During the start-up phase, a business must be extremely mindful of its budget and their access to investment capital. As such, this element plays a significant role on whether to hire a website company to create a customised site, or choose to build a site yourself using software available from DIY providers.
Like anything, the old adage of you get what you pay for always applies to websites. Similarly, Sydney website developer Jacob Peattie explains ‘websites and the infrastructure that goes with them are something that will be tied to your business for years to come’.
Sometimes cheaper solutions aren’t as scalable and won’t allow your business flexibility as it grows. Businesses understand the importance budget plays with their website and according to a recent report
“In 2014, 40% of small businesses planned to invest in their company website, more than any online resource.”
If you’re aware of these limitations and are prepared for this investment later on then a DIY website might be perfectly suited for the here and now. Also, custom web design can be expensive if you’re not familiar with what is involved.
As appealing as DIY websites can be, it can be a costly mistake not to invest in a website now, only to delay a more significant investment or completely start from scratch when your requirements evolve.
Here we outline the arguments for and against hiring a web design company for a custom design, or building your website from a pre-made template using DIY website software.
Hiring a Web Design Company
Cons of hiring a web design company: When you hire a professional web design company, you’ll typically face an up-front cost and then a secondary payment due upon completion. Once the site is live, there may be ongoing costs as well for related technical support. These costs can be confronting to new businesses with limited cashflow, which is why they choose to design and develop their websites on their own – in the hopes of lowering their overhead.
Pros of hiring a web design company: Your additional costs are for good reason – you’re getting a website that is designed to meet your needs today and tomorrow. The costs of launching a site may seem like a lot, but once your site is designed, you’ll likely not to have to make any significant upgrades for quite some time. The same cannot be said if you choose to use template-based platforms such as Wix or Weebly.
Using a Pre-Made Template:
Cons of building a site using pre-made templates: Businesses often think that creating a website from template-based platforms is easy and takes no time at all. This is true, but only if you want a website that doesn’t encapsulate your company’s unique personality and authenticity. Designing a website – template-based or not – still requires a talent and eye for design, a skillset which many small businesses may not readily have on hand.
Also, template websites usually restrict your ability to customize the look and functionality of a site. Furthermore, while these template sites may work for you today, they’re not designed to expand with your business, meaning you’ll likely have to commit time and effort to changes and upgrades quite often.
Your goal should be a website that pushes your branding and can connect with your audience and allows you to easily add content. You don’t want to end up with a website you have to alter the design of every few months in order to remain relevant.
Pros of building a site using pre-made templates: If you’re looking for a simplistic brochure-like website with no more than a few pages, then these template sites may work for you. We caution you, however, that you still must take time in the design of your site, and should be prepared to be frustrated by the lack of control you have over the final “look” of your site. Template-based sites are great for businesses with limited financial resources that need a web presence but don’t expect to have large amounts of traffic coming to their site.
Outsourcing your website to a professional design and development team will require your business to invest. However, statistics show that more and more customers (in all industries) are making purchase decisions based on what they find online. According to Forrester research $1.1 Trillion of all retail sales in 2011 were ‘web influenced’ http://www.smartcompany.com.au/technology/33168-four-key-stats-to-help-optimise-website-design.html . This number has no doubt only increased since, particularly with the increase of mobile device usage.
All in all, this means your business needs an optimized website that’s mobile responsive, pushes your brand authenticity and can handle the growth you hope to experience over the next few years. More often than not, only a web design company is the best option for this type of design.