Professional Designer vs. Free Online Website Builder

“Create a website that expresses something about who you are that won't fit into the template available to you on a social networking site”. If you cannot do it yourself, ask for a bit of help...

It looks easy enough.

You have the perfect plan in your head. You can see it. Your perfect website, which you’ve been told you can build with a few clicks within an hour.

So you decide to give it a go. Where do you start? A search engine of course. With a simple search of ‘how to build a website’ offering more than 668 million results – how could you go wrong. You are bound to find simple enough instructions to follow and you do.

It is your first attempt and you have followed everything to a tee. You’ve dragged and dropped some pictures, explained what you do in a few dot points and picked a theme.

Ta da – you’ve built a website all by yourself. It is not the exact image you had in your head, but you’re feeling pretty chuffed, you’re thinking ‘why would I pay a web designer to do this?’

Until it hits you. You start to look at your competitors, with sleek, sexy designs, and interactive ad-ons. You panic. Your website is a plain Jane. Or worse it is the exact same theme as someone else’s – you sink in your chair, you’re that girl who went to the school dance in the same dress as someone else all over again. You think ‘I have to make it better’. You can’t. The template on the site builder won’t let you.  You want to add more content. You can’t. You’re limited to one page.

Lesson one: A local web designer would have taken the time to work with you to bring out your vision and personality on the website with little restrictions.

What you see in your head can become a reality with the right people at the helm. They do this by analysing what you want and identifying the websites goals, purpose, and target audience. They plan the site map, structure and technologies they will use. Using cutting edge design tools, wireframe models and visual style they create a unique look, but also focus on usability to give customers the best experience. They can even make your website mobile and tablet friendly.

You try to talk yourself out of how bad it is. You give yourself a pat on the back, you’ve saved a few dollars and you’re finally on the World Wide Web. Wait…you just searched for your domain name, where are you? Oh there you are on page 10 at the bottom. Perfecto.

Lesson two: If you had gone with a web designer they would have given you the spill on Search Engine Optimisation in Perth – it is all the rage. It helps put your business in the spotlight when potential customers use specific words in a search engine. It helps makes your brand number one.

Yes, you just lost business. You shrug it off, word of mouth will help you say. Two weeks go by…the site “crashes” nothing is loading and pop up ads have stolen the show.

Sure there is a support community and lots of free information out there to help you fix it up. Do you really have the time?

Lesson three: The website might be free to build, but what you need to find out is how much it is going to cost to fix it, not to mention the loss of profit from frustrated customers.

If a local web designer builds your site from the get-go they are more likely to do you a favour here and there or include tune ups in the initial cost.

Having a professional means excellent coding, which makes the site user friendly and easy to navigate with clear links and buttons. It also means having a reliable and secure hosting platform and updated content management systems. To put it simply a professional web designer will keep your site safe from hackers and running smoothly. Goodbye pesky bugs, viruses, and headaches.

Yes some of the “build it yourself” sites actually do work, but if you want to build a clear and concise, one of a kind website which showcases your brand like no other – I’d stick with a professional website designer.

American computer philosophy writer Jaron Lanier gives the advice to “create a website that expresses something about who you are that won’t fit into the template available to you on a social networking site”.

If you cannot do it yourself, ask for a bit of helpThat is what a web designer is there to do.

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