Recently, my husband and I were in the car listening to the radio. We heard a commercial for a .com where you could go and build your own website or have them build you a cheap one. Much to my husband’s dismay, I started a little bit of a rant. It’s easy to find DIY site builders. That doesn’t mean that’s the best option for your business or organization. In this post, I’ll discuss why hiring a web designer is actually more cost effective and a better plan than the DIY website builders.
Why is hiring a web designer a better plan?
A web designer gets to know you and your goals.
When I heard the radio commercial mentioned above, the announcer was saying that this service would build you a “professional” site for a flat, low price. Ok, that sounds good. What are you getting for that “low price”? You’ll probably end up with a generic site that looks just like thousands of other sites out there. It will also not be tailored to your individual goals.
Hiring a web designer should be a personalized process. I take the time to get to know my clients and their goals. In fact, I’ve had more than one person fill out my questionnaire and think that talking about their short and long term goals was not relevant. On the contrary, your website should directly advance your goals and make your life easier. I meet personally (or via phone or Skype) with each client and listen to what they really want for their business or organization. Then I recommend site features based on those goals and specifically tailor them to that project. In the end, your site is your most valuable employee.
Hiring a web designer saves you time.
You need your time to run your business and do what you do best. In many cases, build-your-own website services can be confusing and take time to master. This is both frustrating and time consuming. Instead, spend your time making money and advancing your goals. You likely don’t have time to sit and figure out a new interface, particularly if computers are not your thing.
Hiring a web designer actually saves you money.
What? Aren’t websites expensive? I almost didn’t include this one because it seemed silly, but then I read this article titled “Should You Hire A Web Designer or Use A Web Builder?“. Web builders like Wix or Weebly tout themselves as being cheap or even free, but there are lots of hidden charges. Between hosting fees, paying for the service of a shopping cart, and getting all the features you really need they don’t include in the “free” site, you’ll rack up costs pretty quickly. When you add everything together, you could have hired a web designer and ended up with a much more professional end product.
If money is tight, start with a basic site and build as you can. You should also consider the amount you may be losing by spending time creating that site rather than running your business as only you know how. You’ll see a much greater return on investment with a custom site tailored to your needs.
Hiring a web designer buys you expertise.
You’re not just buying a site from a web designer… you’re also purchasing his or her knowledge. We know how to get you noticed by search engines, what needs to happen for your site to succeed, and much more. We also know what colors work well and what helps your site have just the right effect on visitors. Instead of you fumbling through best practices, hire someone who already knows that stuff. A web designer can advise you much better than the web builders can, and my guess is that you’re not going to deal with a “real person” very much with one of those services.
Hiring a web designer gets you versatility and longevity.
Don’t you hope your website will succeed? Of course you do! If you succeed half as much as you want, you eventually outgrow the web building program. Those programs can only take you so far. Once you decide you need to leave it, changing will be a pain. They don’t let you just download your site and take it someplace else, so you’re basically back to the beginning of needing to create a new one. With a web designer, you can easily grow as the need arises. As I said before, you can start with a basic site, and that designer should be able to add features as needed without disruption of the current site.
The old adage “you get what you pay for” really comes into play here. You could pay a service a flat fee to create a website, but you’d lose far more than you’d gain. Hiring a web designer gives you much more flexibility and frees you to run your business. So weigh your options, and keep swimming along!