Websites – Design Your Own or Hire a Pro?

Business owners who are maximizing their potential by using digital marketing very frequently face the question above – Do I design my website on my own via a free or cheap site builder, or do I hire a professional?

Here is some advice from Freelance Web Designer Heather Wood:

  • Problem 1: Unfortunately, You Never Own Your Website

The majority of most free and/or inexpensive website builders is that they are designed to help you create your own website, except your hosting company continues to own it.

So technically, you are really just “renting” the “space” your website has been built on.  If the time comes when you want to export your website to another domain carrier, you are not allowed to transfer the site which you have created with your original domain carrier’s software.

  • Problem 2: One Size Does Not Fit All

The pre-formatted site builders we are talking about are considered “one size fits all.”  Yet, every business is different.  If, for example, you own a franchised restaurant you will want to present a different atmosphere and a different menu unique to who you are.  You don’t wish to appear like everyone else because you’re not like everyone else.  Your website should be a reflection of this, it needs to highlight what you want to say, and not what a generic template has available.

Cookie-cutter sites are generic.  They are designed in a way that will work for a restaurant, or real estate agent, a lawyer, or a writer.  They look generic.  Generic does not set forth the idea of professionalism.

  • Problem 3: Your Customer Service Rep Knows Nothing about Websites or SEO

An unfortunate thing to remember is that most customer service reps are really just phone agents working for the company.  They don’t know HTML, they don’t know CSS or PHP, and most importantly they don’t know SEO (Search Engine Optimization)!  The majority of these agents can tell you what SEO is and build up what they are saying with big words and faux-technical talk.  Yet, get into anything actually technical and they know very little.  Also, you know that when you call back, you will not get the same person; there is no consistency in customer or technical service.

An additional problem is, if they do offer SEO services, these results are often computer-generated at a monthly fee.  Their computer is most likely using very old SEO practices.  Most SEO is about content and how individuals speak, and then structure our website.  There is no right or wrong way to do it, it’s up to the discretion of your SEO and what will get clicks.

Sometimes, a new startup will spend its money on all kinds of things they need, but really cut corners when it comes to their website and advertising.  So, listen here, Freebie Freddy and Cheapo Charley, think about finding yourself a professional web designer – they can be found at a pretty reasonable rate. Professional web designers understand what works on a website, how to effectively tinker with your site’s SEO and they’ll be around for maintenance, questions and upgrades! Plus, most will know what works specifically for your type of business.

This is where I strongly urge you to treat your website just as you would your brick & mortar business. It is the first impression, your business’  virtual ‘bread-and-butter’the beginning of your sales funnel. Employ a professional web designer who will work with you to properly build your business online. If you need a good place to start, try the web designers at All Web, LLC.

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