Website designer or a website builder? Whom do you choose to build your website? Both promise you outstanding results, both offer you customization, and both will probably give you what they promise. Then what are the criteria to choose which is better? Here is a point-by-point revelation of why it is better to hire a web designer.
1. Customized from scratch, not from a template
Web designers build websites from scratch. They do not use a ready-made template and make changes in it. That is very important if you want a highly customized website. You would want your website’s design to mirror your company’s brand image.A website designed from scratch can be customized in ways that a website created from a template cannot. The only reason being that a template already has a set structure(panels,placement, columns, interactive media, banners, ads, text boxes), that can only be changed so much.
2. Search engine optimized
Qualified web designers are trained in search engine optimization (SEO) and integrate it in a website’s design. SEO is super important to make your website visible to the people. Even if you have a brilliantly designed website and nobody sees it, that defeats the entire purpose of having it. Web designers make your website optimized by creating SEO friendly URLs for each website page, including meta tags and meta descriptions, optimizing images, using keywords, etc.That helps to gain a higher ranking on search engines and getting more visitors.
3. Continued support, not one time service
A web designer monitors the results you are getting in terms of traffic, bounce rate, active users, audience analysis and so on. Services such as Google Analytics help web designers to monitor results. Based on results, they make changes in the website and check the results again. This process substantially increases the chances of a website’s success. On the other hand, you have website builders that only provide services in website designing. After that, you are on your own to discover if your design works or not.
4. Fixed one-time cost
Web designers usually charge a one-time fixed fee for designing the website. You pay a fixed amount and get a customized website made. With website builders, you usually pay a fixed amount every month, like forever. If you calculate the total cost of creating and running your website on a website builder, it will most definitely be way more than a one-time fee from a web designer. On top of that, website builders may revise their prices anytime.
Even if you get your website designer to monitor results and make necessary changes, you are in control of the pricing.You can anytime choose to hire another designer. In other words, you are not stuck with one service provider.
5. Time taken to build a website
As web designers build a website from scratch, they take more time to build your website. But that time is devoted to give you quality and customization. They work on your specifications to create a design that is newly built inside out. What website builders do is to provide you with a basic structure (template) that you can tweak. That really doesn’t take time and you are the one making the changes, not them. So, it is faster, no doubt. But you must also keep the results in mind to really understand if faster is all you want.
6. Who does the work?
When you hire a web designer, it is the designer’s responsibility to integrate all the features you want and test them. You give instructions on what exactly you want in broad layman terms and you get the results you want. That’s easy. The problem with a website builder is that they only offer you tools. They will provide you with 10 tools and give you instructions on how to get them to work. That’s the opposite of how you work with a web designer. Easy as it may seem to integrate features in your website, it needs at least some knowledge of what those features do and how to get them to work on your website.
7. Fully featured
Most of the website builders offer features such as responsiveness, website hosting, SEO, security, 24/7 support and so on.These are great features to have, but can you get more customized features at lesser cost from a web designer? A qualified web designer is fully capable of adding any feature you need or they think necessary for your website. So, consider the overall cost based on what features you are getting.
With a web designer, you are the employer. With a website builder, you are their customer. Communicating with your web designer is from one person to another whereas communicating with your website builder is from one person to a company. That makes a difference when you need to communicate regularly. So, even if a website builder is offering 24/7 support, consider the quality of that support and how comfortable it will be for you to get help.
Points to ponder
Before deciding whether to hire a web designer or use a website builder, think about these questions:
a). What will be the total cost of designing?
b). How much customization do I need?
c). What are the SEO services being offered?
d). What do I do if I need continued support?
e). How much time can I invest in building the website?
f). Do I have basic knowledge of necessary features of a website?
h). How much communication can I have with my website builder?
If you only want to try out a personal website and not care about getting visitors, you can use a free Starter Plan provided by website builders. But if you are investing in a professional business website, consider the points above to make a decision that you’ll be happy within the future.