Why hire a website developer when I can build my site on Squarespace or Wix for “free”?
Hiring a professional to build your website is an investment for your company. If you are just starting a business without much revenue, Squarespace may be the best answer for you.
If you are a small to medium size business, calculate all your costs before using a “free” online tool. How many hours will it take to learn the platform? Will you be able to add the elements that are crucial and/or unique to your business easily on a templated website? How many hours will it take to train someone to make updates for you? What if that person leaves? What is the cost of lost revenue if the site isn’t optimized to perform. Get the picture, the cost in the long run may be hours of wasted time that could have been put into paying a professional to build your website.
A website is no longer a luxury for your business, but a commodity for your business to succeed.
What is an online website builder like Squarespace or GoDaddy?
A website builder is a tool that will let you build a website without knowing any CSS or HTML code to design the site. It will do the hard stuff for you. You are dependent however on the limited templates the platform offers to you.
How does a website company build my site?
A good website developer(like us) will take a look at your brand as a whole along with the vision for your company and combine those into a cohesive online presence. We can create a unique website that will allow you to stand out online among your competitors.
Each agency has their own platforms they like to use, but WordPress is where we build most of our sites. We can design a custom site for you and WordPress has so many available plug-ins to use to make your website perform the best at generating leads for your business.
What are the pros & cons of using a website builder?
Affordable – A business can put a minimal investment into a website that can be up in a few hours.
Fast – A business can have a website up in 24 hours, whereas using an agency can take 4-6 weeks from start to finish.
Design – The templates available are better than 5 years ago, but the business won’t look any different than any other business that also uses the platform.
Design – The templates are not custom to your business and tend to look generic. You are also stuck with the template you choose and cannot add anything to the template for lead generation.
Search Engine Optimization(SEO) – Most of the website builders on the market have terrible SEO tools or none at all. They are not optimized to be found by Google which can result in no one finding your business after you have spent hours creating your website. This results in lost time as well as lost sales.
Hard to Use – These tools are marketed as being easy to use, but can be hard to edit. You can only use their tools and there is typically a learning curve to these products.
Cost – These platforms may be a small investment to start, but think about the lost time of you and/or your employees time. It can take hours away from your job of promoting your business in other ways. Ask yourself – what is your time worth?
What are the pros/cons of using a website developer?
Professional design – Let’s face it, when you hire a professional to develop and design your website you are paying for a professional. These are people who know how to create beautiful, cohesive designs for your company to ultimately lead to more sales for your business. They also know how to customize a unique design for your site that represents your brand online and matches your brand offline.
Optimized for Conversion – Website developers design your site around the best user experience which leads to conversions which leads to sales. Isn’t that the point of having an online presence? Most templated sites do not have a clear path for visitors to your website and this can lead to lost revenue.
Search Engine Optimization(SEO) – A professional website developer will research keywords to help identify the best keywords to rank for and make sure your site is tagged and structured to be optimized for those keywords. This is a critical step in building the website to be sure your company is found on search engines once it is released.
Cost – The initial cost will be higher than using a templated solution. Don’t forget to factor in the cost of your time or your employees time when building on your own.
Time to Launch – Using a website agency will take longer as they are building a custom site for your brand. The development of the site can take 3-4 weeks depending on the complexity of the site, and another 3-4 weeks for editing. This part can be quicker based on your willingness to to respond quickly with edits.
I still don’t know what is best for my business.
Website builders are a great tool for the hobbyist, bloggers, businesses who are just starting out without any startup funding or are starting a business with an unproven concept.
Consider hiring an agency if you are small-medium sized business generating an annual revenue over $200,000. This business could probably be generating more business with a professional website. If you are a solopreneur who offers professional services, a professionally designed website is a must have to offer authority in your field. If you are a local business in a competitive industry the SEO benefits of being found in local search are priceless.
Think of your website as an investment. The leads generated from a professionally designed website should help bring in more revenue to your business which in turn pays for your investment.