The Pros and Cons of DIY Website vs. Professionally Developed.

My two pieces of advice:

  1. Learn SEO before building a website using a web builder.
  2. When a website designer offers you a free website not inclusive of a domain name or hosting beware that they have not already inflated the price within the hosting fee and make sure they do not upsell SEO as extra add on. They should be 100% transparent otherwise they are just baiting you.

I have to air my thoughts and debunk web designers offering free websites.

I have seen of late on social media business groups on Facebook, website designers offering to design websites for free.

This gives the impression they will design and develop a website for free and host it. But what it is, in reality, is a marketing ploy, call it baiting if you will to reel the person in and then upsell.

In reality, the unscrupulous bystander will think they are getting the whole shebang when really all they will be getting is the foundation of a website without the hosting which would have to be paid by the customer and what is to say that the fees have not been inflated to cover the costs of the website design? If you look at hosting providers they are all more or less the same price and are competitive so if you are paying over the odds for the hosting then other services have been added in and that is why your hosting has been inflated.

There is so much more to building a website DIY or Professionally. A website will float in cyberspace if it has not had search engine optimization (SEO).

The website designers that offer free website design are just cleverly wording something that means nothing. From the consumer’s perspective, this is a clever tactic to upsell and has no benefit to the person without them spending money from the moment they set to go.

Granted, the website designer will have to either code a site from scratch which may take him/her some time to do, or perhaps use WordPress but whatever method they choose they will need the website hosted somewhere, and it’s the cost of the hosting and domain name that you need to watch out for. They may even host your website on a subdomain on their website so you need to be careful of that.

When you pay for a professionally done website not only are you paying for the design, development, and hosting you are also paying for the SEO, SMO, and content management and marketing which has to be done regularly.

An example was a lady today that had bought her own hosting and was expecting a website built by a web designer in exchange for a testimonial. This did not go down well with her audience. I tried explaining website design is only a fraction of what is necessary to get a website ranked to be on the first page of Google. One needs to have an exact match searchable keyword of a phrase domain name, one needs to have knowledge of SEO and there are many strategies that I personally use to get a website on top of the search results. This takes time and a lot of effort which has to be done regularly and this service is not free.

Obviously, the lady in question after I offered to build the website for her had other ideas as she never came back to me and if she has a problem building a website through a web builder which comes with tutorials then I am inclined to agree with all the comments she had on her post that no one will work for her for free. I have her company name and will see in a month or two what she has actually done to her site. The proof is in the pudding as they say.

IONOS - Official Partner
IONOS

As an IONOS Partner, I can oversee people’s work providing they use the IONOS web builder or WordPress but I will not work on a third-party web builder for insurance reasons as I will explain below.

IONOS Web Hosting.

IONOS Website Design Service.

IONOS Web Builder

What I mean by not working on a third-party web builder for insurance reasons is this, if something was to go wrong with the website because multiple people are working on it and the novice does something wrong, I would not want to be liable for anything.

Sometimes websites go down because:

Two or more people are working on a site at the same time, one being the professional and the other the novice.

All it takes is for the novice to do something wrong and perhaps put a code in the wrong place and the professional gets the blame.

I personally will not touch a website that someone else has built for obvious reasons.

With so many options available online one can build a website in relatively no time at all without the help of a website designer, but one needs to have an element of knowledge of SEO. A nicely designed website is not going to go anywhere without SEO.

Just because you can use web builders and do it yourself doesn’t always mean you should. It’s a decision that’s worth weighing up carefully since for some projects a professional cannot be replaced by an online tool.

Here are some considerations that might help you decide.

Reason to have a website.

  1. To showcase your business and to generate leads.
  2. To have an online store.
  3. To have a blog.
  4. To have a fourm.
  5. To have a social media platform.
  6. To have a search engine.
  7. To have a comparison site.
  8. To have a directory.
  9. To have an informational site.

Website Builder Options.

Website builders – One.com, IONOS, Godaddy, Squarespace, Weebly, and Wix are all popular choices and low-cost web builders with tutorials.

