Website builders such as Squarespace and WIX have steadily increased in popularity over the years as an alternative to hiring professional agencies to develop websites.

There are a number of benefits to creating your website with a website builder, including:

  • Potential for a faster development time
  • No prior knowledge of Photoshop or HTML required
  • Low start-up cost
  • Great user interface and easy to use

Despite these benefits, it’s important to know when to use a website builder, and when to hire a professional. Here are some things to consider when deciding between website builders and agencies.

Cost

The low start-up cost of website builders may be an attractive draw, but a website for your company should be considered an investment for the future of your brand. As the old adage goes, you have to spend money to make money, and this applies to developing your website.

Professional web development agencies will know how to develop a website to obtain the best return on investment for your company and make your website work for you.

Experience

Would you hire someone who knows nothing about building to build your house? Of course not! The same goes for your website. When you develop your website with an agency, not only are you hiring a web designer, but also content creators, SEO experts, Digital marketing masters, social media marketing strategists, and more.

Developing with an agency can give you peace of mind that your website is in good hands, and any issues that may arise can be taken care of.

Customisation

Website builders or pre-built themes can be great, but you can limit yourself to certain features or functionalities as a result. When building with an agency, features can be implemented based on what you actually need, rather than what’s available.

A custom website will help your brand stand out from the rest and efficiently convey your message, rather than fit it within a pre-built theme.

Search Engine Optimisation

What is the point of building a website if no one visits it? If there’s one thing that tips the scale in favour of agencies when developing a website, it’s Search Engine Optimisation (or SEO). Improving your ranking on search engines such as Google is an ongoing process, with the playing field constantly changing.

Good agencies keep up-to-date with best practices and latest technologies that can help you reach that top spot.

First impressions matter

Most of the time, websites produced by agencies will have a certain finesse that home built websites just don’t have. If something appears cheaply made, it can have bad repercussions for your brand. If your users don’t trust your brand, or don’t believe your website is credible and secure they may go to your competitor instead.

It’s better to convey your brand professionally from the start rather than salvage your brand’s reputation after users have had negative experiences with it.

Summary

The answer depends on your brand, and how much you are willing to invest. Brands that are just starting out or have limited budget can benefit from developing their own site with a website builder though there are limitations.

If you need a more custom solution, hiring professionals is definitely the way to go. In the long run, investing in your brand and digital strategy can provide a greater return on investment. As the saying goes, you get what you pay for.

Good luck!