A number of popular companies offer hopeful bloggers and online entrepreneurs the opportunity to design their own websites. They promise that it’s so easy even a monkey could do it, and people rush to sign up. The cost of professional web design is steep – we aren’t going to lie to you – and many start-ups are looking to save money wherever they can.
Unfortunately, as is the case with most things that sound too good to be true, a do-it-yourself website sounds far better than it actually is.
Has everyone forgotten about Geocities?
If you came of age in the 90s, that reminder should be all you need to remember that web design is best left to the professionals.
A DIY website can be just fine if you simply want a platform for blogging or self-expression, but if you have money on your mind, you absolutely cannot afford to build your own site no matter how cheap and convenient it might be.
First, there’s the simple fact that if you build your own site, it will look like you built it. We have no doubt that you’re an expert in your industry, but you probably aren’t also an expert in web design. No offense meant – we won’t try to do your job for you as long as you don’t try to do our jobs for us!
Launching a website that is ugly or unprofessional is not a good way to introduce potential clients and customers to your brand. If you hope to create a company that can compete in today’s increasingly web-driven economy, it’s critical to make sure that your brand looks great online.
That is, of course, assuming your site gets found at all.
Even if you manage to triumph over the terrible site designs that normally result from a DIY effort – even if your site is nothing short of a masterpiece – building it just isn’t good enough. For a website to succeed today, it needs to be designed with marketing in mind. “If you build it, they will come” may have worked in Kevin Costner’s “Field of Dreams,” but it does not work online.
That’s why the best web design companies don’t just churn out attractive sites. We also incorporate strategic marketing elements into every website we build. This means that the site is designed to get picked up by Google’s algorithm, making it accessible to people who are searching for products and services like yours. Strategic web design also means that the site is easy for users to navigate and includes specific “calls to action” which inspire visitors to make purchases, sign up, or request more information. In other words, we build sites that draw in traffic and generate sales.
If you need to save money on your website, you do have some options.
- A website evolution plan can keep your site fresh and up-to-date for far less than the cost of a new custom website that would need to be replaced every few years.
- CMS website design is another way to cut long-term costs, since a user-friendly content management system will allow you to update your own site with new photos, articles, and other information without paying for professional services.
- And a small business web design package can even get you started for less than the cost of a regular custom build.
You don’t need to break the bank to avoid the pitfalls of DIY web design.
Have we talked you out of a setting up a DIY website? Contact us today to learn what our DC area web design firm can build for you!
by Jess DelBalzo, ImageWorks Creative SEO Manager.