If you’re like many small business owners, the thought of creating your own website and saving thousands—or even tens of thousands—is tempting. Many website builders promise great results for a low price, without you having to worry about hiring a professional. But are these claims too good to be true?
In many ways, yes. While there are certainly plenty of cases where website builders can get the job done well enough, they lack in many areas. When it comes time to add custom features or advanced payment processing to your website, you need a good website designer who understands your needs and works hard to satisfy them.
Knowledge and Skills
People often hire professionals for jobs they couldn’t do themselves; these hires are based on the knowledge and skills of the professional. After all, you wouldn’t be seeking professional help if you were an expert web developer yourself.
Web design and development, like nearly everything in the tech world, is highly dependent on current trends and standards. When you use a website builder to create your website, you’re trusting it to be up to date on these trends, and that’s often not the case. Updates are often few and far between, leaving you to build your website on outdated (albeit slightly) technology.
Website developers have one job: creating websites. As such, they spend a lot of time staying abreast of the latest industry trends, reading about and implementing new approaches in their work. When you hire a professional, you don’t have to worry about your site using outdated technology that will soon need updating.
A Website That Works
Making your website look good is important. You should always try to hire a designer whose style best fits what you’re going for aesthetically. But there’s another important part to the equation that isn’t always quite as easy: making a website that works.
When you use a website editor to create your website, you’re sacrificing quality for convenience and price. If you want to add a contact form to your site, you’re limited to the structure and options of the contact form(s) available. Want to allow people to submit MP3 files through the contact page? Unfortunately, many website builders don’t have an option that allows you to do this.
Hiring a professional is the only way to ensure your website is fully functional. A website design firm or website designer will work closely with you to make sure your website does everything you need it to. If you need a subscription-only portion of the website that costs $5 a month to view, they can implement that.
Keep in mind that a professional can only help you as much as you allow them to. They can only work off of your needs and suggestions, so make sure you create a thorough list of every feature you may want on your website—even if it’s something small, like the ability to report comments.
Believe it or not, straightforward pricing is one of the benefits of hiring a professional. Although many people don’t realize it, some website builders cost more than their monthly fee. If you want one of the “pro” templates, you may need to shell out $40 or $60 for that. Don’t like the template? Well, you’re out of luck.
When you hire a professional to build your website, you can fully discuss your needs and budget to find something that works for you. Since you’ll have to sign a contract, the price you decide on is set in stone; the only way it can change is if you agree to pay more for extra features or revisions.
If you’re looking for the best results from your website, hiring a professional for that human touch is the only way to go.