We help businesses of all sizes and in all stages of life but we often encounter companies that are ready for a new design or a redesign of their website. The decision of who will build your website, which will represent your business online, can be a tough one. There are many options to choose from. Some people opt for a DIY approach using a website builder. Others decide to hire an web design agency, like Get The Clicks, or an independent developer. But how do you know which direction to take with your own site? What is going to provide the functionality and look that you want while also being cost effective? Here are some things you should keep in mind when making your decision for your new website:
If you have a small budget a DIY type platform is going to be the best option for you. It’s not worth trying to hire a designer for anything under $3000. If you’re not willing to invest in a quality build done by a professional, use something that is designed for small budgets. We’ve inherited many sites that were built by someone’s friend or family member that they designed as a favor or for a small amount of money. That scenario almost always leads to a rebuild. You’re better off postponing the site build until you have the money to do it right. The headaches that come with a poorly built website are not worth the money you saved.
DIY website builders will really only work for simple, conventional websites. If you are looking for something basic, like an online brochure to send people to, this may work for you. The e-commerce options with website builders can also be the easiest and most cost efficient solution. If you need to add any type of payment processing or shopping cart functionality to your custom site, you’re looking at a significant amount of additional time in development and money to fund the project. If you’re just starting out, look into something like Squarespace.
You should consider everything you would like your website to do, even if it’s in the future, while you are building it. If you think you may want to have a shopping cart on your site, make sure whatever platform you are using to build your site has that capability.
If you are looking for anything that is remotely unique or you think you may need the ability to customize something later on, hire a developer to build you a site that can grow and adapt to your needs over time.
Since we are an SEO company, we’ll warn you about trying to rank a website that was built with a website builder. If you went the cheap DIY direction, Google will know. Google is watching and they know all things. We have been able to rank website builder websites in the past but only in non-competitive, local markets. If you have a niche product or service that you are offering to a local market, it is possible for you to show up on the coveted page one of Google if you play your cards right (or if you hire us J) . We would not recommend it and do not like to take on SEO projects that involve any kind of website builder website. This includes but is not limited to GoDaddy Websites, WIX, Squarespace, SiteBuilder, Weebly, MoPro, and Web.com. We cringe hearing those names when it comes to SEO and usually say no or suggest a rebuild.
Website builders generally don’t work for SEO because you have no control over the code of the website. What you see is what you get. On-page SEO techniques require editing more than just what can be seen from the surface. Some are better than others but if you are in a competitive industry, you’re going to want to hire an agency to build you a quality, customizable website with cpanel hosting so the code of the website can be accessed by someone that knows what they’re doing.
If you don’t plan on trying to rank your site organically with Google, a DIY site may suit your needs and save you money. Other forms of paid online advertising, like pay per click, can send traffic to any kind of website as long as it has a unique domain name.
Before building a site, think about how you’re going to be sending traffic to it. Just because you launch a website, doesn’t mean you’ll automatically have visitors. Marketing is a must with any website. The kind you decide on has to be compatible with your website.
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If you have goals of out-ranking everyone, having thousands of visitors and growing your business with online marketing, hire a professional to build your sales machine.
You get what you pay for. If you’re just starting out and don’t have the funds to invest in hiring a quality agency to build your site, a website builder may be a good option until the business grows. If you’re an established business and you have the funds but you’re trying to be cheap, you’re making a mistake. Spend the money to have it done right and make sure you own the site when the developer is done with it.