Your eyes catch a glimpse of a stunning, crafted kitchen table sitting, vacant, perfectly level and meticulously finished. You approach this table, admiring the craftsmanship and upon further inspection begin to think to yourself:
“I can build a table like this; I’m handy.
This will be a great little project and I’ll save a lot of money by doing it myself.”
So you begin the project and then, reality sets in. The initial excitement—and delusions of grandeur—of the project begins to wain: some of the screws aren’t fitting, the wood keeps cracking and the joints aren’t lining up flush. But you stay positive and head back to the hardware store. Three weeks later the hardware store owner knows you by name and sympathizes with your arduous plight, the plight of the table—the bane of your existence.
Then, finally, after months of sweat and brimming frustration you finish the table. You stand back, look at your accomplishment, and…it just doesn’t look like the one in the furniture shop. It’s a little crooked, a bit wonky, the finish is nowhere near the one you modeled it after. And so you hide the table in the basement, not wanting anyone to see it, ever. All that time spent, wasted!
Welcome to the world of do-it yourself website building.
Building your own website is an enterprise of undeniable appeal. When given the choice, many would rather create something themselves in order to save a few bucks rather than pay to have someone else do it. So, yes, site builders like Wix, GoDaddy and Squarespace are enticing as they purport to be a simple way to expand a company’s online presence—and in theory, they are. Unfortunately, the reality differs significantly from the theory. When utilizing these sites, the actual practice of creating a website and getting it out in the world as a fully-functional and aesthetically impressive .com is quite difficult and often leads to a bevy of headaches and a final product of diminished quality.
Let’s take a look at four key points:
#1 – Visibility
There is far more to building a website than the look of the site itself. You can have a great looking website, but if nobody ever sees it, its existence serves no purpose. This is the largest differentiation that occurs when using a site-builder. Unless you know coding—and let’s face it, if you did you likely wouldn’t be using one of these site-builders—your site will not be properly recognized by the search engines that all but run and define the internet. If your site doesn’t come up on a Google search, for example, there’s barely a point in that site existing at all. Google is consistently changing algorithmsmaking it virtually impossible for a novice site-builder to stay on top of everything and integrate changes in trends and requirements into their site. The bottom line is an expert is needed to keep your website relevant and visible to the general web-surfing public.
#2 – Aesthetics
Let’s talk aesthetics. Some site builder’s have a bevy of well-designed templates upon which a user can build his/her site. When browsing through, say, Squarespace, one will be immediately drawn to the modern and sleek look of many of their templates. The issue with pre-designed templates are that thousands upon thousands of other people are intrigued by the very same ones and thus, are choosing the very same templates. So, essentially, the site that you created as an online representation of your business likely looks identical to many, many other sites on the web— it’s a sign to consumers that you choose the cookie-cutter route instead of hiring a professional – NO GOOD! To customize a site to the point in which it actually feels like a website devoted to the specific company it represents takes a significant amount of design and coding expertise as well as knowledge of navigation and layout. A professional web developer knows the power of an effective homepage – do you? On the web, where there are currently over a billion web sites, it’s important to do everything in one’s power to stand out as much as possible. Using a template that you basically just plug info into only accomplishes the act of having a web site, but the reason to create a website is not just to have one, it’s to reach more people and attract more business.
#3 – Lack of Support
Another issue with site builders is the utter lack of support one receives. Oftentimes, these inferior sites will glitch out jeopardizing your online presence and leaving you with a site that simply is not functioning properly. Who will come to your rescue – a support team that keeps you on hold for an eternity? When hiring Hummingbird Web Design, you can rest assure that your site will always be online and functioning to it’s full, vibrant capacity.
#4 – Price
Site builders charge a fee each month, and if you add up the site fees over the months it often ends up being far more expensive to use a site builder than you originally expected – good luck if you haven’t read the fine print. At Hummingbird Web Design, there is no fine print and no monthly fee. We charge a one time fee to build the site and after that you’re free and clear, no long term contracts and bills to worry about—and we offer flexible payment plans for those on a tighter budget. Hosting and site protection is billed annually. Compound higher overall prices with the fact that the end result will not be nearly as impressive and the do-it yourself option looses a considerable amount of luster.
Bottom line: stick to what you know, and let us stick to what we do best.