January 22nd, 2019
Health & Fitness
Which is best for you?
Hiring a professional web designer is certainly not for everyone.
If you’re a new business without much revenue, then using an affordable website builder maybe a wise choice.
However, if you are a small or medium sized business owner , using a ‘free’ website builder could actually cost your company £100s, £1000s even £10,000s of wasted man hours and loss of potential revenue.
In this article, I will help you make an informed choice, “web designer vs website builder?” Would you be better hiring a professional or doing it yourself?
WHAT IS A WEBSITE BUILDER?
A website builder is an online tool that means you don’t need any design or coding knowledge. Instead of having to understand design theory, or use the Adobe design suite you can select from a pre-made template design. Instead of using CSS, HTML and other coding languages you use website builder’s pre-set widgets and code.
Think of it like this. Once upon a time it took some skill to take a good photograph using an SLR. With a modern DSLR, and even mobile devices all you need to do is point and click and you can take a decent looking picture.
This is what a website builder does. It allows anyone to quickly and cheaply set up a website that doesn’t look terrible and can look quite good.
| How is a web designer different? |
This depends on who you hire. Assuming you hire someone reputable, a web designer brings a great deal of skill to the party.
A good web designer can take your vision and turn it into a stunning website. They can take the concept that is stuck in your head and turn it into a functional design with all the bells and whistles your heart desires.
A specialist designer in your niche will understand your business and your clients and tailor the design and structure of your site to support conversions and help generate more sales.
A good web designer will also help you create a bespoke design that sets you apart from your competitors. Today, many websites are beginning to look the same and having a uniquely designed website can help your business get noticed in a crowded market.
Going back to our DSLR camera analogy let’s imagine that you were planning your wedding day and wanted to have pictures taken to capture this momentous event. One option could be handing your friend a DSLR camera and have them take pictures of the big day.
Hiring a web designer would be the equivalent of engaging a professional wedding photographer to take artistic and beautiful photos that you could treasure for the rest of your life.
WEBSITE BUILDER vs Web designer
So now that we know what a website builder and a web designer is lets look at why you would choose one or the other and give you some questions to ask yourself.
| Should I use a website builder?|
- Sites are not professionally designed for your business
Website builders have generic templates that look good, few of them stand out and look great. Neither do you have the support of someone who understands marketing and visitor conversions to help optimise the conversion design of your site. Do you want a professional site designed by someone who understands your business challenges?
- Templates are generic
A lot of new businesses have recently been jumping onto the online website builder bandwagon and a s a result there are thousands of people using the same templates and designs. Website builder templates are all starting to look very similar giving them a generic feel. Do you want your website to stand out or are you happy with a site that looks the same as everyone else’s in your chosen market?
- Your new site looks like a template
Most people can tell when a site is built using a template. Even if you don’t quite know what it is you have a gut feeling about it. There’s something about them that lacks professionalism and style. Most site visitors can spot a template as well which is not that helpful if you’re trying to engage them. Do you want a site with a great user experience and lots of ‘calls to action’ and forms to generate those new leads or are you happy with a non-interactive user experience?
- Bad SEO
Most website builders have very poor search engine optimization. They do not offer robust tools when it comes to optimizing your website for search traffic from Google. Would you know how to use them anyway? Do you know how to do proper keyword research and website optimisation? In this case of web designer vs website builder, the web designer wins hands down! Don’t you want to be top of your local rankings or are you happy to start on the last page of Google bearing in mind only 5% click beyond page one?
- Potential loss of leads or sales
Due to poor SEO and poor visibility in search engines the cost of lost potential leads or sales have to be factored in when considering the cost of using a ‘free’ website builder. Do you want to be seen in search engines or are you happy to rely on social media as your source of potential web traffic?
- Website builders can be cumbersome
Most online web builders claim to be easy to use but often they are not especially if you have no knowledge of basic HTML (to a lesser extent CSS) terminology. It can be incredibly frustrating working with a rigid template and trying to realise the vision of your dream web site. Do you not want a creative website free from any design limitations or are you happy using restricted templates?
- Time penalties
What is your time worth to you? What is your employees’ time worth to your business? Instead of you or your employees’ building a free online site what else could they be doing? How many leads or sales would you lose? This all needs to be factored into the true cost of any website project. Do you have the many hours needed to create a good looking site; find suitable web hosting; register your domain; create a logo; gather images; write copy; create email forms and ‘call-to-action’ buttons or would you prefer someone did it all for you?
| Should you hire a professional web designer? |
Still not sure whether or not you should hire a professional website designer?
- Professional design
First and foremost, you are hiring a professional. Further still, if you find a designer who specialises in your particular niche they will understand the challenges of marketing your particular business. A web designer will understand design rules, fonts, colour theory, harmony and balance. They will also have an understanding of user interface, information architecture and how design impacts the visitor flow through your site. All of these skills are brought to the table when you hire a professional. Do you want visitors to stay on your site and take actions leading to new leads and sales?
- Bespoke design
Website design has reached a point where websites are starting to look the same because they all use the same online templates. Even the same online logos are used. Hiring a website designer allows you to have a unique and original design that supports and sells your company ethos. Do you want to stand out from the crowd and keep visitors on your site?
- Optimized for conversion
Most online website templates are not optimized for visitor conversions. They have to appeal to a broad audience and can’t be designed to create a clear conversion path tailored to your specific business needs. When hiring a good web designer, they will help structure the design in such a way that it is designed to optimize conversions which means greater lead generation and more sales. Do you need online contact forms, ‘calls-to-action’ strategically placed to gather visitor details, sign-up or make sales?
- Search engine optimisation (SEO)
A good website designer should have knowledge of Search Engine Optimization. They will be able to do keyword research, help identify the best keywords to rank for and make sure your site tags and content are structured to be optimized for those keywords. Few website builder platforms have any useful SEO tools. Do you need to be visible in search engine results, or even at the top of your local rankings?
- Ongoing support
If you have ever experienced live chat with a tech support line you’ll understand how frustrating it can be to fix your own site and server issues. It wastes your precious time and often ends up with no solution after hours, even days of trying. When you hire a professional, those problems don’t exist! You pick up the phone and give someone else the problem to solve for you! A normal human being who will solve those problems without firing a barrage of technical jargon at you. Do you want your website to be visible and avoid downtime? Not every large web hosting company provides adequate support for DIYer’s.
- Save time
What is your time worth to you? When you hire a web designer you are buying at least many hours of it which means you can focus on getting extra sales, providing quality services or squeezing another couple of clients into your already packed schedule. Pay a professional to deliver online results for you rather than spending endless hours banging your head against a wall, Googling the answers, or teaching yourself a new skill that has nothing to do with your profession! Do you want to spend time running your business and not losing days even weeks creating a website that potentially no one will find anyway or invest these costs with a professional web designer ?
So back to our original question, web designer vs website builder? Which one is right for you? The bottom line is, most websites are built with the intent of marketing your business. The purpose of your website is to make you money. Whether or not you should hire a website designer or use a website builder comes down to the risk vs. return of investment.
If you aren’t making much money, don’t have much money or have an unproven business model (haven’t proven it can make money), then you should go with the most affordable option available and not spend your money hiring a web designer.
If you are making money, value your time and your employees time and feel that you are losing potential business by not having a professionally designed site or are not ranking in search engines, then you should hire a professional.
After reading this article on web designer vs website builder, should you feel a web designer is right for you, then I’d like to mention our FREE CONSULTATION OFFER. Follow this link to arrange yours. www.thewebgym.com
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