In today’s online world, having a user-friendly, attractive and well-functioning website is pretty much essential for any business. However, anyone can register and design a cheap (or even free) website with no coding experience using a website builder. That being said, many businesses see their website as an investment, which is why they hire a professional web design company.
At this point, you’re probably thinking “if I can build a website for free, why would I invest in professional web design?” Well, let’s explain and compare the two – should you use a website builder or hire a web designer? There are benefits and drawbacks to both, and we outline the differences so you can work out which one is best for your business.
Website builders – what are they?
Website builders are tools that allow you to construct a website without the need for manual coding. They come in two forms:
- Offline website builders, where you download software to create the website on your PC or laptop
- Online website builders that are web-based, allowing you to create and edit your website directly on the company’s server
With website builders, you select from pre-designed templates and input your content to create your website.
Benefits of using a website builder
So, why use a website builder? Here are the reasons why:
- Price – this is the main reason people opt for website builders, as for a small price (sometimes even for free), you can get a relatively functioning website up and running online.
- Speed – as such, with pre-designed templates, you can register, design and get your website live in a very short time period.
- Easy to use – with no coding experience necessary, website builders are designed to be used by non-technical users.
Drawbacks of website builders
There are considerable drawbacks with website builders, however, and these include:
- Generic, basic and samey designs – because website building tools are so popular, the chances are that your template has already been used. The result is an unoriginal and generic website, which potentially lacks any strong differentiators vis-à-vis your competitors. What’s more, templates aren’t based on website design fundamentals like visitor conversions and user experience (UX) design (and we have a whole blog dedicated to UX if you want to learn more). Put simply, this means your website isn’t optimally designed to direct your visitors to specific areas of your website, meaning a potential loss in leads and sales.
- Poor SEO – website builders tend to lack the search engine optimisation (SEO) features that professionally designed websites offer. This will mean you’re seen in fewer Google searches and potential customers will struggle to find you.
- Time consuming – whilst easy to use, website builders are still time consuming. Plus, employees working on your website will not be working on other more important tasks for your business. It’s worth understanding if you have the time and resources to use a website builder, or if you’re better off hiring a local web design company.
Web design companies
To understand the important role of a web design company, it’s useful to have a better understanding of what goes into designing a website.
Web design uses a whole array of skills and disciplines to produce and maintain your website, including:
- Web graphic design
- User interface design
- UX design
Benefits of working with a web design company
There are many benefits to hiring a web design company to design and maintain your website. Some of these benefits include:
- Professionally designed, tailored to your business’ needs – web designers will understand the aims of your website, and will incorporate their skills, including effective UX design to draw potential customers in.
- Beautiful designs – web designers can also create truly magnificent designs, which will not only help your website stand out versus your competitors, but make a great first impression on your customers.
- Search engine optimisation – a web and marketing agency like b4b will use their experienced SEO team to consider the keywords associated with your business, and tag these to make sure your website is set up for SEO success from the start.
- Time saving – time is money, and by investing in a professionally designed website, you’ll be able to use your business’ resources elsewhere.
Drawbacks of web design companies
There are arguably some drawbacks with web design companies, such as:
- Pricier – of course, hiring a professional will be more expensive than using a cheap (or free) website tool. However, you should see the upfront cost as an investment, with the strong potential for considerable returns in the long run for your business.
- A longer process – quality web design takes time. The best web design professionals will work with you throughout the process to ensure the web design and functionality are exactly how you want them. Just remember to factor this in when considering timeframes.
Which is best for your business? Website builders or web design companies?
This all comes down to your allocated website budget. If you want web presence on the cheap then use a web builder. But, if you want a well-designed website that’s in line with your business’ needs, with tailored UX design and search engine optimisation, choose a website designer.
Any company looking to succeed should present a website that’s equally as impressive as the business itself. If you have a weak website, the competition will leave you in in their dust.
What’s more, working with a web designer means human interaction — you’re not just working with a tool. Human touch gives precise attention to detail, as well as a custom result, unique to only your business. This is a factor lost on website building tools and could be the difference between an average website and an incredible, thriving one.
Invest in professional web design with b4b
We work to understand your business, your customers, and the aims of your website, combining this knowledge to ensure the design of your website works hard for you.
Our content and technical SEO services will enable your attractive, highly functioning website to be found by Google, getting potential customers on your site and generating leads or sales (speak to us about our e-commerce website development if you sell products online).