These days it’s hard to miss the DIY website builders that claim to make it easy to build your own website.
This may sound strange coming for a website design firm, but for many people, website builders such as Squarespace and Wix or free hosting platforms such as Blogger and wordpress.org are the ideal option – for personal sites, blogs, portfolios or school/college uni projects they do the job just fine. Charities looking to start a web presence can find them useful.
For businesses, no matter how small or big, it’s always worth considering how much time you would spend building your perfect site versues the cost of a web designer – certainly in the Exeter area many web designers start pricing out at £500+ with some charging well above £5000.
Especially for startups, small businesses and charities, often the costs our competitors quote price out those at the start of their journey.
The time consideration is another big one – if you’re not familiar with web design, how much time will you spend sourcing or taking quality pictures to use, picking a colour palette, designing your logo, copywriting your content… the list goes on and on.
Plus, even if the template looks fantastic, it never really turns out the same way by the time you add your own content. A professional website designer can offer all of these services as standard, as well as provide expert guidance on hosting, SEO, SEM and email.
One often overlooked aspect of the free and ‘low cost’ website builders is the domain name. Free sites will offer yourname.wix.com or weebly.com/yourname rather than a professional domain such as yourname.co.uk. Squarespace offer domains, but often they charge over the odds for these.
Something else to consider is ongoing hosting fees. The free web designers will offer hosting, sure, but often they will place 3rd party adverts to help pay for it – what if your main competitor’s ad appears on your website?
Again, this can be acceptable for some personal or non profit projects – for those on a tight or zero budget then this can be a reasonable trade off.
A lot of website builders also charge extra for services such as email @yourdomain – which is important when you want to convey a professional image with your email address. Plus they often charge extra for features such as shopping carts and email – so the low monthly price advertised isn’t always what it seems.
At Iscaco, our hosting starts from just £4 a month, running on our superfast cloud servers, and all packages include email. Or you can get your website designed from just £79, including hosting for the year – that works out to less than £7 per month, and we do all the hard work for you!
Finally – a note about vendor lock in. When you choose a web design firm, generally the agreement is that the content and design of your site is yours – if later on down the road you want to find a cheaper hosting package or domain renewal, you have the option to migrate.
With builders such as Squarespace you are locked into their platform, with migration away made as difficult as possible – putting you at the mercy of future price rises or having your growth restricted by the platform’s limitations, which may not be apparent to begin with.
Would you call a plumber if you had a leak? Or an electrician if a socket doesn’t work?
Why should your website be any different? Certainly there are some budget advantages but if you are serious about your site it is worth getting some quotes from website designers.
Conclusion: For personal projects, an online builder is fine. For a great website for a business, a web design professional should be your #1 choice.
The website building platforms certainly have some advantages. However, if you’re serious about your business – use a professional.
If you’ve decided that a web designer is the best fit for your needs, then we’d love to talk.
Just contact us to start the conversation and get your business online.
Our website design services start from £79 and this includes the first year of hosting and email.
Consider how much time and energy you will save by leaving your web presence to us.
For a no obligation chat about how we can help you and your business please contact us.