We’ll start this off by saying we actually have recommended people to use a website builder to develop their own website over hiring a website design company. Not every business or organization needs to hire a web design company for their project. There are a lot of variables when it comes to building a website in 2017 and our goal with this post, is to bring to light the pros and cons of hiring a website design company or building it yourself.
The Upside to Website Builders – Pros
- They are cheap. There is no doubt about it. If you have no budget to build a site, but have a little bit of time, and can learn a new trick, then this option is for you. Our advice for you is make sure that the company you choose gives you a unique URL. People don’t like navigating to www.yourcompany.wix.com. It’s unprofessional and shows people that you’re cheap. In addition, if you do the cheap plans, the company can display ads all over your site. Not good.
- They offer drag and drop builders. This is helpful because it allows people to design and develop a website on the fly. It doesn’t require coding or design knowledge.
- You can do it yourself. Some may not find this as a pro, but controlling your website yourself can be handy at times.
The Downside to Website Builders – Cons
- Custom applications are limited. The reason these builders are so cheap is because it is a template based system that they can duplicate across a large amount of customers. The result is limited custom applications. For example, say you run a salon and want clients to be able to book appointments online. Many website builders don’t offer this type of application.
- Limited search engine optimization (SEO) features. These builders generally handle all of your SEO for your website. Unfortunately this isn’t a good thing. It uses generic SEO practices to rank your website on Google and the result is not ranking well.
- You can’t choose your own host. A host is the server that maintains your website. When you use a builder company, you are placed on a large server with many other people. The result is your website is sharing resources with other websites. Your website could run slower because of this.
- Responsive design is limited. These builders automatically generate a mobile friendly version. You can’t always control what it looks like and ultimately how it ranks on Google.
Here is a great article explaining some different builders.
The Upside of Hiring a Website Design Company – Pros
- They can build out almost any application. For example, a church that wants online giving, a salon that wants online bookings, a trucking company that wants online applications. We really can do almost anything.
- Cohesive look across multiple devices. When hiring a website design company, they ensure that the website actually looks great across multiple devices. They test different browsers and make sure your website is optimized.
- Maintenance contracts. You are working with experts. Depending on the company, they generally handle security, backups, hosting, design, and development. If anything were to happen, you are covered versus the classic handling it yourself by calling an 800 number or submitting a ticket.
The Downside of Hiring a Website Design Company – Cons
- It costs money. We offer a professional service that can drastically change your business but it costs money. The good news is that these prices have drastically come down as technology has advanced.
- Changes take time. When a company manages your website, you can’t just make changes to it. It can take 24-48 hours to update content on your site.
- There are a lot of lone rangers. A lot people run into issues where their “web guy” isn’t available. The truth is these people get stretched thin and can’t keep up. Their intentions are good, but the results don’t help the client. Be sure to higher a professional team.