Should you design a website using free tools or hire a professional web designer?
When considering your digital footprint over the web, there are many options and freebies availed to you. Inevitably, this question comes up. “Why pay for a website to be developed when I can design it myself for free?”
That question is better interpreted, “Why pay for a professional to creatively provide me the proper digital footprint I need in order to get the most out of my success over the web when I can spend my time creating it myself on a pretty platform that limits my ability to properly optimize my website for performance, security and search engine visibility?” Okay, you may not actually ask this particular question, but it may be wise to look at it this way.
So, what does “free” really mean?
Why pay when you can get it for “free” so to speak? The answer lies in how you see your business and the importance of what makes most sense to you. Also, it depends on the value of your time, because believe me, you will get a beautiful website template up and running pretty quickly and easily, however, you will spend a great deal of time developing your site into what it needs to be, only to learn along the way how limited the free platform is. Below are things to consider and what a “free” website really means.
Use the free option if:
- You do not desire to have a domain name or hosting within your control.
- You are okay with using a subdomain owned and controlled by theprovider. (i.e.: yourusername.wix.com/yoursitename).
- You want an easy to use layout utility that happens to be hosted with limited bandwidth, performance, security, plugins and search optimization.
- You want to take time away from your craft to become a front-end webmaster when you could be building your business.
- You want to stay with the platform indefinitely and lose everything you built if you ever decide to move your website to another hosting platform. (Most platforms are proprietary and do not allow for transfer to another platform, even with their paid plans and upgrades.)
- You are okay with the template you choose being permanent, because many do not allow you to change your template after choosing your layout.
Most of these offer paid upgrades if you want more control without as many limitations. So in the end, if most people consider what they truly need, a “free” site is not really free. Many will not work on your own independent hosting account, so you have to host with the provider. Even though their upgrades are cost effective and (with the proper upgrades) you can achieve all you may need to a certain point, you are still giving up the precious commodity of your time as you build your website on your own. You will soon discover, there is a lot of brainpower, resources and time-consuming tasks to consider and implement to create forward progress in your online digital presence, digital marketing footprint and web security.
Limitations with most free website builders:
- You can only use their offered subdomains
- You will have their advertisement on it promoting their site and prompting others to sign up for a free site right from your site. (Footer credits with text links are customary, however the advertising free platforms use is a bit more obtrusive.)
- Limited storage, bandwidth, performance and number of pages.
- Most of them force you to use their hosting platform and do not allow you to transfer your site’s design to another one without having to totally rebuild.
The time/value proposition.
Although affordable upgrades are offered, there are still many limitations unless you sign up for their premium services. At this point, you may say, “Hey, it’s still cheaper than if I hired someone to do it.” Yes, it is cheaper if you do not place any value on your own time. Just think about how much value it would take away from your business when you could be adding to your business rather than being your own webmaster. Additionally, consider your peace of mind in having a professional take care of it for you. Furthermore, if you quantify this, you may find your investment being more over the long run. For instance, if the value you personally add to your business is $100 per hour, in a scenario where it may take you 20 hours ($2,000.00) to get all the elements the way you desire, it may only take the professional 5 hours ($500). Ask yourself, which is the better investment?
Think about your time in design, layout and development.
For the tech savvy creative person who has a lot of time to put into developing their site, this is not a big problem. However, if you are a novice to an intermediate in development, you may end up spending way more time than you intended in building your site correctly out the gate. This takes time away from your craft and building your business. The other thing to think about is ongoing maintenance, web security and continued functionality. You can always take your time to do those things, but a professional company can perform those tasks efficiently and quickly. For instance, what may take you 2 weeks to do may only take a professional webmaster 2 days. Just think about what you could do for your business in those extra 12 days!
Your investment into you reflects what others will invest into you.
You attract what you put in. Believe it or not, people feel more confident investing money into a company that is well put together over a company who seemingly cut corners. Always remember, what you invest into your project reflects what your clients will invest into you. It’s sort of like buying or leasing real estate. For a long term consistent return, it is always better to invest more into the infrastructure to make sure it is solid, stands well and has the best presentation than to cut corners and suffer from unforeseen losses in the future.
Always consider the long term.
If you want to grow long term, wouldn’t you rather start the right way out the gate rather than have to rebuild later, fixing all the broken pieces? Many of the free and low cost platforms do not provide the longevity for growth and advancement in their platforms.
In the end, it’s all about what is important to you. Based on your budget, how tech savvy you are, your availability of time and your need for expansion, either option could work to get you started. However, if you plan to build a business or brand with the idea of growth and expansion based on available integration tools, having a professional developer is hands down a better option.
The decision is based on what works for you.
If a free or low-cost do-it-yourself site gets you by right now, and that’s all you want to do, then that may be the option for you. Additionally, if you do not mind spending your valuable time to perfect your digital presence on a limited platform, then D-I-Y just might work for you.
If you want the peace of mind knowing your project is being built, maintained and enhanced for long term growth and advancement using today’s Best Practices for design, development and digital marketing, a professional company like KESHANDE Technology is your answer.
We use WordPress as our development platform which not only allows us to design and develop a scalable and transferable solution, it also allows us to train you to make your own updates, thus, allowing you to save money on maintenance. As well, you have many more customization options for layout, plugin and API integration. This gives you the best of both worlds!
It doesn’t take much to get started. We can get you started for only $500! That’s a savings of $499 over the normal rate.
GET YOUR 5 PAGE WEBSITE WITH HOSTING TODAY! Your Mobile Responsive $500 Web Site comes with 5 static web pages, a contact form, basic web hosting for one year, initial site optimization and initial submission to the top search engines.
Get this offer! https://www.keshande.com/500-dollar-website
All the best to you!
A. T. Holt, Strategic Partner – KESHANDE Technology