Web Designer v Self Build

Now we all know that self-build websites are far cheaper than paying a web designer to build one for you. Web hosting’s and recurrent costs are cheaper too. So why do we end up with so many small businesses coming to us disappointed and disillusioned with self-build website products? Well, there are a number of reasons but the most frequent ones we hear are; “I can’t get it to do what I want it to do”; “They want to charge me more to upgrade”; “The maintenance of my site is too time consuming”, etc.

Sites like 123-reg and Go Daddy (other self-build sites are available) are great for acquiring website domain names and then offer a range of attractively priced options to build your own site from “just £1 per month” and “in the time it takes to make a cuppa”.

This is a fantastic offer and web designers, like ourselves, would never profess to be able to build a site for you for £1 per month.

However, when you actually look at the general requirements of a small business the costs of these self-build sites start to ramp up…first you have to pay for the website builder tool which for most businesses will need to be the pro package as you will want it to be optimised for mobile device usage. Most business will want their website to be secure as they will use it for business transactions of some description so lets add another cost. They will want their website search engine optimised so that people can find it quickly and easily on google, so lets add another cost (and add even more if you want to pro functionality). Oh and they want a professional looking email address with the same domain name as the website – you guessed it… add another cost (plus the top up for pro).

One of our recent customers had invested three days of his time trying to build his website himself. He had paid out over £500 to a self-build company for all the services he required and still didn’t have the site he wanted. He had built a generic site using a free template and after his three painstaking days he was ready to launch only to realise he had used the same template as his nearest competitor and that his site still didn’t actually offer the functionality that he wanted. He admitted that he had been drawn into using the self-build service by the clever marketing and trying to save a few quid, which has subsequently back fired.

Over the next few days we worked with the customer to build a completely bespoke website that fully met his needs, cost less than half of the money had paid to the self-build site and he received on-going personal support from us to deal with any issues and to complete any updates to his site.

I suppose the message here is don’t always be drawn in by the clever marketing and ultra low prices that are advertised. It may just be worth looking up your local web designer to see what they can offer and do a full cost and time comparison rather than jumping for the £1 per month offer you saw on google. Or even better… look us up at https://bats.work or find us on Facebook.