Many times we have been asked the question,
“Why should I pay you to build a site that I can easily build online myself with one of those new web building tools?”
The truth of the matter is that anyone (with a little technical knowledge) can find a site online to build a simple web presence that will display information about their business and get them online fast and inexpensively… but at what cost?
The general public is getting smarter about the web and technology, they can smell an imposter from a mile away! Having links back to the site builder or sales links to the hosting company that provided the link can tell people many things about your business (not professional, not interested in marketing properly, no room for growth.)
Several questions you should ask yourself before making a decision on custom website design versus site builders:
1. Do I want my website to have a Custom Design?
Most free or cheap website builder programs include “templates” or pre-built sites for you to access and enter your information. These give you very little creative muscle to flex and can leave your site dry and unprofessional looking. The end product will not only look like everyone else that has come through the same builder, but also utilizes the graphics, photos and other things that would take away from the originality of your business.
A custom website design from a professional designer will allow you to portray the image your business is trying to show, and will let you choose what it looks like and how it functions.
2. Do you require custom functionality?
Site builders may be great at building an online brochure, but are you looking for more functionality such as custom contact forms, calendars, calculators or other unique features?
A custom website can allow you to explore some of the unique concepts and features your customers are looking for. It opens your site up to offerings that your competitors don’t have (or don’t have done well.)
3. Will your target market appreciate a generic site?
Professional website builders should get to know your target market before even attempting to start your project. Site builders have no intuitive thinking to give you recommendations on what works best for your industry, or how to properly reach your target market. A generic website may tell your customers “yes we are in business, but no we are not interested in keeping an appropriate image of what we do.”
4. Do you want the Search Engines to list your site?
While some site builders have effectively found a way to get rankings (not usually from the site itself, mostly from a unique concept) most of them produce generic code which is not SEO friendly from the start. Custom websites can open the door to keyword inclusion, clean code and other criteria that the site builders simply cannot provide.
Of course, a good professional builder can help to REALLY unlock your potential when it comes to SEO and search friendly content, but that is the topic of another article!
There are many more things to consider when making a decision regarding how to build your site. We agree that their are circumstances where a generic site builder website will work for some businesses, but we also firmly believe that you will get out what you put into your website. Your customers will notice the effort and will appreciate that you care about your business image online… not just about saving some money.
Alter Impact Website Design and Marketing provides design and development services as well as online marketing tools to help your business look and feel unique. Our services will help you explore your online potential and provide your customers with a quality online experience.