“To design a website myself, or hire a company to Do It For Me (DIFM)?”
This is one of the key questions startups and small businesses are confronted with when taking their business online, and one bOnline sales consultants get asked all the time.
A website is essential. It acts as your ‘shop front’ for potential and existing customers. It allows your business to be found online and gives you the opportunity to sell your products and services on a global platform.
At bOnline, we speak to startup and small business owners on a daily basis. We understand the complexity of this decision, so we’ve come up with the pros and cons of both DIY websites and professional website designers.
Below is a checklist showing the pros and cons of DIY vs DIFM website design.
Pros of building your own website
You’re the designer
By choosing a site like WordPress, you are the designer, and the sky’s the limit. You can design every aspect of your website to your precise specification and style. Many entrepreneurs enjoy this freedom to create their own website. You have the option to choose everything from coding your own backgrounds to using preset themes and page layouts. It can be as customised as you would like!
There are lots of free website templates readily available to use, and even the paid templates don’t have to break your budget. By designing your own website, there are no designer costs or budget-breaking recurring fees for your website. Using your own resources and creativity can allow you to get the website you want at a low cost.
Ready in no time!
You are the driving force behind the website, and if you can dedicate the time and know-how, your website can be ready in a flash. You’ll also be able to see the design from creation to completion because you are the one creating it. It’s incredibly flexible.
Same, overused styles
As mentioned, there are lots of free templates on offer – which unfortunately means that although your content and logo might be unique, the foundations of your website will most likely use tired and overused templates that Bob the neighbour and Mary, your childhood acquaintance will already be familiar with.
Customisation of pages is limited
Customisation is what sets your website apart from your competitors’. The templates on offer can’t be easily manipulated and changed to suit your needs, so such customisation may not be possible.
You also run the risk of using an outdated template that doesn’t display properly on all screens. Not all templates are automatically upgraded either, so users must be careful and regularly check how their website displays on different browsers.
Not search engine-optimised
SEO (Search Engine Optimisation), or the process of increasing the number of online visitors to your website through search engine results, is a full-time job, and ensuring your website is fully optimised is key to its success online. Unfortunately, most DIY websites are not developed to be SEO-friendly, and the preset templates could hinder your website’s potential.
Pros of using a website company to ‘Do it For Me’
Professional, high-quality design
Your website designer has designed hundreds, if not thousands, of websites. They design websites for a living, and chances are, they’ve designed them for your industry too – so you can have peace of mind leaving your website to the professionals.
It is difficult to get the same standard of quality and finesse when using ‘off the shelf’ templates and free layouts. A designer will include the necessary plugins, code and images to give it a professional edge.
Creativity and passion
Website designers will be on top of the latest trends of website design. This isn’t just limited to design; they know the latest SEO trends too. They believe in what they do and will take your visions and make them a reality. A qualified website designer won’t use preset or dated templates for your website
They will take the time to listen to your requirements and design a bespoke website for you, which gives your visitors that ‘wow’ factor when they stumble upon or are directed to your website.
Extensive knowledge and resources
Designers design for a living! Their knowledge is broad and a powerful tool to utilise. As well as being on top of design trends, they will have a working, if not extensive, knowledge of your industry. This is beneficial, as they know ways to make your website stand out and your services shine against your competitors’. It is also handy to see the websites they have created for your industry, as it can give you ideas for your own website.
At the end of the day, designers want your website to look great, and so will work hard (and more importantly, work with you) to get it to an extremely high standard and looking exactly how you want it.
It can cost more
Your website is professional and bespoke so naturally, will cost more than a free WordPress website. But neither does it have to cost a small fortune. bOnline operate by taking an upfront cost competitive to other web design companies and a small ongoing monthly subscription fee not dissimilar to a pay-as-you-go mobile phone contract.
It can take longer
Your designer will likely be working on a number of websites simultaneously, so where you could dedicate a whole week just to the completion of your website, a DIFM may work on a longer timescale. There will also be the back and forth collaboration of the website between you, the client, and the designer, for reviews and edits. There is no set timescale for this, as every site is different.
On a positive note, it won’t take months. As an example, bOnline aim to have your website live within two weeks of your first briefing, so creating a website with a DIFM doesn’t have to be a long, laborious task.
Miscommunication may occur
Sometimes, no matter how clearly you explain the vision of your website to a designer, they may interpret it differently. As well, since you won’t be able to see your website being developed at every stage of the process, your website may result in something different to what you had in mind. Most designers understand this and are willing to change aspects of the design to accommodate their customers’ expectations.
For more information, and to view an extensive gallery of customer websites produced by bOnline, please visit our website. If you’d like to speak to one of our website design experts about how we can help you, don’t hesitate to call us on 020 3617 9950.
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