Yes...we really do hear that from time to time. No disrespect to the nephew's best friends who really are professional web designers, but let's face it...most of you are not. So why do people keep doing it? Why would they entrust one of their most important business assets to a novice? Sometimes one who has not even graduated from high school? Here's what we've learned...
Obviously, someone who selects this option is unaware of the probable results. There is a focus on immediate cost without an understanding of return and investment. Would you allow an unproven resource to file your taxes or do your bookkeeping? Although focus is cost, with the resource who isn't a professional designer you run the risk of them not being a professional estimator as well. So the two week time frame turns into eight months...or never.
All of that aside, doing good web design that is representative of a business...or provides online tools...is not always easy even for the professionals. There are business decisions that can only be well made as a result of experience. Its good to be smart and enthusiastic, but the advantage of grey hair on your web developer is that those experiences have been realized on someone else's dime and time. The less you know about web design and how your site should operate yourself, the more important that experience becomes in your web designer.
So if you're doing a favor for your nephew's best friend, bake them cookies, but don't turn one of your most critical business assets over to them. Or if you do, just treat your payments as a gift to them and make sure you have enough budget left over in case you need to hire a professional for the job.