But I could build my own website really cheaply!

Tue 17th Sep 2013

There are many options to create your own website should you choose to, there are lots of online site builders and it will be cheaper than using a web designer and this might well be the best solution for you, but consider it carefully, it might not work out as cheap or as effective as you think.

You might be thinking ‘Of course a web designer is going to warn people away from doing it themselves!’ It’s not quite that simple, a good website needn’t be expensive and will pay for itself very quickly, read on to find out why.

Your website is your first chance to impress new customers

First impressions really are everything when it comes to the internet - simply because it is so easy to go elsewhere if you don’t find what you want. Your customers want to use companies who look as if they are professional and reputable - cheap, dodgy looking websites can turn customers away.

Website optimisation

Search Engine Optimisation is very important, a website is no good if nobody can find it! There are companies out there who will charge you a small fortune for search engine optimisation but the best start you can make building the site well in the first place. Optimising a site involves including key search words correctly so that the right people find your website.

Consider the time you might spend trying to build a website yourself

You’ll be learning to use new software that could be time consuming, and when you run your own business time can be precious!

The limitations of a template based system

Online site builders are limited, they are often based on templates so you still might not be able to achieve what you want. Template based websites are easy to spot, even by the least web savvy of people and they often load slowly because they contain outdated methods of writing code.

Some web design templates are flash based and so are completely unsupported by some increasingly popular smart phones and tablets.

What a web designer offers that 'build your own' options don't offer

A web design professional can listen to what you want before presenting you with a plan and a mock-up of the layout before building the website.

A web designer understands how people use websites

A professional knows how to present complex information in an easy to understand format, a well built website will be easy to navigate which is essential - your potential customers will want to find information quickly and easily, if they can’t it is very easy for them to go elsewhere.

If I build my website I can add to and amend it what if someone else builds it?

A website designer can build a site that you can amend and add to using a simple Content Management System (CMS) if appropriate but if you only need very occasional amendments it might be more economical to get your web designer to make them for you quickly and at a reasonable cost. (I allow for small amendments in my hosting charges.)

Browser testing

People view websites in increasingly different ways, on a Mac, on a PC, using their phones or tablets. And it doesn’t stop there, there’s a wide choice of browsers across these platforms including Internet Explorer, Safari, Firefox, Google Chrome and Opera. These are all things that a website designer will test. If you build the website yourself it is likely that won’t have the facilities to test your website this thoroughly, with the result that your website could appear broken to some users.

by Rachel Watson