In general, website builder sites will not rank as fast and are not as powerful as a system like WordPress but are easier to handle. Website builders generally have visual page editors that make it easy to edit drag and drop elements of the website and have tutorials should you get stuck. They also come with online or telephone support for backup.

WordPress.

WordPress on the other hand can be daunting if you are a beginner and you may be more inclined to use a web builder. WordPress is a content management system that is very powerful but is also more abstract. Unlike website builders that allow you to drag and drop, WordPress users can choose a “theme” from the thousands available. These themes have already been designed for you and all you do is add your content. Users may occasionally need to add some code to edit a theme or plugin in WordPress, which makes it better suited for someone who has some knowledge of coding.

SEO.

Website design and development is not as straightforward as it seems, even if you have built an all singing and dancing website your battle has only just begun because next, you will have to get your site ranked and compete with all the thousands of other sites aiming to get on the first page of Google.

I highly recommend before you contemplate doing a website yourself is to learn about SEO.

I have a client that I price matched his old designers to secure a contract with him only to find that the other website designers charged him such a low price because they did not include SEO, I could not adjust my quote after I had submitted it to add the cost of the SEO. I was shocked because web designers cannot call themselves by this profession if they do not perform SEO by default. So I got hoodwinked and literally make no money on this particular contract…lesson learned,

Pricing.

The lesson to me is not to price match and to stick to my own pricing and give good value for money.

I recently had a discussion with someone after I commented about Free Website Design that a person would less likely want to use a company that offered too many services as it would be questionable. This gave me a moment to think should I offer less for the same price or should I give value for money and offer more than my competitors.

I believe in getting your money’s worth and getting results even if it means offering many strategies to get you ranked. I believe if I can get your business ranked by search engines and help you generate traffic by whatever means necessary, then when you start getting the results you will recommend me to other people.

I believe in helping people especially startups, I am very transparent and do not have hidden fees. I will tell you upfront what I will do for you. I will not upsell. It is up to you if you want to have other services, I am not pushy.

You can view my services by visiting my page and if the need arises I may make a suggestion but will never say you must have it this, it is entirely up to you, you know where I am if you would like to explore other services.

I will consult your business and give your recommendations and steer you in the right direction.

Special Offer 2022

I am offering 3 months of hosting, SEO, and marketing free of charge based on a 12-month contract.

I will not upsell. It is up to you if you want to take advantage of our Video Creation Marketing and Advertising packages.

Special offer 2022.

You will get:

  1. A free exact match searchable keyword or phrase domain name previously unregistered.
  2. Free Website Design.
  3. Free Website Development.
  4. Free Hosting for the first 3 months based on a 12 month contract.
  5. Free SEO for the first 3 months, SEO (normal price £25 per month) is included thereafter in your monthly installments payment plan by direct debit.
  6. Free Banner Ads on 10 of our websites, for the length of the contract term. (Normal price £30 per banner add per site per month for the whole term of the contract).
  7. Free Landing page on our Marketing Journal Website (Normal Price £10 per month for the whole term of the contract).
  8. Free SSL Certificate (Normal Price £6 per month).
  9. Free Content Writing For the first 3 Months (1 blog article per month, normal price £25 per article per month), shared across our network connections of over 10K businesses on LinkedIn.
  10. 5 email addresses (for the whole term of the contract).

Prices start from:

  1. WordPress site Price starts from £35.00
  2. Dynamic Site, Price Start from £55.00
  3. eCommerce Price Start from £70.00

What Kind of Site Do You Need?

In order to determine what website works best for you, we need to know what your business is about. You will have to tell us what you want so that we have a better understanding.

It may be that you simply want an online business card a simple site showcasing what your business does whilst helping to drive traffic. The primary purpose of a brochure site is to give a company a credible web presence and provide some basic information to prospective customers. Or you may want to showcase your brand, products, and services with the goal of generating traffic to your business.

Your website could be an online store where you sell your products or it could be a website that takes online payments. An e-commerce site is slightly more complicated since it will have to handle payment processing gateways and allow you to easily add, remove, or edit products and services.

If you are planning to make a forum, directory, search engine, social media site, or price comparison site it may be best to entrust a professional as they will know how to implement web applications and project management tools.

