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Custom web design or DIY?

In today’s era of DIY handiwork, it’s tempting to take almost every business task into your own hands.

From accounting and payroll to website design, there’s a template online to help even the most novice expert create a functional resource.d

With so many options at your fingertips, it can be difficult to know which route to take. This is especially true when it comes to your website.

Optimising your corner of the internet is key to building your brand, growing your sales and engaging your community. Should you use an online builder platform to get started, or hire a custom web design company to take the reins for you?

Today, we’re breaking down the features of both solutions so you can make a more informed decision.

Ready to get started? Let’s go!

The Pros of Website Builders
If you’re a business leader, you’re likely stretched thin and pressed for time. This is where online website builders can help. They’re pre-packaged, ready-to-use templates that you can customize to create your basic website or e-commerce store.

You may have heard of popular platforms such as Wix, Shopify or Squarespace that can get you up and running in a matter of minutes. Here are some of the benefits these tools provide.

Immediate Access
You can create an account on the site and immediately get to work, accessing all the design features and templates. This reduces downtime and quickens your time to launch.

Flexible Designs
Most companies can use Wix and similar tools to create a fundamental site that works. Especially if you just need to display your product suite, there should be a template that fits your needs.

The Cons of Website Builders
Though the option comes with its advantages, there are myriad drawbacks to relying on website builders. Let’s take a look.

Costly Fees
At the onset, it might seem as though a website builder is the cheaper way to go. After all, you aren’t paying for custom services and isn’t DIY always less expensive?

If you run the numbers, they reveal the opposite.

How? Platforms such as Wix charge a monthly, recurring fee that you must pay to keep your site active. Over time, that cumulative total far exceeds what you’d pay for a one-time professional web design.

Lack of Features
Do you need to expand your franchise’s web presence to accommodate region-specific websites? Want to incorporate other design-savvy features to make your site stand out?

The drag-and-drop functionality of website builders limits their scope. They’re bare bones at best and downright unusable for larger corporations.

No Autonomy of Design
When you use a builder platform, your design is built into and dependent upon that provider’s system.

That means if you’re ever dissatisfied with the service and want to switch, you’ll have to start all over again from scratch. You can’t bring your existing design with you, even if you spent hours or days putting it all together.

Your SEO Can Suffer
For businesses looking to get on the map and increase web traffic, Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is key. Put simply, you’re more likely to rank higher on Google with a custom site than one created with a builder.

Why? The search engine giant favours dynamic visual branding and penalizes sites that don’t deliver. It also requires mobile compatibility, and some templates aren’t responsive.

If you’re looking to improve your odds of showing up at the top of Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs), a template can’t help you get very far.

Intrusive Ads
Finally, consider that platforms such as Wix require you to run ads on your site unless you spring for the costlier Premium Plan.

Not only are these distracting and annoying to your web visitors, but you can’t pick and choose which ones show up. That means they could be those of your competitors.

Benefits of a Custom Web Design Team
The initial cost of hiring web developers and website designers might be more than you’ll pay in the first month of using an online template. Yet, the long-term operating costs are minimal and the ROI is substantial.

When you chose this route, you’ll work one-on-one with an experienced team to build a custom website you can easily update and maintain via a Content Management System (CMS). You aren’t limited by templates and can be as creative or intricate as you want.

The best part? Once you create it, you control it forever. You aren’t bound to a third party that could enact changes at any time that directly affect your site.

Along the way, your design team can suggest upgrades or changes to keep your site secure and up-to-date with the latest technology.

If you need to change an aspect of the design at any time, you can call on the experts to do the work for you, rather than try to self-teach your way around a rigid standard.