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Should you Build your own website or use a web design company
Whatever size your company is, it is now essential to have a website, but do you build your own website or use a website design company? The yellow pages are no longer the go to directory for finding a business. We all search google. It has become part of the day-to-day language, how often do you say, ‘google it?’
We search the web on a daily basis looking for products, services, reviews, how to’s and comparisons.
So, if your business does not have a website, you will be losing out on valuable business.
But what is the best way to go about having a website created; an online website builder or using a website design company to create your small business website?
There are a few factors to take into consideration. A DIY website build may be perfect for your company online presence. You may need the expertise of a website design company. Take careful consideration before jumping in, you may spend money you don’t need to, or you may need to make the investment to achieve the sales you need.
Thing to consider
Before deciding on the route you’re going to take, think about what you want to achieve by having a website.
You may need a fully functional shop system that takes payments and can be found around the globe. A simple brochure style website to display your company information. If you want to post regular updates, ideas and news you may need a blogging functionality.
Another thing to consider is your time. If you are a technophobe, or you don’t have any time to learn a new skill, spending time building a website may not be a good use of time.
Cost can be a big issue and another consideration. This does not mean you have to go for the DIY option there are many other options available. (link)
When you have a good idea of what you want to achieve, budget, time and skill set you can make a more informed decision on what route you will want to take.
Your website creation choices:
- Online website builder
- CMS and template
- Hire a website design company
Each option has its advantages or disadvantages depending on your needs.
Online website builder
The simplest website design DIY option
There are many options for online website builders. The big three are WIX, Sqarespace and Weebly all offering similar services.
All offer many pre-made templates for you to choose from. You can chose the one that suites your business website needs and you can add elements and widgets to customise your design.
You don’t need to know all the abbreviations you hear website designers shout about such as CSS, HTML, PHP and so on. They all offer a drag and drop style interface to create your website design.
All of the above are web-based tools and all you need is a web browser an internet connection and a bit of imagination.
Using a website design company
A website design company will design your website from the ground up, not relying a pre designed templates to create the look of your website. It may be built in a number of ways depending, again, on your requirements.
Many web designers use platforms to build the website on top of. Many customers still want the option to add blogs and update company information inhouse, or they may want to add products to an ecommerce website and update pricing and delivery information.
One popular system is WordPress. You can use WordPress yourself and also choose prebuilt templates. If you are choosing to build your website yourself and are not tech savvy, I would avoid WordPress. Go for the WIX, Squarespace or Weebly option.
WordPress is one of the most popular platforms and one of the most cost effective when using a website design company. When a website is created with WordPress it is much easier and quicker to update than hand coded (HTML) websites.
Often when using a website design company, you will have access to digital marketing services or advice. It is another thing to take into consideration when choosing your options. If you want to build your business online you will need to grasp things like social media, blogging and search engine optimisation.
A web design company will also often also offer ongoing support and updates, leaving you to get on with the day to day running of your business.
So, what about the cost?
The cheapest ways to create a website is the online DIY build. Following is the top benefits and drawbacks of using an online DIY build for your business website.
Build your own website project cost
Pricing for business accounts start at £8.50 per month for the unlimited account on WIX. Looking at the options they offer, I think this is the most basic option I would choose for a business.
Another benefit of the online DIY option is that you can put together a basic website in a few hours. Its simple (when you know how) interface makes it possible for most to create a decent looking website. With its templates, choice of fonts, free to use images and a bit of trial and error you will be able to create a website to display your products and services.
Pre-designed templates make it easy
You don’t need website design experience; you can pick a creative template and make a visually pleasing website with no design experience.
The downside to this option is that your website will be using a template that is being used by many other companies. Yes, you can change colours, fonts and images but you are still restricted to how much customisation you can do yourself.
Website design support
Get into problems and technical support is at hand via phone, email or a chat bot.
Easy to use
The online software is designed for people with no experience in website design. You will go through a learning curve, as you would expect. If you have the time and patience, it is a good route to get your business online.
You do also get options to optimise your website (you need to optimise your website to get found on google searches) but remember it is something you will need to research and implement on yourself build.
If you decide to leave WIX, Squarespace or Weebly you will find you cannot transfer your website to another hosting company. You may never want or need to but do plan for the future.
If WIX was a burger it would be a McDonalds takeaway meal in a carboard box that fills a gap. It’s not a bad thing, it all depends on what you need and what your budget will stretch to.
- Ease of use (with a learning curve)
- Technical support
- Lots of templates to choose from
- Your design is not unique
- Restricted customisation
- Website not transferable
- Time consuming
- Learning curve
Website Design Company
If you are a business who wants to make an impact the DIY option mat not be the best option. You will want to stand out from your competitors and have more reach.
Working with a website company will mean you are working with human beings and not an online tool. Giving you the option to have a bespoke website that is designed to attract your desired customers.
So, what can a website company do for me?
A designer will craft a website and take into consideration human interactions. They will know where to place call to actions, format text that can be easily read on the web and structure your website to work perfectly on mobile as well as desktop devices.
The internet is moving at a fast pace. New technologies, new and evolving social platforms and google’s ever changing algorithm can be hard to keep up with. Website companies will keep up with the latest changes and can advise you on updates.
Your business may be evolving, a website company can tweak, update or easily rebrand your website.
A website company will want you to succeed, so will be happy to help and advise you on the best solutions to increase your ROI (return on investment). Having access to knowledge about digital marketing channels that could be beneficial to your business can only help your bottom line.
Depending on your needs, a designer will look at the best solution for the build of your site. You may want to update your website yourself when built adding blogs/posts, updating job opportunities or adding new products. You may want to just provide content for the designer to update on your behalf or have a complete digital marketing solution.
Whatever your needs, there will be a company that can tick all the boxes.
There are lots of website design companies and designers to choose from. Make sure the company you choose is the right fit for your business.
So, what about the cost?
Most website companies will price a project on its needs with some like me offering a basic fixed priced solution that can be tailored to your needs.
Each company will have its own pricing structure, I offer basic packages from a one-page site at £399 to an ecommerce website at £1499 (you can check out what is included here link).
But again, this will all depend on what you want or need.
- Customised web design
- Access to knowledge
- Have your business in mind
- Latest technology advice
- Can advise you on the best solution
- SEO compliance
- Future proof
- Not a fixed price
- May use a lot of jargon
*This all depends on the way you look at it. If it costs you a 2k a year but makes 12k in profit, it wasn’t costly!
I’m Rob, a website design who hates tech jargon. Creating websites for small business along with digital marketing to help you get the best results from your online marketing.