8 minute read.
It’s tempting to get lured in by free website builders like Wix, GoDaddy, and Squarespace. They market themselves as the perfect solution for businesses of all sizes. They’ve focused on strategic marketing, emphasizing low cost, and ease of use. These builders may seem attractive at first glance, but will they meet your business’s needs?
There’s a reason these website builders market themselves as easy to use, and not the best way to improve your online presence. They are affordable and accessible on the surface, but they lack the knowledge and experience of a web design agency. Not to mention the flexibility that you may require.
The cost of hiring a web design agency can seem too steep for some businesses, but what are you missing out on by skimping on this aspect of your business? The question you should be asking yourself is, “Can I afford NOT to hire a web design agency,” rather than “Can I afford it.”
Take into account the value of TIME!
- The TIME & effort it will take away from you running your business
- The revenue lost within the TIMEFRAME it takes to complete the website build
- The revenue lost over TIME by not correctly maximizing the site’s potential
Websites are an investment, NOT an expense. The big dogs understand this, you need to as well.
Find out why informed businesses hire an agency instead of doing it alone.
What in the World is a Website Builder?
Exactly what it sounds like: A tool you can use to build a website yourself. The whole idea of a website builder is to make it easy for anyone to build a website. They capitalize on people who don’t have the technical knowledge (or the time) to do it all on their own.
Website builders allow you to create a visually appealing, though templated, website with no skills. For those without knowledge of HTML, CSS, Photoshop, or design skills, builders offer pre-set code, functions, and generally user-friendly design.
In theory, a website builder is suppose to allow the average person to quickly put together a website that looks decent and is functional.
Who Should Use A Website Builder?
Website builders may lack sophistication for most companies, but they do have their place. There are groups of people and organizations that can benefit from these tools and the low startup costs.
Bloggers and hobbyists who are just getting started are usually high on passion and short on funds. In the beginning, there’s no need for expensive tools or advanced technical aspects. It will allow you to get your feet wet and concentrate on finding your path. It’s always possible to move your site to something a bit more professional later down the road.
New businesses and unfunded startups may consider a website builder rather than a web design agency, just to put the word out. You’ll need a place to send people who want to know more, so there’s some sense of urgency to get a usable website up quickly. Once you get yourself established, you’ll want to upgrade to a fully optimized and user-friendly website to maximize search traffic and wow potential customers.
Solo-preneurs and small non-profits might also use a website builder instead of a web design agency. As a solo-entrepreneur making less than $75,000 or a non-profit without disposable cash, this option is perfect for you.
Unproven concepts are another area that can be explored with a website builder. If you’ve just started your proof of concept trials and need a website, it’ll get you going without a lot of fuss.
So, why use a web design agency then?
How Is A Website Design Agency Different?
Think of a web design agency as a whole team of specialists that focus on turning your vision into a reality. This team usually consist of a website designer, programmer, graphic designer, project manager, copywriter, etc depending on the project size and complexity.
They’re pros at listening to your thoughts and ideas, obtaining necessary details, and interpreting your needs. They’ll take what’s in your head and turn it into a beautifully designed, properly laid out and fully functional site that’s unique to you.
A web design agency team crafts a website that meets your user’s needs while keeping your vision in mind. They don’t just contemplate your ideas alone, though. They analyze your competition and produce a design that makes you stand out. They think about what will increase traffic and improve conversions before they even start developing the site.
Visual and usability aspects of web design aren’t the only things to evaluate. There are also technical aspects like search engine optimization (SEO), which help more people find you. An agency will spend time doing keyword research to ensure you can be found for the terms most relevant to what you do (and what people are searching).
Hiring a web design agency comes with many benefits you should contemplate.
Top Benefits of Using a Web Design Agency
- Unique design – no generic templates that you have to squeeze yourself in
- Optimized for your specific goal – generating traffic, leads, or sales
- Written for search engines AND visitors alike
- A team of experts for one price
- Built with growth in mind
- You own the website, not just renting it
- Ongoing support
So, as you’re doing your cost-benefit analysis, think about how many people use those same templates on Wix or Weebly. They may make some changes, but you’re unlikely to appear unique without a designer’s help. Your competition will look much more professional and trustworthy if they’ve hired someone to custom design their site. Not only will you miss out on clients, but you also risk looking amateurish.
Another danger of doing it yourself is producing a site that doesn’t compel your visitors to purchase a product or contact you. Your efforts to save money might actually cost you without knowing it. Unclear calls to action, too many ideas on a page, or confusing processes could be obscuring the activities you’d like them to perform.
Time, as stated at the beginning, is always a factor to consider as well. Do you have time to mess with a website builder? While they are not difficult to use, you’ll have to learn how the tools work. You’ll also have to get those ideas on the page, even if you’re not a trade designer. Then, any time changes need to be made, you’ll have to set aside time to make those changes. Wouldn’t you love to have an expert to hand these off to and get back to business?
With this in mind, most companies will benefit from a web design agency’s skills.
How Much Does A Professional Website Cost?
You’d be surprised on how inexpensive it is to hire a team of web development professionals with marketing and SEO expertise.
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Who Should Hire A Website Design Agency?
Realistically, anyone who wants to have a high-converting, high-traffic website should hire a web design agency to create the most optimized website for your audience. However, your budget may prevent you from starting here.
Some businesses simply cannot afford to live without a professionally designed website. That would be those generating considerable revenue. While it’s hard to give an exact number, something like $250,000 is a fantastic benchmark. Your competition is higher, and your website is an asset that must be fine-tuned.
Institutions or individuals with high-value transactions need to use a web design agency as well. You rely on reputation and trust to win big purchases. It’s crucial you look trustworthy and appropriate for your clientele. Some examples are lawyers, real estate agents, high-value electronics, and luxury cars. Your website needs to emanate quality for you to make the deal.
Very competitive local businesses also see many benefits from a custom-designed site. If you’re relying on Google searches to be found, you’ll need an SEO-optimized website to ensure your site can be found. Other areas that an agency can address are putting usable maps and directions on your site and making phone numbers and contact forms prominent. You wouldn’t want to lose business to the competition because someone couldn’t figure out how to contact or buy from you!
Working with a web design agency might sound like something beyond your grasp, but it’s not. It’s something your business can’t live without.