you don’t have a 9 to 5 job, you can probably afford the time.

However, if you’re working full time, have a family, and are launching a business on the side, then you will definitely benefit from having someone help speed things up.

In fact, half of my clients are people that are just lacking time. The biggest benefit for them is me regularly pestering them for content and info, thus keeping the project moving.

The above 3 points should have you halfway to a decision on whether to hire someone or do the work yourself.

In my next article I will go into the actual work that needs to be done. I started writing that here but realized it’s going to be way too long!

I will cover the work that can be split between yourself and a developer. Which parts are easy and which are hard.

Till next time.

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