This is a question clients ask a lot! Why should I hire a web developer or designer to build me a website, when I can use a website builder like Wix or Squarespace? That is a legitimate question especially if you’re just starting out, or you’re a small business owner. Keeping your costs as low as possible is high priority. Here are 4 REASONS to choose a web developer over a website builder you should first consider.
Reason 1 to Choose a Web Developer: The Cost
The number one thing you’re going to look at is how much money will it COST me? At first glance the obvious choice is to use a website builder. With costs ranging from free to about $50 per month, and depending on the site builder it could be more. When you compare that to a developer or designer the going rate is anywhere from $100’s to $1000’s.
So why choose a developer then? When you really start looking beyond the surface of website builders, you begin to notice that they may not be as cheap as you first thought and here’s why.
A typical add for a website builder will say for example, “Websites Starting At $3.95/month!” And you think to yourself, “Wow that’s a great price and it’s so cheap!” However the phrase “Starting At” means that you’re getting bare minimum which may or may not include basic things like a domain name or email address which are essential for establishing your brand. Along those lines, if you want more features you have to pay more which means that monthly cost begins to grow. It also means bare minimum customization and functionality. Not to mention that you still have to pay every single month.
To hire a web developer or designer on the other hand will be one single payment and you will go over exactly how you want the layout of your website to look and how you want your website to function. Which brings us to the second reason.
Reason 2 to Choose a Web Developer: Website Customization
Another reason to choose a web developer over a website builder is website customization. The majority of website builders today support a drag and drop editor, which means that the average person who doesn’t know a single thing about coding can build a website! Great another reason to go with a website builder, right?
Not necessarily. Drag and drop editors are not always user friendly and can be limited in functionality which is very frustrating for users. While website builders do support many visually stunning templates you better know exactly which template you want, because without naming names, some website builders do not allow you to switch templates without completely starting over, which in turn will cost you more money and time.
While I could go on and on about the limitations of website builders the reason why you’re here is to know, “why should I hire a web developer or designer to build me a website?” Building a website can be compared to building a house. If you were to meet with an architect or designer they’ll usually go over every aspect of your house from layout and flow of the house to what type of flooring and cabinetry you want. When you meet with a web developer or designer it’s very similar. They go over everything with you from the layout and flow of the website to colours, fonts, images and so on, that you want so that your website is exactly how you want it to represent you and your company.
Reason 3 to Choose a Web Developer: Expanding
One option I give my clients is starting off with basic website. Thus clients aren’t overwhelmed with initial work involved in building their website and costs will be lower. Then, later on they can expand their website and add new features. This is a great option that most website builders do not support unless you purchase a more expensive plan.
As mentioned earlier, with some website builders you cannot simply change your template to one that is more robust or work with an online store without completely starting from scratch! Now perhaps you have a template that does match well with these options, however does the website builder support these new features? Again without naming names not all website builders will support e-Commerce or if they do the options of functionality and customization can be limited. Now perhaps all you want is to add a blog, seems like a simple add-on that everyone supports. Right? Not necessarily, even an add-on like a blog page is not universally supported and the website builders that do may not have all the customization options you want.
When you hire a web developer or designer to build a website the option of expanding your website to meet your needs is always there. Because you’re always dealing with a real person the developer or designer can work within your budget so you get the most out of your money.
Reason 4 to Choose a Web Developer: Time
The last reason to choose a web developer over a website builder is TIME. Whether you’re just starting out or you’re a well established business owner time is not on your side. If it’s just you or you have employees to delegate you’re still the business owner. You have many different things to juggle so your business can expand and grow, thus building a website can be a source of stress. With website builders YOU have to take care of everything! From the design and adding content to acquiring domain names, hosting and more; with the intention that your website will help grow your business not hinder it. While the support teams of website builders can help you, the capacity to which they can help you with is often limited and they’re not going to design your website for you.
When you hire a web developer or designer, once the design concept is finalized they will take care of the rest. Thus you can focus your attention on growing your business. They can even take care of acquiring domain names, hosting, maintenance and even continue to add content so you never have to worry.
While your initial cost maybe higher for a web developer or designer, in the end you’ll save more money and time. You’ll also have peace of mind knowing that someone else is looking after building your website so you can focus on making money.
You don’t need to look too far for a good web developer either! Feel free to contact me here. I provide cost effective web services from design and development of your website to hosting, monthly maintenance, SEO and more. I also provide other web services for existing websites that improve your online presence.