In today’s world of internet glory there are many options out there for individuals and businesses to build their own websites. Offers from such places as Wix, Weebly and sell the idea that building a beautiful, functional and effective website is as simple as dragging-and-dropping. Now, do not get me wrong, this is entirely possible. All of these platforms are wonderful options for building a website, however, there are a few key things that you should be aware of before investing fully into a “self-made” website.

The Good

Do-it-Yourself website builders do offer a variety of positive things for potential individuals or businesses looking at getting a website up and going. So lets look into what they do offer.

  1. Lower in cost – the obvious benefit to a DIY website, is always going to be the cost. You are not hiring a professional web design which can run you between $500 and $10,000 depending on the size of the site. A number of web hosting companies (such as GoDaddy, Doteasy or Host Gator) offer their website builder as part of your web hosting package. Their ability to package products together allows them to target people shopping for a good deal.
  2. “Easy to Utilize” – the drag and drop editors are easy to use, so to speak. If you are relatively tech savy and know your way around a computer, you won’t have too much issue with finding your way through the creation of your website. I will cover some items a little later that you should be aware before assuming it is straight-forward and easy.
  3. Perfect for Specific Types of Sites – If you looking to display informative content, encouraging customers to visit your physical location, then a free website builder will probably work for you. So before starting any website project setting so definite goals or objective for the site will go a long way.

So there are definitely positives to these website builders, but even if your website would easily be done with these type of products there are a few road blocks that might come up during the process and I want to examine those now.

Graphics with Responsive Designs

Since the early 2000s, a website’s responsiveness (mobile-friendly) has become of the utmost of importance. Over 50% of website traffic is done from a mobile device. When it comes to the website builders, this is not the problem. Their templates and platforms are responsive “out-of-the-box”. Where the problem lies with this is in the creation of graphics and images used for your site. If the images are not uploaded (drag) at the right dimensions distortion or pixelation will occur – making them unclear and unattractive. There are also many different file types that these graphics can be (JPEG, TIFF, PNG, PDF). Depending on where they are being displayed on your site you, understanding which type of graphic to use will be imperative in achieving the desired look. Most, if not all, website designers have the skills and tools to create stunning graphics for their designs. Their knowledge of code allows them to correctly size all graphics for optimal visual impact.

Search Engine Optimization

Search Engine Optimization is one of the most important items in website design, because if people can’t find your site, what good is it? DIY website builders do have very basic SEO built into their platforms, but depending on the goals for the site, this most likely won’t be enough. SEO or Search Engine Optimization is a technique used by professional web designers to make your website receive higher rankings from search engines. This includes: properly naming images and files, properly naming each page, setting appropriate key words and so much more.

Customization and Coding

There are millions, if not billion of websites in the world currently, so how are you going to make yours stand out? DIY website builders are designed to be as easy as possible – which doesn’t lend itself to much customization. They usually have limitations that restrict graphics and text and can even go as far as limiting colour scheme. When you hire a professional web designer you know that your site will suite your business – with very few limitations. A professional web designer has the knowledge in PHP, databases, HTML, CSS and much more to open you to a world of possibilities with your site. They have spent years educating themselves on best practices, industry trends and technology to assure each project is unique, effective and done with your business goals in mind.

Industry Trends

The Internet and website design changes on a daily basis, as we saw with the mobile-friendly switch. New technologies, new coding techniques, new ways to draw traffic to your site are created every day. If a professional web designer wishes to be successful, it is imperative that they stay abreast of these trends. Armed with that knowledge, they will implement these tools in creating your website and allow you to stay in “the digital race”.

Regardless of what road you decide to take when it comes to building a website, the most important thing is to have a clear goals and expectation for the site. Without those your website will fail – regardless of how “pretty” it looks.