There are so many free website building tools and free website templates on the internet these days. After reading some books or articles on web design, this thought might have come across to your mind, "Why don't I just build a website for my business by myself? I can save a lot of money!" Well, is that true? It could be, but here is what's more likely to happen.
You spent way too much time.
How long does it take to learn how to build a website and then actually build a website by yourself? The answer is longer than you would expect.
While you may save money from not hiring a professional web designer to design your website, you may be spending too much time on researching and learning how to design and build a website. Plus, if you are not a tech-savvy person, this learning process can be extremely frustrating.
Guess what? What you could have done is hire a professional web designer to do the job for you with half of the time your spent. Instead you could have spent those hours working on your business and increasing sales.
Hiring a professional web designer saves you not only a lot of valuable time and energy but also missteps. Before you waste your time on something you could have hired someone to do, think about how much your time is truly worth and make the best use of it. Hiring a professional web designer all but guarantees a better website and let's you focus on the areas of your business that you excel at.
Your web design skills are not as good as you think.
There are more than 1 billion websites in the world wide web today, do you really know how to make your website stand out of the crowd?
Let's face it, no matter how cool you think the website design you make is, it probably can't compare to a professional web design. Good design is so much more than just creating a beautiful image. A good website is not just about looking pretty, it's also about being functional and providing good user experience (UX). A professional and experienced web designer knows how to structure a website to make it easy-to-use, and designs the website to make the most of web technology. All of this leads to one end-goal of increasing sales.
More likely you'll end up with a hideous website and bad UX
Nowadays, the web is very competitive and your website is your business image to your clients. An unprofessional looking website represents your brand image and reduces your credibility. Especially if you're running a design-related service company, because to your potential clients your website design represents your taste and design style. Even if you're overly confident about how your DIY web design looks (many newbie web designers are), you might still be missing out on user experience aspects which comes after years of practice. Keep in mind that poor UX is one of the top reasons website visitors leave a website.
If your competitors are already well established, don't worry, you can still gain an edge over the competition by launching a better-designed website. But you're not going to do so using the DIY tools out there.
Your website doesn't look good on mobile devices or across different browser.
Did you know that 80% of internet users own a smartphone and 43.6% of all website traffic was generated through mobile devices in 2016? (If you want to learn more about how important it is to have a responsive website, read this previous article here.) If you think responsive design isn't important in 2017, you're probably also okay with losing half of your sales.
Since having a good mobile website is so essential and there are so many different screen sizes for every different mobile device out there, hiring a professional web designer can really save you a lot of headaches. On desktops alone there are still a lot of different browsers, such as Safari, Firefox, Internet Explorer, and Chrome. A professional website should have high browser compatibility and it should be able to adapt to any screen size. If you're comfortable writing your own CSS media queries and understand pixel sizes and ratios across the multitude of devices available, then by all means take a shot at building your own site.
Your website is neither customizable nor scalable.
You may think, "But hey, there are so many free website building tools online now and they're so easy-to-use!" Yes, there are a lot of website builders, like WIX, Squarespace, IM Creator, etc. While it seems like you can build your own awesome website within a few clicks, the truth is they might not be as fantastic as you think.
What you can do with your template-based website is very limited
They all have a lot of beautiful ready-to-use website templates, that quite frankly aren't bad to look at. However the biggest downside is how little you can actually change these templates. You have to work within their framework and design concept and you will find the design options are not very flexible. If the demo fits your exact needs then the only downside you have is looking very similar to thousands of other websites on the web. If you're working on a more complex website, you can't add more features to your website and are just SOL.
You can't scale your website as your business grows
When you're ready to scale up your business and ready to take your website to the next level, free website builders leave you in a bad position. Scalability of website is more important than you think; the end goal of all businesses is to grow otherwise you're not generating more profit. Your website should be capable of addressing your business needs as they arise. Imagine you just launched an ad campaign and you're expecting a lot of traffic. The last thing you want to happen is not being able to handle that increased load or monetize that traffic.
Your website is not search engine friendly.
A high search engine ranking is highly important; your cool website is useless if no one can actually find it. That's why search engine optimization (SEO) is one of the most critical approaches to a successful website. (You can also read this article about common SEO mistake.) However, many template-based websites are not designed with SEO in mind. And because of the lack of template's flexibility, you will not be able to optimize it any further.
In short, if you don't really know how SEO works, you should consider hiring a professional who understands how to develop your website in a way that search engines can easily crawl and rank your website.
Conclusion - don't be short-sighted.
In the beginning, building a website by yourself may seem make sense when you want to save money. And for testing the waters for a brief period, it may not be a terrible idea. But as times goes on, most end up writing off their cheap websites as a sunk cost and in the end still hire a professional.
In fact, a well-designed website can save you money in a lot of ways.
- You can more easily monetize on traffic, whether through email campaigns or ads
- You'll save time and money where you will inevitably redesign your site in the future
- You can add more features when you need them and don't have to pay a monthly premium for extra plugins
- You don't waste your own time building an inferior product
In the long run, hiring a professional web designer is almost always a better option than building a website by yourself.
If you're ready for a more professional solution and want to take your business to the next level, we can help. Feel free to comment below or contact us if you need any help with any website design or web development project!