Why hire a professional web solutions agency when you can use a website builder for cheaper?
When you decide to create a website for your business or brand there are generally two options to choose from, a company that provides professional web solutions or a do-it-yourself website builder. Frequently the decision boils down to cost. While pro web designers or web developers can cost anywhere from a thousand to several thousand dollars, a website builder is a relatively cheap and inexpensive alternative. However, there are several ways to look at cost that you need to consider.
While exploring cost, it’s important to factor in the real cost from an economically efficient perspective. Real cost doesn’t focus on the dollar value alone, but also the cost of your:
What is your time worth to you? This is one of the most overlooked factors when calculating cost. It’s going to take you some time to learn how to use a website builder platform, from hours to days. Learning the platform is only the first step, building the website itself is going to take much longer. Think about the amount of time it will take to finish your project and take the dollar value you place on your time. How much money have you given up to pursue this project on your own as opposed to contracting it out to a web solutions firm that will free up all of that time.
Maintaining and updating your website should factor into real cost as well. Are you selling goods online and need an e-commerce website? How are you going to design your product displays and how often will they need to be updated? If your website breaks or isn’t displaying properly who’s going to fix it? It’s going to fall on your shoulders to make these updates and fixes. That’s if you’re even technically educated enough to fix a broken site.
When you run into a wall, and need help with your website, you might spend hours looking online for solutions. Sometimes however, it comes down to coding knowledge; then you have no choice but to approach a web solutions agency. It’s not going to cost as much to hire someone to make fixes as it would cost to build an entire website, but it’s definitely going to cost more than having them fix a website they built for you. In fact many agencies cover updates and fixes in their hosting plan which won’t cost you anything extra. For instance here at Mainframe Web Solutions we offer 1 hour of free work (valued at $100/hr) every month for websites on our hosting plan.
In the end you may end up spending as much money on fixes and updates from a web designer that you would have spent if you hired them to build your website in the first place. All the time you spent learning the platform, building the website, updating or fixing content, and initial expenses are now sunk costs or costs you invested into your site and can’t get back.
If you were going to build a deck, would you build it yourself or hire a contractor?
When you hire a web solutions agency or work with some local web designer, you’re paying for a professional to do the job. Your average person doesn’t know web design principles, how to drive traffic to their site, coding, digital marketing, graphic design, search engine optimization or SEO, or how to improve your ranking on search engine indexes like Google at all.
Unless you are a carpenter, you would probably contract a professional to build a deck because you don’t know a lot about what you’re doing. The same goes for web design, unless you are a programmer it’s probably worth it to talk to professionals. This isn’t a deck either, it’s your business and livelihood after all.
When you hire professionals you aren’t paying for something different or things you don’t need. The level of functionality is narrowed down during the brainstorming and prototyping phase. Essentially what you’re hiring a web agency for is a much higher quality version of a website that’s designed better, loads faster, promotes growth, and boosts traffic by implementing industry best practices. There is so much going on under the hood that a person with no knowledge of web development and growth hacking would never be able to understand it all.
For example take a quick look at the code below. It’s code from a website that was built with a Squarespace website builder which we highlighted for a client:
Red: Highlighted out to protect anonymity. Pink: Highlighted to illustrate Squarespace’s digital footprint.
Notice how many times the word Squarespace appears just in the head of the document. In total on just one page it appeared 126 times! It seems as though Squarespace is piggybacking off your site to boost their site’s authority, at least as far as a search engine is concerned. One of the largest benefits you receive by hiring someone to build your site is their knowledge of SEO. A good developer is thinking of different web solutions to boost your search engine index results and drive traffic to you throughout the entire development process, while maintaining optimal coding standards and ultra-fast load times.
What are website builders best suited for?
Website builders are efficient if you’re creating something like a portfolio. Most Portfolio sites are only 1 – 2 pages long and are built to showcase somebody’s skill-set, like an online resume. There is no goal of growing the website’s user base, selling goods, or increasing brand awareness. Most people are brought to the page because they are given a link. The key here is the real cost, which we discussed earlier, is more in line with what you need the website for.
Someone who is trying to grow a business and reach new clients through the internet should look at a web solutions company because they are more productive for long term growth. The product quality, ongoing support, and growth hacking knowledge will be worth it every time. Sustained growth is not suited for website builders, there are too many moving parts to package everything together into one do-it-all box.
It’s like putting together furniture from Ikea, you may be buying a bureau but by the time assembly is finished you could be staring at a nightstand.