The need to establish an online presence in the digital era is a foregone conclusion. It’s not a luxury reserved for big businesses with big budgets. It’s something you can’t do without – even if you’re a brick and mortar store.
The question that arises, then, is, should you adopt a DIY approach to websites or hire a web designer. Before we discuss this question more appropriately, it’s worth pointing out that you can always find affordable web designers.
The choice ultimately comes down to you.
Let’s explore the pros and cons of DIY websites compared to web design agencies.
Pro #1: Free Templates are Available
A large number of templates are free to use. You don’t have to tinker around too much, thanks to drag-and-drop builders such as WordPress. You can also create professional-looking templates using Elementor if you’re on WordPress.
Con #1: Similar Appearance
Since these templates are freely available, there is a very high chance that your website will look very similar to other websites already available out there.
Even if you decide to purchase a template, you still run the risk of having the same setup as someone else. We don’t have to tell you just how important branding is in 2021 to convince prospects.
Pro #2: Reasonably Priced and Fast
You will also find many reasonably priced templates for a small fee. You can also try them for free and pay a fee if you want to use more advanced features. From that point onwards, it’s just a matter of installing and uploading the theme to your server. Themes allow you to design websites without doing any coding.
Con #2: Limited Customization Options
At most, you can change the color. In general, however, it’s not easy to customize a DIY website to your exact specifications – unless you’re a web designer yourself. If you want to update the template, you’ll likely need extra coding or the help of an experienced web design company.
If you try to force a template to do anything it’s not designed to do; you could risk breaking it.
Most DIY websites feature outdated codes that may not be compatible with most browsers. This can make for a terrible browsing experience.
Pro #3: Create a Fast Website
Since you have a pre-designed template, you can set one up for free and relatively quickly. Designing a website from scratch will take at least one week at the bare minimum because so many moving pieces are involved.
Con #3: It’s Probably Not SEO Friendly
It is worth pointing out that some themes are not very SEO friendly, so you’ll find it hard to rank.
SEO is the most important aspect of your website if you want users to find you on the internet. Most DIY websites are not equipped to handle important information that search engines use, such as meta tags and image metadata.
Why Hiring a Website Designer is a Better Option
When you do something long enough for a living, you become good at it. Most web designers know the ins and outs of website design since they’ve been doing it for several years.
They can put together a website that is functional and professional. You can communicate your exact requirements to the web designer, and they’ll achieve your objectives.
A web design agency gives you access to experts with years of experience, creative talent, and technological know-how. They take you through their tried and proven processes to create unique sites for you.
Security and Ongoing Customer Support
Websites are vulnerable to cyber-attacks due to their massive attack surface. This means that the website code needs to be constantly updated to keep them relevant. In the case of open-source software like WordPress, the number of attacks keeps piling up regularly.
If you don’t keep your plugins updated or have security measures in place, you could have your data compromised, and you won’t even know it.
We recommend working with a web designer to keep things secure.
Web Designers Use strategy
Web designers can lay out the foundation for long term success. They will create a website aligned with your business model, target audience, and future goals. More importantly, web designers can optimize your website around search engine parameters to increase your chances of ranking and potentially attract customers.
Not Sure Which Option is Best For You?
Creating your own website is certainly possible if you have the right skill level – but it’s often just better to leave things to a professional. This can be important if you want the website aligned with your overall branding. At the very least, you should talk with an expert to evaluate your options.
Dave Brown provides website design services to small business owners as well as Fortune 500 companies. He also provides them with marketing help to scale their online services. Learn more about Dave on the official website.