For small businesses looking to create a website, the number of available resources can be overwhelming, there are lots of DIY website builders to choose from and huge numbers of online articles to assist you in the website design and build process, BUT
By now, you should know the reasons why your business needs a website and that having your business online brings benefits, but it’s hard to distinguish what’s best for your business.
Many entrepreneurs and business owners choose to use web builder tools for their website because they are cost-effective and come with easy-to-use content management systems, you also have a degree of control over your design.
Usually the biggest reason for DIY is cost savings. Web builders such as Wix, GoDaddy and Squarespace (there are many more) are either free (beware, nothing in life is free) or have affordable annual payment plans with hosting and domain name registration included.
You won’t have monthly maintenance fees because security is usually included in your subscription. DIY is great for getting you up and running without breaking the bank, so long as you have the time and at least some design skills.
Time and Energy
These DIY web builders usually advertise their products as “build a beautiful and stunning website in a day”, but if you’re not the web or tech-savvy type, using a builder will take some time, patience, and willingness to learn. Once you get past the learning curve, you’ll be able to use the builder with ease, but for those with time constraints and commitments, your website build could be a rather time-consuming project (you wouldn’t believe the amount of half-completed websites out there).
Customization and Complexity
Be aware that DIY web builders will have restrictions on the extent to which they can be customized.
In some ways this is good because you won’t be overwhelmed with endless options. If you don’t need anything too complex with special functionality or lots of customization, like simple e-commerce or a landing page, this could be the right solution for your business. Since web builders are specific to a particular company, your website should be safe and secure from hackers and bugs. Most of these companies offer some kind of customer support, knowledge base and tutorials, and some provide community forums where people can post questions and answers.
Do you have the skills?
Most website builders are easy to use once you get used to them and typically don’t require any HTML or CSS knowledge. If you’ve got the design and tech skills, a DIY site is a possible solution to your needs.
Design and Strategy
Most if not all web builders come with pre-designed templates, however, do you really want your brand to look the same as your competitors? If not, you will want to customize your template to make it your own. If you’ve got design and marketing experience, you’re ready to go.
Hire a Professional Web Designer
Hiring a designer and/or developer is the best choice for your business (we would say that wouldn’t we!).
Your site is usually a business’s main marketing tool, so it makes sense to work with a professional to ensure not only that it looks good, but that it’s built to certain standards, is built to drive traffic and will give you a competitive edge. When you work with a pro, you are paying for their experience, expertise and knowledge.
Of course, working with a professional will be an upfront investment, but the increased likelihood of the success it offers outweighs the initial cost.
Time and Energy
Perhaps the most important reason to work with a professional is that it will save you time, stress and give a more professional result. Not only can a website designer build your site quickly and efficiently, but they can also set up website specific functionalities like appointment schedulers, booking systems, contact forms, newsletter sign-ups etc. which will help your business run more efficiently.
Customization and Complexity
When you work with a professional, they will create a bespoke website that meets your specific needs and is designed from the ground up to achieve your objectives. Your site will reflect your brand in the best way possible. You’ll have access to an expert with years of experience, creative ideas, and technological know-how, essentially, they handle all the design and tech while you focus on your business and what you do best.
Support and Security
Contrary to what many businesses think, a website is never complete. Code and functionality need to be updated to stay secure, sites need fresh new content to keep them relevant (and helps with SEO). Open-source software, like WordPress, is more vulnerable to hackers and bugs if you don’t keep plugins updated or have security measures in place.
Your Skill Level
A website requires proper heading and content structures, image optimization and caching, responsive design, and on-site SEO.
Web designers have the know-how and experience to get your project completed quickly and efficiently. Hiring a professional web designer will give you a high-quality site that’s dynamic, attractive and most of all effective.
Strategy and Design
A well-thought-out and researched digital strategy will give you the foundation you need for long-term success. A professional web designer will keep your goals in mind, and design for your target audience, they should build-in to the site your strategy for search engine optimization increasing your search results and potential to attract your target customers.
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