Pretty much any business benefits from creating a well-designed, content-driven and fully functioning website that is optimised for search engines these days. A company site that reaches and informs visitors effectively will convert them into customers. In fact, up to 80% of people look for a business’s website before making a purchase. That’s a lot of market opportunity lost if your site isn’t up to scratch, or worse - doesn’t even exist.
So how does a business of any size and in any industry go about creating a website? How can you ensure your goods and services are successfully promoted online through an informative, creative, and easily accessible website?
Well, there’s two options of website creation that we here at Making Websites Better want to talk about - a) hiring a web design agency or b) using a DIY website builder.
The truth is, there are pros and cons to both options and both have their own specific development process, so let’s compare the two and discover which may be best for you. It’s time for a debate!
What’s a DIY Builder?
DIY builders like WordPress, Wix, and Squarespace are platforms that allow you to create your own website in just a few clicks. Long gone are the days of technical jargon and HTML codings - now DIY builders have functional tools like drag and drop features so you can build the site yourself without any complications. You can add and slot in various types of content within set parameters, whether it’s text, images, videos, etc. They also have customizable formats and design templates for you to pick and choose from without the need of professional design services.
What’s a Web Design Agency?
If you want to take more of a back seat in the designing and creation of your site, a web design agency will fully take the reins for you. As a website agency here at Making Websites Better, our jobs are to develop and build expertly crafted custom sites that meet your business needs and specifications. Website design agencies like us have in-house specialists that work closely with you to understand the exact purpose of your website and how we can build a bespoke design you and your customers love. We are not only a web design agency, but a full branding agency. We have in-house design services that can respond to specific human requirements, which is imperative when creating custom sites.
Web design agencies also specialise in managing design projects and as such take the issue of managing the entire process off of the client, so they can focus on working with us to get your digital experience just right.
DIY Builders: Strengths
They’re cheap and cheerful
The reasonable price tag is the best thing about DIY builders. They’re a fast and simple way of getting your site up and running - and most platforms offer free versions you can get for nothing. Alternatively you can pay a little extra for a pro subscription and the bonus features you get are worth it, especially if you’re serious about creating a professional-looking site. The more you’re willing to pay, the more add-ons and enhancers you have access to, although complete customisation and user experience design is likely something you’ll gave to learn to live without.
They’re easy to navigate (once you’ve learned how to)
The majority of DIY builders deliberately make their platforms super user friendly. Without the confusion of coding, you can navigate your way through the set-up using simple tools and features that aim to streamline the whole process. Whether you’re a novice or a savvy tech wizard, once you’ve learned how to use them, it’s relatively easy.
There’s options to preview the site
With preset templates to select and customise, the appearance of your website will start to come together right before your eyes. You can highlight particular things you like and take out other things you don’t. You can go at your own speed in the ongoing set up and small details can be altered as you go through the process.
DIY Builders: Weaknesses
There’s limited design options
Although you can choose to modify preset templates, these customising options are limited. You can change certain colours, fonts, and backgrounds, but the general templates are rigid and cannot be drastically altered enough to be totally unique. The absence of dedicated design teams result in a lot of sites made by DIY builders look and feel the same as many others.
You might have to start all over again
DIY site builders are not very accommodating when it comes to switching sites and moving your content from one platform to another. You’ll want some flexibility in where your online content is stored and managed, so if you’re likely to switch later down the line, avoid site builders that make you start all over again.
Web Design Agencies: Strengths
They share their wisdom
A website agency like us here at Making Websites better will provide you with a high quality and personalised service for your brand. Whether you need a meticulous SEO management plan or a bespoke eCommerce site built, web design specialists take the time to understand your site concept and mission. Best of all, you’ll benefit from a multi-discipline team sharing their expert knowledge with your own team including web developers, graphic designers, project managers and digital experts to assist with with email marketing, search engine indexing and other digital marketing options to benefit your ambitious business.
They build you an entirely unique site
Any website agency prides itself on authenticity. Their attentive service starts and ends with building you a complex and unique site that’s designed with your preferences in mind. There’s no chance of you coming across a similar site with the same design. Instead, you can be proud of a site that’s 100% your own with a flawless user experience to function and flow just the way it should. Check out our design portfolio - our work speaks for itself.
You get tech support whenever you need it
Sure there’s plug-ins and add-ons available through DIY builders, but web design agencies have unmatchable resources and facilities. And if anything unexpected goes wrong in the future, all you need to do is send a quick email to ask for support. A great website agency will provide you with the maintenance aftercare you need to keep your site securely ticking over even after it’s gone live.
You get granular control over search engine optimisation
Here at MWB, we create websites with your business goals and customer journeys in mind. Meaning, we build sites with optimisation and your conversion rate at the forefront. Sites are built with friendly minified code, with meta information pre-populated, content optimised for your ideal customer base, which also complements your digital strategy. This is achieved through constant communication with clients and regular reviews of our design process - its like working with a web design agency and digital marketing agency at the same time.
This allows us to build your site with search engine optimization considered from the ground up to facilitate an increase in conversions and a reduction in bounce rate for example.
Web Design Agencies: Weaknesses
They’re more expensive
The upfront cost of a website agency is significantly higher than any DIY site builder. You’ll be paying to work directly with a team of experts, so ensure you use your time wisely and make the most of the skills and specialist knowledge. For a high fee, it’s fair to expect a high-quality service no matter what you need them to help you with and with that you’ll also get the peace of mind.
They take more time
Nailing the design and structure of your site first time is a tough feat to achieve, hence why working with a web design agency takes more time. They’re design experts and perfectionists who stop at nothing to make sure it’s looking and running exactly how it should, which is why the design phase of creative web design is so important. This development time will include a lot of back and forth communication whilst draft reviews and edits take place, so be patient and remember that Rome wasn’t built in a day.
So, what should YOU choose?
We don’t want to be biased here considering we’re a specialist web design agency who would simply be out of business if everyone automatically used a DIY builder. However, if your budget permits and you’re in need of a personalised high-quality site, we recommend you always use agencies like us who are geniuses at building practical, sophisticated, and well-crafted websites that faultlessly fit your brand and business goals
DIY builders are a great alternative for a quick and simple solution when funds are short and time isn’t on your side. They do the job just fine, but their restrictive run-of-the-mill design templates are no substitute for the real deal you get at a professional bespoke website design agency.
Check out our other Ecommerce articles on web design including a step by step guide on how to make a website from the ground up or check out our most relevant web design trends in 2021 alternatively contact us to talk about your web design or if you just have a project in mind to see if we can help.
MWB Agency are a premier bespoke web design agency and specialise in expert web design. If you’ve tried a wide range of agencies in the past with no results, try us and watch your business meet your online goals through responsive design.
Are you unsure of whether a specific trend makes sense for your business or what digital strategy to take? Enlist the help of our full-service digital agency and sister marketing company MWB Digital to get help with your digital marketing campaigns, social media marketing and search engine optimization.
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