If you own a small business, having a web presence should be part of your business plan.
A website establishes your brand and credibility, markets your business, expands your reach to a wider audience, is always available, saves you time, improves customer service and provides you a medium to showcase your work.
As a business owner, you probably don’t know much about building a website and don’t have a lot of time to learn. You know you need a website for your business, but are faced with a decision to make, build your own website or hire a web professional to do it for you.
In this article, I’ll help you determine if you should build your own website yourself or hire a professional.
If you’ve done any research online, you’ve probably seen services like Squarespace, GoDaddy and Wix.
These services offer a low startup cost and are extremely affordable for small businesses with a very small budget.
What do I consider a very small budget? For the sake of this article, let’s say anything less than $500 a year or less than $50 a month.
So, if you’re a small business owner who has less than $500 to spend, you should probably try building your own website using a website builder.
A website builder can help small business get off the ground quickly by using a pre-designed template with content placeholders for images and text.
Although it’s a quick and easy solution for most, website builders have their pitfalls as well.
Most website builders look cheap and unprofessional. They’re built from cookie-cutter templates that provide limited functionality to the creator, eliminating the need to do any coding.
One of the biggest misconceptions about website design is that it’s easy and anyone can do it. Website builders make it easy to get online, but there’s more to web design than the aesthetics of a website.
Web design isn’t just about having a pretty looking website anymore; it’s about providing a visitor with the right information at the right time that helps solve their problem.
Hiring a professional web designer helps you create a website that will convey a clear, consistent and compelling message that represents your business. Your message should help establish the trust of your visitors by creating an emotional connection that provides a sense of security and credibility.
Not only will hiring a professional web designer save you time, they will also create a website that is unique, easy to use and will give your visitors confidence in your products and services.
Hiring a professional web designer with experience in search engine optimization (SEO) can help your website rank well with search engines, providing your business with an edge over your competition.
When it comes to building your website, whether you elect to do it yourself or hire it done, you should be thinking of your website as an investment, not a cost.
Website builders like Wix, Squarespace and GoDaddy are attractive because they provide you with immediate savings upfront and fast turnaround times that deliver short-term results.
By looking past the attractive rate and thinking about your business long term, a web design professional can help you set goals, grow your business and take the robot out of your design.
At this point, the decision is yours to make. Do you save a couple bucks up front with a cookie-cutter template or do invest in a branded long-term solution unique to your business?