Do-it-yourself web builders look great at first glance, but there are several issues you should consider:
- Your options for customization and extensibility are very limited.
- Dozens or hundreds of businesses just like yours will be using the same design template.
- You have to use their proprietary add-ons (i.e. search engine optimization, blogging capabilities, etc.).
- The best add-ons often cost extra.
- They will advertise on your site unless you pay.
- You don’t actually own your site (can’t take it with you).
There are several legitimate, well-meaning companies that offer this service: Wix.com, Weebly, GoDaddy, SquareSpace and more. They play on your sense of economy and self-sufficiency, which by themselves, are honorable pursuits. However, economy should be measured by your time and frustration; and self-sufficiency, by your honest capabilities. How much time are you willing to spend to figure this stuff out? My experience with clients is that it’s overwhelming just to develop the content alone, much less design and build the site with unfamiliar tools. Let’s be honest. You started your business because you are a subject matter expert. People will consult you because they trust your knowledge and experience. We have all used the web extensively and have patterns we favor and are accustomed to. Unfortunately that doesn’t always translate to a knowledge of the best user-experience. Most do-it-yourselfers get tunnel vision when it comes to their own website. My advice is to stick with what you’re good at – I’ve seen the disasters.
There are more reasons, but all this is to say, you should look before you leap. If your friend has recommended one of these DIY services, ask to see their site. Does it look professional? Is the imagery cohesive, is the navigation concise and intuitive? Are the bells and whistles moderately incorporated? Their site will more than likely fail in one or more of these areas.
Yes, it’s true that using a web designer to build your site for you will cost more than “free,” and honestly, I don’t think you should spend the money unless you think it would be worth it. If you hire us to build your site, you can be sure that your site will be unique. We will use and guide you on the selection of a base design template that has the flexibility for originality. We will recommend and help you choose imagery for the site. And primarily, we will tweak the site to your taste and needs. If you still want to do it yourself, we will be there to answer your questions.
Most certainly, if you rely on our expertise, not only will you have a clean, professional website, but you will save a lot of headaches, for sure.