How to decide if you should DIY your ruby on rails website

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These days, you’ve likely heard how valuable programming knowledge is and that practically everyone could benefit from picking up coding skills can be in the job market. While various people in-the-know will have a variety of opinions on this topic, a common recommendation for first-time programmers is that they should learn Ruby on Rails.

Compared to other methods of web development via other frameworks and programming languages, Ruby on Rails is often much more intuitive and less time-consuming to learn. Additionally, the programming community surrounding ROR web development can be incredibly encouraging, so there’s seems to be more pros than cons

However, although signing up for a relaxed, online course in ROR or dabbling in small side projects might sound like fun, how do you know when the skills you’ve built are good enough for a real challenge and when you should leave more complex work to the pros?

Assess What Your ROR Web Development Project Needs

Before you can determine if you should go ahead with a larger web development project, you need to consider what exactly your project needs. Consider these questions:

  • Are you planning on simply using it to practice newfound skills?
  • Is this for a short-term project?
  • What kind of audience will be accessing this site?
  • How long do you plan on maintaining the site?
  • Will the presentation and function of this site reflect on your reputation, professionally, academically, or otherwise?
  • How much traffic do you anticipate (and how much do you want) to frequent the site?

When thinking over these questions, you need to assess how important it is that this web development project succeeds. If you’re launching a site for your new business or an important charity organization that you’re a part of, you’ll likely want that venture to go off seamlessly, especially to avoid turning away potential investors, donors, and/or volunteers.

Of course, that doesn’t mean that you can’t pull off a beautiful and highly functional website through your design, even if you require a professional-quality website. If the website you need is relatively simple, the user-friendly Ruby on Rails framework will likely be one of your best options for DIY.

But, if you want to take advantage of the fast, responsive web application capabilities of ROR, finding the right Ruby on Rails development services may be your best bet. Depending on your specific needs, you may have a project on your hands that’s more complex and therefore too costly to risk doing yourself.

When It’s Time to Call in The ROR Pros

Some of the biggest and most often-used websites, including Hulu, Airbnb, and SoundCloud, rely on Ruby on Rails because of its inherently responsive framework, which allows the development of seamless and relatively easy-to-update web applications.

If your up-and-coming website will likely be handling business transactions, featuring interactive applications, and/or integrating with multiple databases, it may not be worth your time and effort to learn how to accomplish and maintain all those features on your own.

On top of the initial website building, you’ll need to keep on top of feature updates, strategize User Experience design, and provide regular data and web page maintenance. While the self-sufficiency of building your website may seem appealing, the amount of ROR experience you’d need to do the job right likely won’t be worth it unless you’re planning on a career change.