Hiring a Website Design Agency vs Using Website Builders

You’ve no doubt seen or heard the jazzy advertisements for website builders on various media. But are they really a competitor for a website design agency providing custom website design? And if it’s a free website builder, would that be the best option for your online prescence?

Some businesses think that website builders are an appealing offer due to what they think is going to be the initial cost. However, the websites these builders offer or what you can create using them is nowhere near the quality of what a reputable website design agency can accomplish, but many businesses don’t recognize the differences. Website design agencies and website builders serve unique clientele, but the distinction is often ambiguous.

As a skill, website design is somewhat undervalued, with website builders cajoling many businesses into thinking that website design is as simple as a few clicks. While your business may not be a large brand requiring a $10,000 website design because it needs a plethora of features and functionalites, it’s still paramount that businesses think of a professional, top quality website as an investment.

For that reason, we’ve detailed below the importance of your website and the dissimilarities between website design agencies and website builders.

The purpose of a website

Before we dive into the dissimilarities between a website design agency built site and a template offered by website builders, it’s worth stating the purpose of a website. The primary purpose of a website is to generate business. But if your website looks unfinished, has poor functionality, and bad user experience, you’ve started off on the downside and have already lost potential customers before you even begin.

A website can be one of the most important tools in your marketing toolset for both online and physical location performace. A reputable website design agency has the skillset to ensure best possible outcome for an aesthetically-pleasing design, awesome user navigation, and great functionality. A website builder can only provide a cookie-cutter template for you to enter your information into.

As a website design and digital marketing agency, we like to give our clients the full picture so they’ll know what they’re dealing with. So, we not saying all website builders are bottom of the barrel; there’s just a few fallacies (actually a lot) that these websites can achieve the same results as a skilled website design agency is simply not correct. Website builders do have a purpose and at time, they serve people well. But because of the hype in their advertising campaigns using various types of media, people generally think they have an awesome and professional website for free, and this is really not true. But by the time people start to realize some of the disadvantages, they are already well into the process. Successful businesses invest in a professional designed and developed website to ensure that it meets their distinct requirements.

So what are some of the differences between reputable website design agency and these website builders?

First impressions have greater importance than you think

We’ve been in the mobile age for quite some time now. And with everyone on the go, wanting to get there now, their attention spans is shorter than ever. If they’re having difficulty getting to your website, and then when they finally arrive it’s a chore to navigate or the design is so discombobulated they feel confused and irritated; you’ve just made a huge blunder – bad first impression. So, the visitor will simply leave your site and find one of your competitors whose website is more usable and aesthetically-pleasing.

A good website design agency can craft a professional, brand-oriented website for your business; whereas with a website builder you’ll have to choose a template which may not have any significance to your brand.

Free stuff is never totally free

If you opted for the free package of a website builder, you’ll soon discover that it’s pretty skeleton; giving you just the basics to drag and drop a few photos and maybe write a little copy. To get more options you’ll be charged for what you had assumed were included as essential elements to create your site. Without these paid elements, you’re running the risk of having an even less desirable and unprofessional website which can be damaging to your reputation both online and off. Conversely, with a website design agency, your specific requirements is what your quote is about; to get what you need and want.

There’s also usually a monthly fee to use a website builder. So the flat rate you could paid a website design agency to get a professional website, has now turned into a never-ending $50 per month cost for an unprofessional website.

Reputation and brand concerns

We all know how perception quickly becomes reality. Imagine you’re searching for a high-end tailor and you land on a website that is built with a website builder. You’ll definitely know immediately you’re on one of these sites because their “Try it for free” or “Create your WIX website”, depending on which free platform you’re using. And did you know that even for some of these free website builders; WIX, Weebly, Squarespace, etc. that even for selected premium plans they still display their advertisments. A website design agency doesn’t do that.

The questions you’re probably asking yourself is “if this company chose not to invest in a professional, quality website, then what does the say about the quality of work they are going to do on my clothes?” In a previous article, ways you may be wrecking your online presence. Sure, your tailoring shop may do quality work, but you’ve dissuaded your site visitor from know that. On the Internet, decisions are made in a matter of seconds. The potential customer has clicked off your site and on to your competitors. Your free website builder is costing you money.

Wrapping up

Ultimately, the decision is yours to make. But any established brand should seriously consider investing in a professional website from a reputable website design agency that can not only help you to avoid potential pitfalls, but also help increase brand awareness and increase ROI. If you already have a decent website, it may just need a facelift. For a complementary website analysis, give us a call at 858-874-6528 or schedule a consultation online.

About the Author

Hazel Burgess

Hazel Burgess is the Founder and Creative Director of Envisager Studio, a premier website design agency specializing in WordPress website design, development and content marketing promotion. The company is based in San Diego, CA and works with companies that range from small business to enterprise level. Follow +Hazel Burgess on Google+ as well as Twitter.

Hiring a Website Design Agency vs Using Website Builders

Leave a Reply