The costs of starting and running a small to medium business are often the stuff of nightmares; a fact that can be attested to by many a businessmen.
Regardless of product or service, there are certain things that one simply has to bite down and pay for, because not having them is tantamount to putting a big “Closed indefinitely” sign on your doors. Can you imagine running a business without a working phone or email? Without an accounting system? The same applies for your website.
Of course, to put up a website you need to find a web developer, which naturally brings in the added cost of web developer rates. As a small business owner, you’ve probably come across free website builders where you can do the design work yourself and wondered “Why bother looking for a web developer, when I can design a site for free?”
The answer is: there are lots of reasons. Not least of which, is that your business will have an unprofessional address, because unless you pay extra for domain hosting and registration, you’re going to have a web address tied to the website builder you used. Add to that the fact that you won’t have a customized email address, and the professional face of your business will take a beating. Then too, paid hosting brings the benefit of multiple domains – an option not available to builders. You will also discover that a trial service is never actually free, most often involving a reciprocal pledge to host irrelevant advertisements on your website, further devaluing your online face.
Consider also, the limited variety of templates available – especially if you opt not to pay extra for the “premium” version of a website builder. Because the hard truth is: designing for the web, and especially designing something cutting edge, professional and attractive is not a “drag and drop” discipline. A lot of thought and design needs to be put into all the behind-the-scenes code and public aesthetics. Do you really want the embarrassment of discovering that your business shares the exact same colour scheme and graphics as a competitor? And a web developer’s expertise is not limited to the visual form of the site, but its functions and security too. A developer knows how to protect your website, while a builder will leave you vulnerable to hacking attempts.
In reality, it is a far greater investment to hire a freelance programmer. There is no question that paid websites result in better SEO and increased search engine rankings, and the expansion abilities of a website are limited only by the programmer’s ability and your imagination.
So, are website builders a bad idea in general? Not at all, if you’re a blogger, or an online hobbyist. But when you’re a local business in a competitive industry, the answer is clear: the only logical step is to hire a freelance developer.
Categorised in: About