Upon first glance, DIY website builders seem like a novel idea. Small businesses flock to companies like Wix, Weebly and Squarespace because of their boasted services and user-friendly templates.
Most undertakers see DIY opportunities as a means to establish their presences on the internet without the costs associated with working with an agency. The fault in this logic, however, can lead to major disappointment and frustration later on down the line. Your website in today’s business landscape is your most important communications asset.
Hidden Cost 1: They Look Like Generic Templates
Here’s the truth about websites. A website is a series of pages using specific templates. Templates dictate content areas and major functionality per page. This blog post you’re reading is our blog post page type utilizing our blog post template. The template organizes the content the way you see it before your very eyes.
There’s a Big Difference Between Custom-Designed and Generic, Pre-Fabbed Templates
Here’s the big distinction though. Our website is custom-designed from scratch. We’ve carefully thought through every content area and function. With WordPress as your content management system (CMS), yes, you can custom design your templates or choose a pre-designed template theme. It’s your choice. Obviously, we don’t recommend the pre-designed template route (thus this point).
With the DIY builders, 99% of the usage is driven by pre-fabricated themes. You either select a big-box template that everyone and their grandmothers are using, or utilize the drag-and-drop tools to create something. Either way, DIY builders like Wix, Weebly and Squarespace reek of generic template.
You want to give your business a unique, customized appearance. When using a generic, out-of-box template, however, you are not giving yourself the creative advantage that is desperately needed.
There are numerous companies out there using the same design as your organization. The business world is filled to the brim with companies just like yours. It is imperative that you distinguish yourself from the competition.
Hidden Cost 2: It’s DIY, Yet Can Be a Time Sucker
Unless you have experience in the field, it’s difficult to navigate through the world of website design. DIY building sites are not as easy as they appear.
The services offered are in fact DIY, but users still have to make time consuming decisions and resolve problems that could better be handled by an agency. The implications of their advertisements look appetizing, but there is a great deal of fine print that is often overlooked.
DIY web-hosting sites are more than willing to get you to sign on the dotted line, but they’re not giving you the full amount of education that you need in order to make your website successful. An ample amount of knowledge is used when developing a website. The resources that are used— both man power and tools—stretch across a vast field of expertise. A DIY host cannot fulfill all of the requirements that are needed in order to make your presence prosperous.
A DIY host also can’t make design decisions. That’s on your shoulders, which will take valuable time. You should be focused on running your business or department.
A website designer or an agency has the skills and know-how on what makes a modern website user friendly, creative and functional freeing you up to do what you do best.
Hidden Cost 3: You Get What You Pay For
Every agency has come in contact with a prospective client that doesn’t believe that building a website is worth the price tag that comes along with it. Truthfully, if each potential organization was privy to the amount of work and know-how that goes into crafting a unique website, they would jump at the chance to work with an agency. A well-crafted website can bring in more business when it is functional and user-friendly.
Your website needs to be done correctly and have a unique look to it. Just as your storefront, restaurant, office or warehouse needs to positively represent your company, so does your website.
A website is the virtual face of any organization. Large portions of your business are dependent upon your online presence. In the age of the smartphone, it’s important to keep in mind that most potential clients or customers are going to use a search engine to find your website. This will be their first interaction with your organization.
DIY web hosting often boast cheap alternatives to working with an agency or a developer, but the quality is subpar.
Hidden Cost 4: Lack of Advanced Functionality
A lack of advanced functionality is a common mistake that is made when using a DIY platform. Customization and ultra-advanced functionality are outside of the realm of possibilities. Users quickly discover the barriers that are associated with using the DIY web-hosting sites. You should be using a platform that can be utilized to it’s fullest potential rather than a cookie cutter alternative.
It’s best to work with a website design agency or a marketing agency that has the qualifications to build a website based off of your needs. They will be able to enhance your user’s experience and alleviate the pain of dealing with DIY web-hosting sites. Your business is valuable and you don’t have the time or the energy to waste on matters that could be handled by people who make it their priority to help you reach your goals.
What We Recommend
So, if we’re not in the DIY camp, what do we recommend?
We recommend investing in a user-friendly CMS that will set you and your team up for long-term success. The CMS is the internal driving engine of your entire website. It will also determine the ease of use for ongoing updates.
In 95% of cases, we recommend a WordPress website design approach. WordPress is far and beyond the king in the world of CMSs. With it, your imagination, and the skills of the developer, are the only limitations.
We also can’t advocate enough for the website design and development process. Invest in a custom, built-from-scratch development 100% customized to your unique brand and business goals.
Looking for help with your next website redesign? We can help!