Web designer vs building your own website
We all know that all companies out there, whether from Land’s End to John O’Groats, need a website. It doesn’t matter whether you’re a start up micro business or a large national firm, it doesn’t even matter what industry you’re in. The fact is your customers have come to expect one. Would you trust any business that didn’t have a website? Guess not!
Ok… with that established, you need a website, that’s a given. But which route will you take, hire a web designer or build it yourself?
The gloves are off.
Round one: Cost vs free
There are many platforms out there that offer easy and free ways build your own website, a few examples would be Wix, Squarespace or Yola. There’s plenty more on the market and most are free up to a point.
Now obviously, the clear outright winner here would be to build it yourself. There is no cost, how could a professional web designer beat something that is free. OMG… did I just say that!
Clear winner: Build it yourself!
Round two: Design experience vs lack of design skill & knowledge
If you’ve read some of our previous blog posts, you’ll realise that we don’t often talk about the look of a website that much. Yes, how visually appealing your website is, is vitally important, a badly designed website will be a massive turnoff and actually lose you more business than it generates. That being said, any web designer worth their salt won’t let a poorly designed website go online. So it should be a given, if you’re paying a web designer it should great, well polished and slick before any visitor sees it.
So back to the point, you may have an idea of what you want in terms of style but is it what you can actually achieve.
A few questions you should ask yourself;
- Do you have years of experience in building websites and know what works and doesn’t?
- Do you understand website visitors and what they need to see on a website to feel confident to contact and buy from you?
- Have you designed and built hundreds of intuitive websites and have many clients seeing huge growth with their website and online marketing?
Ding ding, round two goes to your web designer.
Round three: Technical expertise vs flying by the seat of your pants
Websites are complex things (this isn’t meant to scare you by the way), I often use the analogy that a website is very much like a clock. When all the cogs and parts are working together the clock keeps ticking perfectly well.
Imagine, one day you notice that the clock isn’t keeping the time very well. What’s causing this? is it the pendulum, one of 30 springs, one of 15 cogs? Or has it just seen the last of it’s days?
Bear with me…
Building a website is very much like building a clock from scratch. You know what it should do but getting it perfect is another matter. You have to think about many different aspects all of the time, the design, the build, the SEO factors, mobile responsive and working well on all devices, speed of the site, security, strategy, indexing errors, sales funnels etc, etc.
One step further, I just need a little more imagination from you.. honestly, i’m not losing the plot.
Imagine Google and all search engines as being clock retailers. A person goes to the clock shop (Google) and says “I need a great clock”, Google goes to it’s near infinite shelf and looks at all the clocks and decides which clock is best for you. It doesn’t look at how pretty it is, it will check every part, every spring and every cog. The more perfect it’s working the more chance Google will select that clock over the others.
In a nutshell, if you want to get found by search engines there is a lot that needs to taken into consideration when building a website.
This is where your web designer will outshine you building your own site. They will make sure the clock is ticking perfectly (as much as possible) and keeps running.
Round three, web designer!
Round four: Advice and support vs going it alone
If you’re going to build your own website or use one of the free online builders, then that’s great! There is one major drawback however, you’ll be virtually on your own. Your free web builder maybe able to offer you limited support, but in reality you’re not paying for anything, how invested are the people answering the support ticket or your phone call?
A website is a living breathing entity that needs to change, adapt and improve over time, just like your business. Working with a web designer, they’ll be able to hold your hand and support you, they’ll know your business and its objectives. They will help you and your website achieve your goals. I have clients here that have been with us for many many years, in fact, with many I would say our relationship if more like professional friends than ‘clients’.
Think of your website as an extension to your business, with support and advice from your web designer this can be a major factor in how your business performs as a whole.
Yup, you guessed it, this round goes to web designer
Round five: speed & efficiency vs you doing it yourself
You’re busy, I know and fully understand this. Working with the right web designer can make your life much easier, they will get on with the job, building you a great website, in a much shorter time than you. You’re busy, running your business, training staff, making sales, chasing payments…I guess you don’t want to add building your website from scratch to the list.
Again web designer comes out fighting
It’s a knockout, your web designer is ‘Rocky’
Building your website yourself is fine and for some will be a joy, a great challenge and an amazing chance to do something different. I fully accept that for some businesses they want or only have the means to go down the free route and I really wish them all the best luck in the world. Having a free site may be perfect for you and your business at the moment, but have a chat with a web designer they will be able to give you some free advice, no matter which route you choose.
P.S. back to round one, the web designer did win that round of course. You should never see working with them as a cost, it’s an investment to help your business improve and grow… so yes… 5 out 5 for the web designer (did you really think it wouldn’t be?)