Think Amazon or Facebook, some websites combine both e-commerce and an application function. Unless you are confident you can build a website yourself, a hybrid site that will process a lot of requests and information should also be built by a pro.

If say you are a solicitor you may just want a website that simply showcases your information, you may not necessarily process payments online. An accountant on the other hand may want payment for their services and may need a payment gateway.

Your Skill Level.

Depending on how proficient you are in building websites and how much knowledge you have with SEO will determine if you need to hire a professional. If you’re a programmer the skies are the limit and you can build anything you desire, however, if you are a novice and you want to get results fast it may be best to hire a pro.

Website builders are the most basic tool, and most are very limited to what you can do. You are not going to build a search engine or social media platform using a web builder. Website builders do have their advantages as you can build a simple site relatively quickly and are easy to use, you don’t even need to know anything about coding which is the best part. If you can use PowerPoint, you can use a website builder.

WordPress is more complex and can be daunting for a novice. I remember when I first started using WordPress, believe me, it took many hours and many sleepless nights perfecting the development of a website. I have since transitioned and prefer WordPress over any other system.

WordPress requires some knowledge of HTML coding (My IONOS Badge has HTML Coding), however, it is more flexible and customizable than a website builder and most templates are relatively easy to use. In fact, this website is built using WordPress which is a subdomain of our parent site www.ukwebsitedesigners.co.uk

Your Budget.

Depending on your budget will determine if you wish to build a website yourself or hire a professional. Not many website designers offer startup credit lines and we will build you a website for free and include hosting for the first 3 months to give you a head start. You should by then start to make some money.

Startup Credit.

Giant Ogre! – This is not Us.

We are not Ogres we understand that sometimes with Covid Regulations and Restrictions it could put a dampener on finances and you may need extra time. If this is the case we could come to some arrangement as long as you let us know in advance.

We are trying to support small and medium-sized businesses through this pandemic.

If you are a startup and are on a budget and need startup credit on our services or already established but need some guidance we can do this at no charge. Just let us know what you need help with and we will do our best to give you the support you need. We are connected with more than 10K businesses on LinkedIn, we are sure there is someone we can introduce you to and help expand your network.

Evaluate Your Options.

If you ate looking to build custom apps search engines, forums, directories, or websites like Amazon or DHgate you may find hiring a professional a better option than trying to attempt to build it yourself. If you are a company that expects to generate 100 percent of their business from the website but you are not tech-savvy or simply do not have the time to build it yourself you must decide on a budget you are willing to spend to hire a web designer. Remember when you see webs designers offering you free website design you have to look closer because they could integrate the cost of design in the hosting. Always ask what they are offering for free and try and do a breakdown of the hosting as can start from £9 for a WordPress site, whilst website hosting can start from £18 depending on the hosting provider, whilst eCommerce hosting can start from £25.00 per month.

Breakdown of monthly payments should show the cost of:

  1. Domain Registration
  2. Domain Renewals
  3. Website Hosting
  4. Website Development
  5. SEO
  6. Marketing
  7. Advertising

Weighing Up Pros and Cons.

I have listened to people that have built sites on Shopify, Etsy, Wix complaining they are not getting much traffic.

I even tried helping one person temporarily and he is still posting on one of my Facebook Pages acting as if has some right to it. Give some people an inch and they will take a mile…

What I do in such cases is perform an SEO Audit Report by scanning a website that shows how well a website is performing and which areas need attention.

Whenever I hear these stories I know that they have built the sites themselves and I always wonder why people build websites themselves, when they only do half the job and then complain they have low traffic and no conversions?

Once a website is built I can let you know what you need to do to optimize it but you would have to optimize it yourself, I would simply point you in the right direction.

I can guide you free of charge but if you want me to do the work for you then I would have to charge for the service.

If you decide to build a website yourself and have little knowledge of search engine optimization it might be worth hiring a website designer rather than waiting and wondering when you will get any traffic or any sales. In the long term hiring a professional will help with ROI.

If you would like to discuss building a website, help with lead generation, increasing traffic, or free consultation and support, just message us using the form below.

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