Over the last few years the rise of do it yourself website builders has exploded, from SquareSpace Wix & Weebly to 1&1 Yoal & Godaddy. There is a lot to choose from.
Most start for a nominal fee each month from as little as £2 and some even offer a free basic plan. Whilst there is a lot of choice & some are easier and more intuitive than others. From our perspective they should be used with consideration.
A website is a marketing & sales growth tool
A lot of businesses have a website because it is expected, without a clear idea of what its goals and real function ultimately is. To generate leads & sales…. Any advertising you have for your business should be driving sales and if it’s not then what’s the point? Some sites are merely there for information purposes, but the vast majority of business websites are there to be found in the search engines and to convert visitors into customers.
You can’t take it with you
Tying yourself into one provider’s platform leaves you high & dry if they decide to stop operating. If you want to move to another platform in the future its usually a start again approach.
Unhappy with the service or support you get? Well its tough really as your only option is to leave and leave your website behind in the process. The self-hosted solutions are good but you don’t own the source code of the website and you can’t move it to another provider if you’re not happy.
The sky is not the limit
Working with a web design agency you can build a solution around your needs. With a self-hosted solution, the features you want are the really the features they give you. The platform will have limitations and usually are restricted to how they can be developed upon by a 3rd party.
So if in the future if you wanted to connect your online shop to your local accounts system, integrate an existing merchant account you have, plug into your CRM system, chances are it can’t be done.
Some platforms are more open than others, but in most cases restrictions can mean leaving the provider and starting your website from scratch, losing any time you have invested in it.
Stick to what you know best
We all know our fields of expertise and what were good at. We can build great websites that deliver sales & growth for our clients. As a web design & marketing agency we know our industry having been in it for over a decade. We can look at a client’s competitors, products / services, customer base & more to determine the best approach for their online marketing.
Don’t waste hours of your time building your own website to save a few pounds in the short term. Decide what your time is worth, focussing on the running of your business or attempting to do something that a professional could do in less time and to a higher standard.
Could we repair our company car? We probably could but it would take 5 times longer than if we paid a professional, and no doubt wouldn’t be that safe to drive afterwards!
Surely your just biased?
Are we biased? well maybe a little… But over the years we have seen many companies come to us that have built their own website, that just isn’t delivering results or sales. The majority of the time the sites (as they have chosen a pre-defined template) don’t look too bad. But the content, navigation, user experience, calls to action & search engine optimisation are just are not up to speed to make it a viable marketing tool for the company.
Should you use one? Depending on the client needs & budget we only suggest to clients that this is a good place to start if they are looking for a low investment, short-term solution for their online presence.
But if cost is the real driver most web design companies will work with you to make a manageable payment plan to deliver the best solution for you.
In the long run having a website solution built by professionals, for you, is the best way to go.