There are two main ways to create a website. You can either: A. build it yourself using one of the many online website builders available, or B. hire a professional web designer or agency to create a website for you. Before you decide which option is best for you, there’s a lot of important factors to consider, which we’ll cover in this post.
Can I build a website myself?
It’s a question which many business owners will likely ask themselves when considering a website for their brand. The short answer is: yes, anyone can build a website. But building a website is a bit like building a house. Anyone can buy some bricks and stack them together, but creating something that not only looks good, but also performs well, is a skill.
We’re finding that a lot of clients are coming to us after attempting to build their own site using a website builder, and becoming disappointed with the results. “It’s not showing up in Google”, “I can’t make it look good” and “it’s costing too much” are some of the common complaints we receive about websites built with online builders.
One of the main concerns when deciding to start a website is how much it’s going to cost. With online builders such as Wix, 1&1 and Squarespace offering do-it-yourself sites from only £6 per month, it’s easy to see why many start-up businesses opt to build their own website. Fortunately, many website builders have free plans to get started, so you can try them out without incurring a cost. However, it’s worth noting that the more features you need, the higher the monthly cost. The monthly fee can soon sky-rocket when you start to add things like an online shop, user signups or booking system.
On the other hand, a website built by a professional designer usually involves paying a lump sum, rather than paying for your site monthly, which can seem off-putting. Thankfully, our web design packages start at just £275, to help you get your business online affordably.
Setting up a business is time-consuming, and so is building a website. If you have the spare time to learn new skills and build your own website, then you could have a go at an online builder.
If you don’t have enough spare time, or you have an impending deadline, we’d recommend hiring a designer to build the site for you. We can have your new website up and running in just a few weeks!
As well as understanding what makes a website look good, and having the skills to create a design which accurately reflects your brand, web design tends to involve an element of graphic design too. High quality images and professional graphics are what bring a website to life.
Website builders such as Wix and Squarespace tend to use templates as the starting point for your design. Whilst this makes it easier for you to design your site, it also means that you’ll have a layout which has been used by countless other websites. They can also be quite restrictive, making it tricky to get the exact design you’re envisioning.
If you’re a creative individual with an eye for detail, you could transfer your skills to web design and create your own professional website with an online builder. However, working with a website designer ensures a professional and eye-catching end result, with no layout restrictions and appealing graphics included.
A web designer will likely use content management software such as WordPress to create a site, and the possibilities for what can be achieved are limitless. There’s a reason why WordPress powers 30% of all websites – it’s quite simply the most professional and versatile way to create a site.
Search Engine Optimisation
Making sure that your website shows up in search results is vital for your site’s success. It doesn’t matter how professional and appealing your website looks if no-one is going to see it! Search engine optimisation (SEO) is what gets your website found in search engines and it’s an incredibly complex process.
Most website builders promise great SEO built-in, but the truth is that this is where sites like Wix, Squarespace and 1&1 have their drawbacks. Speaking from experience, website builders don’t offer nearly enough tools to manage in-depth SEO, and their restrictive nature doesn’t provide access to technical parts of the site that should be optimised. If you only want basic SEO, or your website is purely informative rather than a way to get more business, then the drawbacks of online builders may not be an issue. But, if you are serious about getting customers via your website and having a good rank in search engines, a professional designer with knowledge of SEO is the way forward for your new site. We include extensive SEO on all of our websites and many of our clients rank #1 for relevant keywords.