Website builders such as Wix and Squarespace give consumers the tools they need to design and build their own basic brochure website. With their off-the-shelf templates, they offer a wide range of options for the DIY website market and might at first glance appear a better option than professional website development. They are certainly less expensive.
But like all democracies, it’s about choice. And choice should be based on being fully informed.
If you only want your website to perform a few simple tasks and know you won’t need to be updating it in the near future, then a DIY template may be a good choice for you. Just as we can pop to the hardware store and buy a few tools to build a simple structure (a birdbox perhaps), we can do that. But we wouldn’t dream of trying anything more ambitious (a house?) without professional help.
Professional Website Development
So if you’re wondering why you should pay for professional website development rather do it yourself, read on for all the benefits of calling in the experts.
Ask yourself how important is your website and online strategy to the success of your business. These days it’s easy to create a website, but creating a great website is a different matter.
When you employ a professional web development company such as Individualise you get:
1. A professional-looking site
Your website is one of – if not THE – first thing your prospective clients and customers see. Do you want to make a good impression? Do you want to stand out from your competitors? Wix and Squarespace can lure you in with some stunning templates but, funnily enough, when filled with your photos and content, sometimes the reality doesn’t quite match the dream. A web developer can create a professional-looking product.
2. A bespoke website
Wouldn’t it be better to build your website around your business objectives and target audience, rather than a generic one built for no-one but the web developer that designed it? DIY websites also have limited functionality, so you often don’t have the option to add extra features to your website once it goes live. With professional web development if, later down the line you decide you need a new feature, then it can be added. There are no limits to functionality.
3. A website that can grow with your business
Do you need your website to have the potential to grow with your business? DIY websites are very hard to update with new features. Once you have chosen a template, you are stuck with it. As website developers who have built your bespoke site, we can easily do that for you, especially as part of one of our support plans.
4. A website that is truly SEO friendly
SEO, alt-tags, caches, permalinks… if you are unfamiliar with geekspeak then it’s unlikely you will know how to make your website SEO friendly – and being SEO friendly is what helps potential clients find you. (Read more about SEO in our free ebook you can download here). As professional web developers we know what and where things should be changed so your website gets the best start on Google.
5. Full ownership of your website
A website built within a web builder such as Wix and Squarespace is limited by what the company provides, you don’t own the site itself. They control the features and extensions and it cannot be ported elsewhere. If you want to move it, it’ll have to be recreated.
6. Attention to technical and content detail
There are things that need doing on websites that most DIYers miss but they are IMPORTANT. Does your site have a favicon (what even is is that!)? Have you set your metadata correctly? Are your permalinks usable? Why worry about all these things when you can get the professionals? At Individualise we double check links and images and test all our websites for speed, usability and accessibility on all devices. And if that wasn’t enough, we proofread all our websites as standard.
7. Ongoing support
It’s true that most of the DIY websites provide support, but your don’t get to actually speak to anyone – it’s all done by email. Wouldn’t it be better to be able to pick up the phone if you needed something? Even if you want to update your website content yourself, having your initial site built by a developer means you have an ongoing relationship with that developer (who knows your website inside out) should any questions arise.
Finally, what you get back in addition
8. Your Time
Don’t underestimate the work involved. Building a website is a steep learning curve. Even if you think you can just throw your content into one of the flashy templates, you still have to pull it all together: identifying suitable images and optimising them, learning how to alter all the technical functions, importing your logo and making sure it is the correct size. And more. Why spend three hours figuring out how to change a colour on a template when a developer can do it for you – and offer you a few options – in minutes? We spend our time building your website so you can use your time more effectively on doing other important stuff!
So before pulling an off-the-shelf template to build your website, take a while to consider the benefits – and the return on investment – that using professional web development services can bring.
At Individualise, we love building websites – it’s what we do best. And by letting us build you a brilliant website you have time to get on with what you do best, focussing on your other business needs.