Just a few years ago, creating even a simple 5-page site required a great deal of patience, thousands of dollars and a good amount of technical knowledge. Today, thanks to the recent rise of Do-It-Yourself publishing platforms, small business owners can have a full-featured corporate site or even a web store up and running in hours, without writing a single line of code. But are these web service safe? Are they worth the investment? Are web design/development jobs at risk because of site builders? Let’s take a look at DIY site creation approach from the entrepreneur’s perspective.
Time and Money
One of the greatest entrepreneur’s concerns is money. It’s obvious that site builders are far cheaper than hiring a web design agency. The average site builder is available at $3-10 per month, while hiring a pro starts at $500 for a basic site.
What’s more important, site builders are incredibly time-efficient. Because they put YOU in the driver’s seat, you no longer need to write long emails explaining what exactly you want to get in the long run, as well as review and approve dozens of design elements. Using a site builder is similar to running a Facebook account: you’re the boss, you add and delete content and so on.
Though site builders have many benefits, it’s important to realize that these will work only in case you know how to get the most out of them. When you hire a web designer/developer/SEO specialist, you’re paying not for the end product itself (that may not differ much from your DIY site), but for the person’s experience in the field that incorporates best practices and professional expertise. But don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying you can’t create a dynamic website yourself. What I’m trying to say is that you should have a basic knowledge of web design and maintenance – from UX principles to search engine optimization and branding.
Luckily, most site builders offer impressive help centers comprised of useful tutorials on various topics – from best logo design practices to improving your site visibility in search engines.
To Build or Not to Build?
So should I use a website builder or hire a pro for my business website? – It depends. If you have a basic knowledge of web applications and enough time and energy to play with fonts and backgrounds, it won’t hurt to try and build it yourself. Furthermore, most website builders offer free basic accounts or trials. If used wisely, site builders are more than suitable for creating corporate sites, blogs and even complex web stores.
Featured images: Images author owned