Build-your-own vs website designer
July 30th, 2021
When trying to get a new website up and running it can be hard to decide if you should hire a professional such as Webfactory or try to build your own website. This article will try to example the pros and cons of each route you might take.
How do I build a website?
There are two main options you can choose from when getting your business online. You can either use an online website builder to create your website or you could hire a professional website designer / web design company.
How much does a website cost?
Website costs vary greatly and the functionality you require will hugely impact the final price. The more complex your requirements, the more it will cost. Depending on what you need from your website the cost could range from just a monthly fee up to many thousands of pounds, or more.
What are the pros of building your own website?
Building your own website can be very appealing. It's seen as a budget friendly way of getting an online presence. Some of the pros of using website builders are as follows:
Free initial website build - Most build-your-own website providers offer a free trial where you can build your website before going live. They are able to do this because you are creating the website yourself through their website builder and so they don't really incur any costs until your website goes live. They offer you a range of templates designs for you to choose from. You can then customised the design with your text and images.
Content manager - Build-your-own websites always come with a content management system. This means you can update your content when you need for free and won't need to pay anyone to make amendments for you.
What are the cons of building your own website?
Some of the cons of using website builders are as follows:
Templates - Although templates make the build process easier, it does mean your website isn't unique to your business. There will be lots of other businesses online with the exact same website design as you. This also applies to a build-your-own logo services.
Another downside to design templates is that it's not always an effective way to communicate your business' personality / brand. Good communication is displaying your content in the most effective and clear way to get your message across. Using a design template may make it difficult to do this effectively.
Hidden costs - Most build-your-own website services are advertised as free but generally they are only free during a trial period and before you launch your site. If you ever want go live in a meaningful way a proper yourcompany.co.uk web address, you will have to start paying an ongoing fee.
Others let you build and host your website for free, providing it uses a branded web address e.g. yourcompany.theircomany.co.uk. As with every website there will be an ongoing fee if you want to go live which covers costs like a custom web address.
Another consideration with ongoing fees for build-your-own websites is that often the lower tariffs have very low traffic limits and so you might find that you have to upgrade to a higher package to keep your website up and running.
No initial or ongoing SEO - Build-your-own website services do not usually include search optimisation. This is something that will be needed to be done by yourself or via a third party. Some will include tools to let you manage your optimisation but arming a person with a scalpel doesn't make them a surgeon.
No design ownership - When using a build-your-own service, you do not own the design as these are templates that are used by hundreds of other customers.
What are the pros of hiring a website designer like Webfactory?
Hiring a professional website designer can sometimes be seen as a more costly approach to creating a website. Many web designers and web design companies however target small businesses and so have affordable pricing in mind. Some of the pros to hiring a website designer are as follows:
Specialist - Websites designers have experience in the industry and understand the do's and don'ts of design - This means they will have the know-how to build your website in the most effective way for your business.
Bespoke designs - A website designers will create a design that is unique to you and your business. Your website will be built around your company and designed in the best way to communicate your brand and content effectively. They should also build your website in accordance with industry best practices.
Guidance - You'll have a professional designer who can guide you through the process, giving you advice and will help you make the right choices for your website.
Search optimisation - Most designers will be up to date with search optimisation best practices and ensure that your website is optimised to rank well as soon as it goes live. All of our website packages come with free initial optimisation and most include ongoing optimisation as standard.
Google optimised - Websites will naturally rank higher in the search results when they follow Google's best practices and your website designer will be able to closely follow these requirements. For example, making sure the design works well on different devices, ensuring all security requirements are met and checking that the code doesn't contain any errors.
Design ownership - When using a website designer, you usually, but not always, own the design of your website. With all our websites upon completion the rights to the design / look of the site are transferred to you.
Support - Some website designers provide aftercare within their monthly fees. This means if you have any questions or issues with your website they can be promptly resolved. You can email, call or livechat Webfactory whenever you need help or advice.
What are the cons of hiring a website designer?
Some of the cons of using website designer are as follows:
Build fee - Build fees can vary between different designers depending on your requirements and who they are targeting their services to. Just make sure that before hiring any website designer, you do your due diligence first. Read our blog on how to do due diligence when hiring a designer.
Direction required - Hiring a website designer doesn't mean they do everything for you without input or some direction provided by you. You wouldn't let a hairdresser cut your hair without telling them what you wanted; the same applies to your designer. The more information you can provide in terms of design and content, the better the outcome will be for you.
Longer process - Hiring a designer can sometimes be a longer process. This isn't always a bad thing, but if you are on a short time frame it may not the best option for you. We can offer a fast tracked service but this does come at an additional cost. Our normal build times are 5-10 working days from when we receive your website brief. Note that building your own website can often be a very time consuming process too.
Cost for alterations - If you opt for a website design that doesn't come with its own content manager and you do need to make changes to your website there will probably be a charge from your designer to make alterations. We for example provide an easy to use content management system which enabled you to make changes to your text and images after you launch with no additional fees.
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