Websites are some of the most powerful tools in a B2B business owner's arsenal. In this article, we will discuss whether you should hire a web designer or do it yourself using a website building software.
Let’s Compare The Web Designer Vs Website Builder
Do It Yourself Using A Website Builder
Website builders such as Wix, GoDaddy, Squarespace and Weebly are platforms where someone with little to no experience with coding or web development can easily build a basic website. Therefore, website builders are one option.
These easy to use platforms are also very cost effective. On average, website builders cost much less versus hiring a professional web designer. If your budget is under $500, this might be the best option for you, because hiring a web designer will cost much more.
Being functional and cheap however, doesn’t mean the website will meet the needs and goals of your B2B business. If your business is dependent on your website generating LESS than 20% of its revenue or leads through the website, then a website builder might be a suitable option for you. However, if your business will be considerably more dependent on this website producing more than 20%, then hiring a web designer is your best bet.
If there is too much traffic going to your site, loading speeds can decrease rapidly making your website slow to load and view. This in turn will cause your visitors to leave your website and go elsewhere, usually to your competitor’s website to make purchases or to get the information they want.
Flexibility and customization are also issues with these website builders. They come with built in features, so they don’t allow you to really customize your website to fit your business needs. Most of the features are standard, which makes your website look very similar and conventional to other sites that were built using the same website building platform. Because these websites don’t allow any sort of real customization, the web design and layout of the pages become quickly outdated, which makes the site less user-friendly and less adaptable when focusing on conversion rates.
PLEASE NOTE: Advanced coders can not customize your website if you used a website building platform such as GoDaddy GoCentral (was Dream Builder), WIX, or Weebly. It’s simply not possible.
Speaking about slow loading times, website builders use Adobe Flash, which is an old technology that loads very slowly, requires you to download the latest version of Flash to view the material, doesn’t allow you to tag your images, and block web crawlers from following your links. These features may have astounding effects on the ability for search engines to crawl your website and will ultimately hurt your search engine optimization and Google PageRank
So how do these website builders generate so much profit if they charge so little to build your site? One word, advertising! Website builders place ads on your site and even if you upgrade to the next package tier, the ads will never completely disappear.
Another fact about website building platforms is that you cannot export or transfer your site to another hosting provider. Even though you paid for the website it actually belongs to the website builder due to proprietary coding, they say.
Did we mention most of these website builders online complaints are about their customer service? And I quote from Mr. Dayton from Trustpilot, “This company doesn’t care about you… uptime/responsiveness is not as advertised, and it's extremely slow during peak hours.”
Or Hire A Professional Web Designer To Beat Your Competition
Now let’s switch gears to hiring a professional web designer. This is someone or in many instances a team of experts whose primary purpose is to develop websites from an idea to reality. They are highly skilled coders in languages such as HTML, CSS, Java Script for the frontend of the website, which means the part of the site that is seen by the user and where the user interacts. Many website designers are also skilled at backend development, which is where the data is stored in a database and/or customer relationship management (CRM) system.
A content management system (CMS) most used by the professionals for website development is WordPress. WordPress allows you to build your site using the framework of thousands of different themes. You can add, update, change or edit your website theme to match your ideal visual layout and user experience. This makes your website much more customized and adaptable, as opposed to using a flat website builder.
This customization allows your B2B business to stand out from the crowd. You can have a website which fits your ideal specifications and your business goals. This hold true for websites such as wholesale eCommerce and similar sites that see huge volumes of traffic on a daily basis, processes large amounts of payment processing and has to handle real-time inventory updates. In this case, you need your website to stand out from the competition and to also be very powerful so that it doesn’t slow down during peak performance.
Another key component in using a professional website designer is that they are experts at understanding the user of your website, also known as your customer or potential customer. They understand the user’s experience and develop the website with your target audience in-mind. They design the site in such a way as to guide the user through the website with ease and leading them to the promise land which is completing a goal such as a purchase or form fill. These professionals go a step further in that, they research your competitors looking for clues on how they can improve your website and beat your competition at their weak points.
