Whenever you’re planning on doing something new, you have this moment where you think, “should I hire a professional or should I just do it myself?”. Well, for most business tasks, you might always want to call in the expert. They always get the job done, they do it the way it‘s supposed to be done, and most of all, they know what they’re doing.
But when it comes to web design, do you need to go to an experienced expert, or can you still go the ‘I’ll do it myself’ way?
If you check the internet for what is web design or how to learn web designing, you’ll find loads of material that will help you in designing your own website. But they might just as well suggest you hire a professional web design expert. Or tell you to download some web design learning software or just go with a DIY website builder. Well, we understand how difficult it can be to make this choice. And so, we’ve created a shortlist of web design pros and cons and compared it with a DIY website builder to see how they stack up against each other. This will give a better picture of the two, and put you in a better position to make an informed decision.
Who Is a Website Designer?
A web designer is basically someone who creates the frontend interface for your website. You can hire a full time web designer or you can just freelance. Either way, the designer creates web design from scratch, with some form of reference or guide.
Be sure not to get mixed up with web developers. Designers are responsible for creating the visual aspects of the web design. Developers give it life. When you hire a graphic designer, you will get someone who can make outstanding, authentic web design that would be an accurate depiction of your ideas.
If we’ve cleared out the jargon for you, we can head straight into telling you how web designers stack up against DIY website builders.
Let us first look at the pros and cons of hiring a professional graphic designer to help you create your personal web design.
Pros and Cons of Hiring a Website Designer
There are many reasons we can come up to show why you ‘should’ or ‘should not’ go for professional web design. We’ve collected the top three for a broader audience.
1. Creative Approach
Though we drew a line earlier saying web designers are different from developers, they are equally important as they let developers visualize the web design even before they’ve started making it. The designer picturizes the layout and styling and constructs it on a web designing software. You can customize the look and feel of the web design as per your interest. There is literally no limit as to what type of web designs you can create.
2. Search Engine Optimized
Generally, professional website designers understand what it takes to make your website rank highest on Google’s search engine. Depending on their knowledge and skills, they can overcome issues relating to SEO. Even if they don't aren’t an expert, as they are creating an authentic website with original design and content, the website would register higher on Google’s search results.
If you’ve hired a full-time web designer, it means that you can change any aspect of your web design, anytime you like. You don’t have to stick with the same design that you first started your business with. With a designer, you can give time to every aspect of your webpage and hand-make even the smallest design element. He is also responsible for keeping your website up to date, both in terms of visual appeal and the information present on the website.
1. Not Very Affordable
If you want to make your website stand out among the rest, you’ll need to hire a design who might cost you just as much. Apart from that, the person you’ll be hiring would only look after the web design. Unless he knows other marketing and sales skills like SEO, you might have to hire other professionals to do the job for you. So if you are short on the budget, it might be a better option to go with a premium website builder.
2. Takes a Lot of Time
Building a website from scratch is a lot of work. And Not just from a web designing perspective. Even if you go for a designer with years of experience and some wicked web design skills, you would still need to communicate your ideas and interpret them as your web design. And because you’re doing all from the very beginning, you will also have to look for errors and manually correct them. Of course you know that time and cost go hand in hand.
3. Lack of Control
Say you hired a freelance web designer to design an amazing website for you and it’s all done. But now you have some issues or changes that you’d want to make. You don’t have the time to learn web design and make the changes yourself. You either have to call the person who designed the website or hire another one. Unless you possess some basic web design skills, you will have to rely on a web designer for each and every change on your website.
What Is a DIY Website Builder?
You might already know what a website builder is and how it works, but we would want to just expand that knowledge a little. A website builder is a DIY tool that gives users the power to create a website using pre-existing website templates. There is no need to work on any aspect of design with a website builder or write any codes. You’re given a range of choices of which you’ll need to choose the web design that you like and just use that to build a website.
Pros and Cons of a DIY Website Builder
You’ve seen the pros and cons of hiring a professional to do the web design for you. Now let’s see the pros and cons of using a website builder to build your own website.
A website builder gives you ultimate flexibility. As you just have to click on the in-built features, you have the freedom to take charge of your website. You can take Strikingly for example. The platform offers you creative web designing and customizable features that you can change and alter at will. These can be contact forms, image sliders, newsletters, online stores, blogging tools, etc. just to name a few. You have all the information on how to use each of the design features on Strikingly’s Knowledge Base.
Image taken from Strikingly
2. Cost Effective
When compared to hiring a professional web designer, building it on a platform such as Strikingly is more affordable than you think. You can even consider the most expensive website builders out there and still have to pay a fraction of what you’d shell out to get design your website from a professional.
Image taken from Strikingly
3. Creative Control
Though website building sites offer designs that are pre-designed, the range of templates and options to personalize your website can be limitless. You can alter almost any aspect of the website and build it just the way you want it. Just take Strikingly, for instance. There are website templates for every type of business or profession. The templates are designed based on your needs whether you own a home decor business, a musician looking to set up a portfolio, or just looking to tell your story through an impressive blog.
Image taken from Strikingly
4. Built in Tech Support
A website builder gives you more than just a platform to build a website and maintain it. They give you round-the-clock support with any issue that you face with your website. Website building sites such as Strikingly are professional platforms designed to make website building easy and simple. We have a team of technical support staff dedicated to help you with your concerns at lightning speed. Strikingly offers support primarily as live chat but you can also reach us through email.
Image taken from Strikingly
1. Slower Site Speed
When compared to a custom built site, a website built on website building platforms can be a tad slower to load. The page might not be as responsive on other devices as well. You will need to add in features for additional cost that let you get mobile responsive features.
2. Hidden Cost
Website builders, though initially come cheap with a free website and domain, can charge for additional features like adding widgets or apps. Often, the cost doesn't cover all necessary features and you might have to pay for each feature separately.
Website builders want to market the fact that you’ve their platform to build your website and so will often have a logo or branding as part of your web design. It might not seem as much but depending on your business it might not be a good thing to have on your website.
4. Not Completely SEO Optimized
As the basic codes for most of the design are generic, the sites created using website builder can rank lower on Google. So building a completely customized page doesn't automatically guarantee that your page is search engine optimized as well. But it doesn’t mean that you cannot rank higher than a custom designed website. Website builders such as Strikingly have had sites that rank substantially when compared to custom built sites.
So there you have it. We have given you a clear idea of what’s what. It’s up to you to make the call. Whether you need to hire a web designer or do it on your own. Your job could become easier if you further narrowed down what your exact requirements are. Professional businesses who have the time and resources can go for a personal website designer. On the other hand if you need to build a fully functional website quickly and cost effectively, you might as well go for a DIY website.
The simpler route is to have your website built on Strikingly. You can bypass all the trouble of getting out the right web design from your designer and just have it built yourself. The range of free website templates and customizable options can help you build an amazing website. Your choice can define your website!