When you use a do-it-yourself website builder, you better be prepared to act as a brand strategist, graphic designer, web designer, UX expert, copywriter, and marketing professional – while still carrying out the day-to-day operations of your business! Is it worth it?
As a small business owner or manager, you’ve surely received offers from companies like Wix, SquareSpace, Web.com, and Network Solutions. These offers typically promise extremely low monthly payments along with the ability to design your own website using a simple do-it-yourself platform. They promise professional results – but there are no professionals involved! Over time, these “little” costs will add up (that’s the revenue model that drives the success of these DIY services), and all you’ll have is a website that harms your brand image more than it helps.
A cheap DIY solution may sound like the perfect fit when your business is just starting out, but it’s a risky choice.
Think of it this way: your website is the online face of your company. If you wouldn’t send a salesperson out to meet clients in a uniform you stitched together yourself, why would you send your company’s brand into cyberspace without a professional look and feel?
The kind of website that will win over your visitors requires input from many different experts. A good web design firm brings together artists, strategists, marketing specialists, and developers to create the kind of online presence that will grow your business, while those cheap DIY options will likely wind up with a high “bounce rate”. That’s a nice way of saying that potential customers will quickly leave your site, unimpressed.
When you work with an experienced web design firm, you can expect the following professionals to weigh in on your new site:
- User Experience/UX Strategist: This person will take the time to learn about your company and your clients. He or she will make recommendations for your site to make sure that it appeals to your target market, offers the functionality your customers expect, and can adapt to changes in your industry.
- Graphic & Web Designers: Starting from your logo and working their way up, designers make sure that your site is visually stunning. Whether you need a tailored, professional appearance, custom illustrations, or a fun way to connect with your audience, an experienced designer will make sure that your website has the right look and feel for your business.
- Copywriters: When you build a website, you have an important message to broadcast. Professional copywriters can make sure that you get your message across in a clear, concise way that will strike a chord with your visitors. Once again, it’s all about exceeding expectations for your industry. Perhaps you need fun content that will appeal to a hip crowd in your town, or perhaps you’re catering to a highly specialized technical audience. Good copywriting can make all the difference!
- Developers: DIY web sites are very limited in their capabilities. Professional developers are not. If you can dream it, they can probably make it happen! When you work with a web design firm, you aren’t limited by plugins and you aren’t expected to know code like a programmer. Web developers are able to get your site set up with the functionality you need – and they’ll even get you set up with a user-friendly CMS so that you can add content or post new pages as you need them.
- Marketing Specialists: Today, a good website needs to do more than look good and work well. It also needs to be designed to sell. When you build a site without the benefit of a good marketing team, you may find that it’s invisible on Google and unable to convert sales – no matter how good it looks. Strategic marketing requires a plan, and even ranking for local search terms takes a lot of skill in 2015. Make sure your site is backed by marketing campaigns that will get you noticed!
Managing or running any small business is challenging, Most small business FAIL in the first five years, and today’s economy is a challenge even for established companies. What we know is that the best way to minimize risk and maximize potential is to work with an agency that can create a web experience that gets right to the heart of your brand and clarifies your value while building trust – intuitively.
Don’t try to do it all yourself or do it in house. Focus on what you know, and leave the rest to a qualified design and marketing team. The face of your business depends on it!