Because these professionals have years of experienced with custom web design, they require a higher cost to build your website than that of a website builder. The cost can be as low as $500 for a very basic website, to as much as tens of thousands for very advanced websites. As the saying goes, the cheap comes out expensive.
Websites are an investment into your B2B business’s future; they are never considered an expense.
It’s all about generating leads from your website but not just any leads, you want high-quality marketing & sales qualified leads, and they are skillful in this area. When building the site, the professionals plan out and strategize specific to your goals and challenges. Therefore, they will build a website that is optimized for search engines like Google, highly compatible across all devices such as phones, has built-in capability for social media such as Facebook, and more.
Final Thoughts About Hiring A Web Designer Or Doing It Yourself
When deciding if you should hire a professional web designer or if you should do it yourself, it comes down to 6 factors. Each are very important and specific to your B2B business:
- Budget - Have you ever heard the phrase, the cheap comes out expensive? Can you come up with a few hundred dollars more to get exactly what you want & need? Then do it! It will be worth it in the long run and businesses are for the long haul.
- Goals - There is a 20% of revenue or leads rule to consider in order to align with your goals. If your business will dependent on your website generating MORE than 20% of its revenue or leads, then a professional and reliable website designer will be your best option.
- Ownership - Are you willing to lose everything? Because you DO NOT own any site developed using a website building software. You won't be able to transfer that site to another host later on, due to proprietary coding.
- Flexibility - How often will you have to make changes or updates to your website? Or will you have to hire someone to help maintain or build your site? Even the professionals CANNOT make the updates/changes you're needing due to template and server access restrictions.
- Investment - Websites are NOT an expense, they are an investment in your company's future. Any everyone knows you need to think and invest long-term.
- Time - Time is money and money is time. What time frame are you looking at going live? If done wrong or if you miss your launch date, it can actually have a negative impact on your business to the sum of not being able to recoup.
The most important is your budget. If you’re a startup with a budget that is less than $500, it is advisable to use a website builder. If, however your website is going to be a substantial source of revenue & leads to your B2B and is going to generate over 20% of your overall sales, then you should definitely hire a professional web designer to ensure you have a customized, user-friendly and powerful website. It will be worth scrounging up a few hundred more dollars to get what you want and need.
If the contents of your website are very valuable and important to you, then owning the website should be a major priority. Remember the website builder has ownership of the site and so your best bet might be to hire a professional web designer to build your website. Once the website is paid in full, you own the site and its contents. You can transfer anywhere, at anytime.
Plus, if developed in WordPress, you can login via web browser to edit, add or make changes yourself just as easily as any website builder. WordPress is mostly setup as a drag and drop interface for novice users, with the ability to highly customize for advanced coders. Not to mention all the neat and influential plugins available to you for free.
Your website is an investment and chances of you competing against a company with a professionally built website, when your site was built using a cheap builder platform, is slim to none. The truth is those website builders are not created for power, customization, adaptability, user experience (UX) nor conversions. They were created to look pretty, be simple and for you to say. “I have a website.”
If you want a real advantage over your competition, HIRE THE PROFESSIONALS! Hands down, your best decision you will ever make for your B2B.
Local Marketing & Web Development Professionals You Can Trust
At Tag Marketing, we’ve been developing fully functional and responsive websites that fit your company (not the other way around), for decades. We work within a wide range of budgets from $1,500 up to $10,000+ and we don't miss our deadlines. We're a family owned marketing and website development company and we treat our clients as family as well. You don't pay us per hour for help or advice like you would with a builder or large agency ;)
If you would like a stunning, powerful website that will crush your B2B goals, overcome your challenges, and take your company to the next level then give us a call today at 773-680-6952 or book a quick consultation. We would love to partner with your B2B.
Not ready to talk or you still want to test out a website builder? That's fine. Maybe you will find the ebook below useful. It was written for business owners who want to know what converts, web design must haves, or how to set up a great user experience.