You have a site for your business.

But it looks like it was made in the 90s.

After receiving a number of comments from customers about the poor usability of the site, you finally decide it’s time for a revamp. Now you’re left with two options. Either work with a web design firm or build your own using an online builder.

Both ultimately have the same purpose: To bring in more sales.

But both take completely different approaches. So which should you choose to design and build your site? Here we look at the differences between hiring a web design firm and using a web builder.

Using an Online Web Builder

It sounds incredibly easy.

Pick a template, drag and drop certain features, and you have a site that’s ready to go live. And all without having any coding or design experience. Builders such as Wix are among numerous free web builders that offer:

  • Free templates: Builders allow you to choose from hundreds of templates. Some even have templates that are mobile friendly. This delivers an optimal browsing experience across all devices from smartphones to tablets.
  • Drag and drop features: Want to add an image of your business or a text field? What makes web builders so appealing is that templates are easily customisable by dragging and dropping certain elements.
  • User friendly systems: HTML and CSS are completely foreign to most people. Web builders have systems in place that make it easy for users to change fonts, colours, and templates without having to write a single line of code.
  • Support: Most web builders are free but upgrading to a premium account means being able to get support and other perks such as free hosting.

Web builders are affordable and make it easy for anyone to get started. But they also have numerous limitations that make them impractical for a majority of business owners.

These include:

  • Site migrations: Most builders such as Wix have their own specialised systems which makes migration close to impossible. This means everything would need to be recreated from scratch.
  • No differentiation: Chances are the template you choose is already used on countless other sites. This makes it difficult for your business to differentiate itself especially with a bland design.
  • Lack of advanced features: Want to add a robust forum or a shopping cart to your store? You may not be able to. Most web builders have limited capabilities.

If you only need a basic site with a few pages describing your products or services, web builders offer a practical solution. You can get started in less than an hour and most include simple tutorials.

Now let’s look at why working with a firm may be a better option for your organisation.

Hiring a Web Design Firm

Your site is a valuable asset and the face of your organisation. Visitors are quick to make first impressions. Which is why a professional design is critical to build credibility with your target market. Otherwise you risk getting lost amongst a sea of competitors.

Here are some of the main benefits of working with a web design firm.

  • Saves time: Hiring a designer takes the time and effort out of building a site yourself. This allows you to focus on more important matters such as running your business.
  • Branded design: Templates are easy to download and install. But the design definitely won’t be original. Designers work closely with you to implement a design that is specific to your business.
  • Optimised for search engines: Templates from web builders are poorly optimised which means lower online visibility. Design firms have experience that extend beyond the visuals and can build a site that is optimised for the search engines.
  • Builds credibility: There is a world of difference between a site that is professionally designed and one that is put together with a template found online. Designers are able to implement a design that builds credibility with your target market.
  • Competitive advantage: Working with a design firm means a much more professional site which gives your business a competitive advantage. This is why making the initial investment is well worth the cost.
  • Advanced features: Web builders have limited capabilities when it comes to adding new features. But working with a design firm means you can add robust features, making it even more of an invaluable resource for your visitors.

And now for the downsides.

  • Higher initial cost: The cost to have a site designed for your business can easily be several thousand dollars or even more. In contrast, using a web builder has very little upfront cost.
  • Delays: Designers are busy throughout the year which could mean delays in getting certain features implemented for your site. This generally isn’t a problem as your designer will be in close communication with you.

So Which Should You Choose?

The answer obviously depends.

If you only need a site with basic functionality, web builders offer a practical solution that can get you started with little investment. But if you want a site with more functionality, you should definitely consider hiring a design firm. This will save you a significant amount of time and effort.

Work With Our Team Today

Perth Web Design has extensive experience with building professional sites that deliver measurable results. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation with our team. We work closely with you to build and design a site that reflects your business.