Ever wondered which is the right choice between hiring a website designer or building a website yourself?
I’m going to tell you exactly what you’re getting with each one.
You’re going to have all of the information you need to make your own decision.
Let’s get started.
What Happens When Using a Website Designer over a DIY Website Builder?
Most people typically seek out DIY website builders to save money, but are they actually saving money?
According to PayScale, the average salary of a company Director is £76,479. PayScale also says average hourly earnings of a Director is £17, so let’s use that as a basis.
If a DIY website builder takes you 8 hours to build your own website. That’s to write all of the content, pick a design, make everything look great, add META tags, etc. That is £136 you have been paid by your company to be building your website, when you could have been working on important day-to-day tasks that your company depends on you for.
8 hours is being mildly generous, and it would be quite an accomplishment for a non-tech-savvy individual to create a fully functioning website with multiple pages, whilst looking great. In reality, you’re going to be spending at least the first 1-2 hours just learning how to use the DIY website builder, then another 2 hours per page of your website to write content, then another 3 hours to find the right design, add images, contact forms, etc. This, of course, does not include the case where your website may need to sell products and set up payments.
In total, and on the basis that your website has just 5 pages, that’s actually 15 hours you can be expecting to spend on building the website yourself, which equates to £255 your company has paid you to be working on the website instead of the usual day-today tasks.
Website designers typically charge from £350 for a good website, so you’re not far off that based on the above figure. If you leveraged a website designer to do the work for you, after those 15 hours, you could have a fully-functioning website and not be behind on your tasks as a Director.
Website designers understand how customers behave when they are browsing websites and online stores and, in our case, we always strive to make websites that remove as many obstacles as possible for a customer to buy from or enquire with your business.
This is a basic customer journey:
- Customer uses Google to do a search
- Customer clicks on relevant search result
- Customer quickly understands what the website is about and the website offers what the customer is looking for
- Customer contacts business or buys from them
It’s those four steps that encompasses a customer journey and it’s our job, as website designers, to make that journey as smooth as possible by:
- Making your website load fast
- Securing your website with an SSL certificate to encrypt customer data submitted to you via your website, giving a sense of trust in your website
- Adding easy to use contact forms
- Making it easy for the customer to find your contact details
- Making the checkout page as simple as possible
- Creating a home page that conveys what your company does after a quick glance
Web designers know how important the customer journey is and the right website designer will give you a website that is not ‘slap dash’, but a well-thought-out website.
Web Designers Manage Everything for You
Returning back to the time saving and learning curve aspect, most websites do remain quite derelict and a lot of websites still have not updated their website to include policies about how they have adapted their business around COVID19, and this generally comes down to the amount of time a businessperson has in their day.
They know they need to update their website, but they just don’t have the time to do it themselves.
Good website designers will update your website for free if the changes you are asking for are not too complex. Otherwise you can be looking to spend anywhere between £15-£60 per hour on website updates, but it really depends on your website designer.
It’s more important than ever to show that your website is being kept up to date, so that your customers can clearly see that you’re still operating and open.
As a believer in passive businesses, if you’re having to manage everything yourself as a business owner, your time continues to be eaten up by all the daily tasks, as opposed to developing and strengthening your business. Therefore, leveraging a website company to update your website for you will save you time and the updates will be completed much sooner.
Website Companies Already Know What a Website Should Have
- Domain name
- META tags
- Correctly sized images (small and too large)
- Logo (a person without a face)
- Professional email
I’ve seen it so many times before when someone has shown us their website they have built themselves – their logo is blue, grey and white with a certain font, and the website they have created uses a variety of other colours and fonts that are not consistent with their branding, making their website extremely unrecognisable to customers.
There’s also the matter of the domain name, where companies may be called “John Smith Boilers”, then purchase a completely different domain name to what their business is called, such as “boilerslincolnshire.co.uk” and that can be a recommended move for search engine optimisation, where you include the place you operate in within your domain name, but what if you wanted to expand and operate outside of Lincolnshire?
You also wouldn’t see Apple using the domain name “computerscupertino.com” as their brand is sacred to them and only apple.com will do, and your business should be the same.
If you are lucky, the domain name you want might be registered by someone else, but they haven’t used it and are willing to sell it to you. A typical domain name sale should cost around £250, or if the domain name you want is quite sought after, you can be looking at adding a few more zeros to that figure.
Gymshark’s website used to be gymshark.co.uk (go to 8 mins 53 in that YouTube video) but in the early stages of Ben Francis’s company, they took most of their capital and purchased the .com as they believed it was the right thing to do for their company and it certainly paid off.
META Tags are also important as this determines how your website appears on Google. META Tags allow you to manipulate the title and description of your search engine result and if you don’t add your own title and description in the META tag section of your page, Google tends to use its own title and description for your page, but it’s generally always out of context or information is cut off followed by an ellipsis.
Images are also a major factor on a website and they do contribute to longer loading times. Extremely large images (such as any size over 2000 pixels in width) is quite unnecessary, unless people browsing the web on their TVs suddenly becomes the main and prominent way people use the web. When a website designer is building up the content on your website, they would resize the images to suit the area on the page that they will be positioned.
“47 percent of visitors expect a website to load in less than 2 seconds, and 40 percent of visitors will leave the website if the loading process takes more than 3 seconds”, according to Website Magazine.
Your Company Logo
Logos are also important for websites. If your company has a logo, be sure to add it to your website or ask your website designer. If your company does not have a logo at all, how will people recognise that it’s your business at a glance? Not having a logo is a bit like talking to someone with no face (similar to a Doctor Who episode). Logos allow people to be familiar with your business and to feel more like they know your business.
Be sure to also note that Apple wouldn’t just have “Apple” in text in the top of their website – they have only their ‘apple icon’ logo, because it’s instantly recognisable all over the world (with the help of hundreds of millions of dollars of advertising) and that is the power of a logo.
To conclude, if you are a business owner who values your time, perhaps having a website created professionally by people who know all the ins and outs of websites will yield far greater results than creating a website ‘on the cheap’ and wasting your own time having to learn how to use a website builder.