Companies like GoDaddy offer Free or almost free web sites, and promise to have your website up and running within minutes. Weebly and Wix offer sites for different business types but offer limited themes to choose from. Some taunt their web sites receiving a whopping 20 visitors a day. Isn’t that just wonderful? As a professional developer 20 visitors is just not acceptable maybe 200 but not 20. So don't be fooled by all the Free and within minutes retoric you hear. I know that upstart companies have limited capital but don't let that interfer with the ability to have a professionasl site that will not let you down in a couple of years, regrets then are too late with way to much capital and time invested. Understand most of these low cost or no cost alternatives offer websites that are NOT responsive. That is they will not guarantee that they will work on all device platforms. With over 40% of ecommerce purchases being done on smart phones this just is not acceptable for any site.
So what’s the problem? Well first of all, real websites typically have more than five pages(this is what you get with GoDaddy), they may have up to 15 or more. And they don’t all look alike and they typically receive more than 20 visitors today. Everyone I’ve ever known who has used one of these Free or cheap web services has a website that has NO visitors. Worse yet, if someone does manage to find it, the visitor bounces (quickly leaves=high bounce rate) and the website generates zero leads, sales, or revenue. The goal is for the visitors to NOT leave stay on your site and purchase something(=Low bounce rate) Why is this the case? Because these sites are built by people with little or NO expertise in web development and are not professionals in the industry also most of these DIY website builder do not know what SEO (search engine optimization) is or how to utilize it properly. The other reasons is people who go this route are in a hurry and they whip up the fastest website they can only to regret it months or years later, how fast you can get your website should NEVER by a priority, instead quality and professionalism should trump all.
Cost is always a driving force. The first question always is what is the site going to cost. What is not understood is the countless years and years the professional developer has put in to get where they are. Typically the front end cost (what the end user sees) is all the end user thinks web development is about, what they dont see is all the hours spent in SEO and malware prevention behind the scenes each and every month for the lifetime of the site !. So the actual developement of any site is just the tip of the iceberg there is so much more than what the end result is what you see as I said such as SEO, malware and virus protection, sitemap creation and submittal to all the search engines, algorithm changes every time Google changes theirs., speed and site performance plus a myriad more that the end user has no idea exist. But yet their driving question is always what is the site going to cost !
Why Hire a Professional Web Designer? (because their worth it)
A professional web designer will guide you through the process and ease your mind that they are in control and understand the nuanses of web development. They will explain why dancing gifs are NOT a Good Idea, why thunder sounds on the home page distract from the visitor experience, why Google can’t digest a flash website, and why SEO is critical to driving traffic. The professional web designer will teach you about design best practices and make sure these elements are used within the project. Understand that Flash sites are the norm for the low cost DIY developers and today their not used in the professional arena for a host of reasons.
At some point within the project you might hate your developers because they will tell you your blog post is too “pushy”, your content doesn’t make sense to the average visitor, or that your images are not high resolution enough to use and they take forever to load loosing clientel right away, or the bright green and yellow color theme just does not cut it. And then at the end of the project you’ll love them, because you will have a website that is unique, easy to use, and easy to find in searches and will work on ALL devices !!
DIY Websites the Right Way (don't use them)
There really is only one correct alternative to the DIY website, HIRE A PROFESSIONAL from the start in the end it will cost you less and its reward will be far greater than any $100 or $2 web site could ever be.
Then of course there is always someone who will state "I don't need a website, I'm far to busy right now I could not possibly need the added work" or "I dont think a web site is really necessary" with that I reply with a few quotes (compliments of Trevan Hetzel)
According to our findings, 65% of consumers report that a digital brand experience has changed their opinion (either positively or negatively) about a brand or the products and services a brand offers… For those brand marketers still neglecting (or underestimating) digital, it’s as if they showed up to a cocktail party in sweatpants.
94% of the consumers surveyed have gone online for local shopping purposes within the last six months. Among those surveyed, 59.5% have completed a local purchase of merchandise or services online, within the last six months.
83% of surveyed US consumers reported that having a website and using social media was a factor considered of high importance when choosing small businesses.
80% of small business owners consider the design of their logos, websites, marketing materials and other branding tools either “very important” or “important” to the success of their companies.
If you have had a bad experience with a low cost or no cost DIY builder send your stories to us and maybe we will publish them online.