The benefits of a purpose built website compared to self-build websites

Monday, 31 July 2017

When it comes to building a new website or updating an existing one, one of the most important choices you’ll have to make is whether or not to do it yourself or contract in a company. A couple of years ago there would have been no question about bringing in a company to build your website for you.

The rise and fall of the online website builders

In the past couple of years we have seen the rise of many online tools for website building and it has now become much easier for the non-technically minded to build an attractive website for business or personal use. The ultimate question is; just because it is possible, does it mean you should? It’s a decision you should not take lightly and you should not consider immediately – explore all possible avenues before diving into a template build website.

Whilst online building tools are an ideal and cost-effective solution to many business needs, it can also cause difficulties for you generating the necessary traffic through search engines and driving potential customers to buying your services. But even then, is building your own website worth the time and cost?

Essentially your time is money, and you pay yourself what your value is based on your trade and skill set. For instance if you are a plumber, you could potentially be on £25 an hour and would take 3 or 4 times longer to build your own website then a professional would. It would be more economic to contract in a company to build it for you.

The small print in most of the Terms of Service also quite clearly state that the images and content that are being added by you remain the property of the respective provisioning company. Much like how Facebook’s Terms of Service operate.

So what are the benefits of an Online Building Tool?

The only real benefit you will get from self-building is the annual hosting costs compared to your average professional agency. With a Web Development Company you also need to remember that you’ll have to pay for hosting on top of your development and management costs, unless you’re lucky enough to have a package which includes your hosting. 

With self-build sites you are completely in control. Companies have it in their small print that they not only own the IPR (Intellectual Property Rights) to the design meaning you’re only renting the site and can never move it, but your literature and images are also their property. This ultimately means if you ever wanted to leave because of poor service, you will then end up having to pay out a large amount of money for a rapid build service with a professional agency.

What do you really need the site for?

The most basic of questions can always determine the direction you should take, and the most basic of questions should be “What do I really need my site for”. There are millions of websites out there in the vast digital empire, all there for various reason – but what do you really need yours for?

If the purpose of your website is to get more business and more search engine traffic to your website, you should speak to a Web Development Company. When you do, you should make certain that they know what they are doing. Most small development companies use software such as Artisteer to develop their websites, meaning they have virtually no real programming experience and are limited in the ability to provide base optimisation for your website – which is critical with new websites to be catalogued properly by Search Engines.

You should always select a company who can not only design you a professional website but use hard coding, not software, to build your website. You should also remember, despite having your own ideas about what your website should look like, you should always listen to your design agency as they’ll keep on top of statistics and techniques.

Why you should always consider a web development company

A professional Web Development Company will always use professional designers that will be able to design a website specific to your business industry, as well as an attractive and easy-to-use functionally friendly interface that your customers can really get to grips with without becoming frustrated and leaving your website.

A professional company will also use hard coding, not software, to build your website giving you a fully optimised site that search engines will catalogue and rank higher due to their construction and build. Not forgetting that hard coding can heavily reduce the loading times of pages.

Realistically it is worth spending two or three hundred pounds more on your website to get a more professional and dedicated company to do your works. The web industry today is about quality and it does not come cheap. Remember, the cheaper you go the cheaper your website looks.

I don’t have the money to contract out the website I need

You don’t need to have everything straight away. The professional agencies usually charge a non-refundable deposit of 40% with the rest being payable when the job is completed. You will also find many professional agencies offering payment plans, giving your business that necessary power behind your website with flexible easy payments.

Typically you should always put money aside yearly for your website to keep the look fresh every 2-3 years with a redesign. Redesigns are usually cheaper to do permitting content is not changing. 

“You get what you pay for”