In recent years we have seen the online sphere flooded with websites created and launched using website builders and ready-made themes. Does that mean we should all be using them? In short, no!
New businesses often presume that the best & cheapest way to get a website up and running is to create a site themselves using a website builder and off-the-shelf templates. Using a website builder might seem cheap, but as with most things in life, you pay for what you get. There are so many aspects to designing and developing a website, unless you are a graphic designer come developer yourself, it is always best to hand the job to a professional company.
Here are what we believe to be the main reasons for new (& old!) businesses to use the services of a web design & development company:
A website is an online representation of your company, so however small you start off, your site should still be professional and completely bespoke to you. Although you may begin with a relatively simple site, you are likely to want to refresh and add to it as your business grows. Using custom design/development means your website can be tailored specifically to your target market and evolve as your organisation grows.
Websites that are custom coded, give the freedom to create virtually any functionality that you will ever need. This enables you to make your web users’ experience more unique, in turn giving a solid foundation from which to build and strengthen your online presence from.
Search engine optimisation is extremely important to every business and should be worked on by a professional during the time of your website being developed. Valuable content is key to the success of your site. A site that is designed and developed in unity with an SEO plan, gives a much stronger starting point for ongoing SEO/SEM works. The point below regarding speed also effects how well your website ranks. Search engines such as Google, penalize slow loading sites and pages, meaning that if your site is sluggish, it is less likely to be pushed up the ranks.
If you view your time as money, (which business owners and in fact most of us should!) then it will be more cost effective for you to hire a company to design and develop your website. It’s then one less thing for you to worry about doing yourself, enabling you to concentrate on planning and getting new clients. Hiring a professional company to develop your site is and needs to be recognised as a long-term investment. However, the ROI of a custom-built website will far exceed that of a pre-built design site.
The loading and scrolling speed of your site pages and functions. Any website that uses pre-built themes or templates is likely to have excess/unnecessary code which will slow your site down. A few extra seconds for your website to load could be the difference between getting an enquiry or order and not. Statistics show that if a visitor is waiting much more than a few seconds for your website to respond, the likelihood is that the user will lose interest and imminently click off the site.
Often, the finished websites built with site builders, are not fully responsive, meaning that they do not properly function when viewed on mobile or tablet devices. Bearing in mind the fact that over 50% of all web traffic is from mobile devices, this is not good news.
Building and designing a website is certifiably not a one-time task. It’s an on-going procedure that requires developers and designers to roll out continual improvements as required. A good website is never completed – the best websites out there are constantly updated and improved. To guarantee that your site stays relevant, proficient website development companies offer extra support, for example, blog or maintenance services. They collaborate with you, but take the responsibility from your shoulders, permitting you to focus on crucial assignments and primary objectives.
Having said all this…Even when hiring a web design & development company you need to tread with caution. Many companies out there claim to offer “bespoke” or “custom” websites when they are in fact using themes and pre-built code.
You can do your own detective work and research (without paying a penny) to verify such claims, with various online tools such as:
Wappalyzer (Chrome extension that detects the CMS, framework and more)
GT Metrix – this website allow you check the speed and optimisation of any website. It gives a full analysed breakdown of its findings.
Any reputable organisation would be more than happy to give you contact details for some of their clients so you can speak with them and check, first-hand the work of that company.
Get in touch with us to request your quotation