DIY Website Builder (Renting) vs Web Designer (Owning)
How do you promote your business? And when you do promote your business, where are you sending the potential customers to learn more about your business and the services you provide? When you’re looking for answers or a professional service provider, where do you go?
You go online and search!
When a potential customer wants to learn more about you they are going to look for a website or some online presence to see if they are contacting a reputable and professional service provider. So your online presence is just as important as your smiling face handing them a business card for that first impression.
These days there are so many different options to build a website that it may be overwhelming to new business owners which option to use. I have a hunch many readers are trying to decide between hiring a web designer or using an DIY website builder such as wix, weebly, shopify and so many others out there.
Here are some considerations to help you figure that out:
Owning vs Renting
Imagine growing your business over time and building your website larger as you grow. You add new examples and features to help automate and streamline your business but find out you are exceeding the capabilities of the DIY builder platform you’re using. Maybe the site is slowing down or the SEO service is not able to rank your site properly because of the limitations from the DIY website builder you’re using.
DIY website builders are going to charge a monthly or yearly fee to keep the site running. If you choose to leave the service of the DIY online builder you will not be able to take the files of the site with you to another provider. You spent all that time in setting up the site the way you liked it, wrote out all the content and text, hired some part-time developer to help out with a few features and graphics and paid your monthly fees for the 2 – 3 years and now you need to start over from scratch.
This is the biggest issue I’ve seen. All these DIY website builders are really just rental services for websites that are filled with limitations in design and functionality.
When hiring a Web Designer (like the services found at Spinning Web Media Solutions) you get a bigger bang for your buck without the long contractual commitments. Web Designers can design a site page exactly as you want it using Photoshop and are able to use a wide variety of programming skills to build the site with any functionality you need. A website built this way will be open to expansion and avoid limitations when you’re growing your business. The best part is you pay a one-time fee and the site is yours for life.
Do you have a small budget?
If you don’t have at least a mid-size budget make sure you do your homework on the developer you plan on using. You don’t want a part-time programmer that does this as a hobby. You need a professional developer that is going to take the project serious and deliver a quality website. So the thing to remember is you get what you pay for.
“But my cousin Vinnie says he’ll design my site for $400!?”
I don’t know your cousin Vinnie, and he does sounds like a cool guy, but I’m worried he may not be a competent website designer. Why? Because his $400 quote seems to indicate that Vinnie does not do web design for a living.
And that’s a red flag.
Don’t hire an amateur website designer. Seriously, you’re better off postponing building the site. There’s a long list of reasons why an amateur website designer will give you headaches. I won’t go into the list here, but it’s probably no surprise that designing websites is a very complicated and involved thing. You need someone you can depend on.
But not everyone has that kind of budget, which is why website builders are helpful but if you plan on using a developer do your research and make sure they have the experience and references.
Landing Pages and Lead Capture Pages
DIY website builders are designed to build temporary websites.
Consider a temporary page to market a special or timed event. You may not need this page for very long and just need a single page to promote the special or event. Have a form for people to fill out and submit their info to generate leads. With a small time frame and budget the DIY Website Builders are perfect for these scenarios. You can also use these pages to get the potential lead excited about the promotion with a Read More button that links to your true website with the full details.
This is the perfect use for the rental services like wix, weebly and shopify
Closing Thought #1: When it comes to your business you want to own your name and branding
Saving a few bucks here and there is important when starting your business but when it comes to your name and business branding you want to own everything that promotes your business. Your website is like your store front and the first thing many customers will see before they even speak with you.
Finding out your website is down, your account has issues, you’re growing outside the capabilities of the platform and need to completely rebuild, or many other possible scenarios is a surprise headache that is not needed when you’re growing your business.
Own your website and have full control of your online presence. Don’t be a victim to the rental systems who control every aspect of your account and your website.
Closing Thought #2: Don’t Hire a Web Designer Based on Price
It can be tempting to try to hire a web designer purely based on price: lowest bid gets the job.
But if this is how you are hiring a web designer, it shows me that you lack any real criteria for deciding which web designers are good or bad.
The reality is, the field is not like plumbers or electricians where there is a (very general) parity among expertise in the field. A plumber is generally a competent plumber. A web designer is not always a competent web designer.
Finding a good web designer is challenging. Do some research.
Just don’t rely on price alone to find a web designer. That can only end in heartache and will end up costing you a lot more in the end
This is a big question. I’ve done my best to summarize my thoughts on it, but I want to hear from you: Do you have experience designing your own site versus hiring a designer? What did you learn?
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