The Best Way To Develop Your Website
There are many different ways to go about developing a website. In fact, the manner by which you decide to develop your website is the most important decision in the entire process. You can develop the website on a site builder, use a WordPress template, find a freelance programmer, or hire a custom web design team with professional experience. Below we examine the pros and cons of each of the options to help you determine which avenue will best cater to your needs.
WEBSITE BUILDERS (E.G. WIX, SQUARESPACE, ETC.)
Who is this option for? This is for the teenager who decided to make a website for his class. It is for the housewife that always dreamed of making a cute website for her beloved cat. These websites are largely recreational with little to no business purposes.
- You can launch the site very quickly
- You do not need a significant investment of capital to begin the project
- It is a myth that the site will turn out just as beautifully, quickly, and problem-free as these programs typically advertise. In the real world, if you are ambitious enough to go beyond 5 pages, you will encounter many problems and your site will look terrible. Fact.
- You will have to spend a lot of your personal time on developing the website. Time is the most valuable currency you have.
- You will have to pay a monthly fee, forever.
- You will be extremely limited by the system. You will be able to add images, text, and even some modules, but that’s about it. Speaking plainly, you’re not exactly taking advantage of the internet’s full potential here.
- Websites created through the use of builder programs are ranked lower on Google by their very nature. This means less exposure to your audience.
- Some systems require you to purchase a premium account or else you will have ads on your own website.
- All of your information will be stored on a foreign server, meaning that your site could very well be deleted and it would be out of your control
Simply remember that this is not your website. Your are leasing a template from someone else.
A TEMPLATE SITE ON WORDPRESS
Who is this option for? This choice is ideal for startups in their beginning stages or for very small companies. When electing to choose a WordPress website, however, you must immediately understand that this is a temporary solution that should last no longer than two years. Even by that point, you will have already experienced several holdups with the site.
- There are a huge number of templates from which to choose, some are even free.
- Many different modules
- There are already many companies that work with these types of sites
- The development costs (in terms of money) are comparatively less than those of Custom Website Development Companies
- Sites developed on WordPress work rather slowly when confronted with large surges of visitors
- The site is very sensitive to hosting, meaning you either have to spend more money for good hosting services or risk a slow download speed
- Most free modules you find on the internet have critical vulnerabilities
- You will be able to run the plain template very quickly, but as soon as you seek to change it and work with it, the process will be arduous and costly
- Having a WordPress site means accepting that your site is vulnerable to hackers from the very beginning. This is a problem with all popular platforms.
- Search engines favor custom sites over template sites and rank them lower in the search result listings
HIRING A DEVELOPER FROM A FREELANCER WEBSITE
Who is this option for? This solution is suitable for a person or company who knows exactly what they want. You will need to have a background in design, UX, programming, etc. in order to have the ability to order this caliber of work on the side.
- Significantly cheaper than custom web design services from major web development companies
- The main danger here is that the freelancer can take as long as they want to complete the project, worst case scenario being they abandon the project altogether and leave you with no money and no website
- Hiring a freelancer means you are limited to their capabilities. If you are seeking other services, such as photography for an SEO campaign, you will need to hire individual providers of each of those services. Large website design studios, such as Direct Line Development, offer all these services in house.
- Your instructions to the freelancers must be clear and thought out, implying that you have an above average understanding of the web design and development process
- Freelancer work is often unencumbered by contractual obligations or legal stipulations, so you are taking on risk for things such as copyright infringement even though it is out of your control
CUSTOM WEB DEVELOPMENT
Who is this option for? For any company or business whose main goal is to receive a steady influx of new customers from the internet.
- When thinking long term, the development cost is lower than all the other options. Companies typically use custom websites for 3–5 years. If throughout this time period you receive 2–3 times more customers, the new profits exceed the greater initial development costs
- A professional website development company will guide you through each stage of the development process. They will let you know what you need in terms of images, videos, hosting, SEO, social media marketing, etc. They make the plan upfront so you can look at the big picture as well as the fine details.
- The company is legally obligated to provide you with quality work that operates entirely within the confines of the law. For instance, you won’t have to worry about illegally downloaded photos. Our company has its own in house photographer to avoid such problems.
- The biggest advantage of the a custom-built website is that it will look and function perfectly, attracting a large flow of new customers to your business. Take a look at our portfolio! These are real projects we took on for real people and the results are absolutely stunning!
- You need to select the website design studio carefully and analyze all of their works. It’s not uncommon to have a company claim they are developing custom websites only to later create them on WordPress.
- The development process usually takes longer than the other options available because of the specific nature of the work, speed of communication with client, multiple customers, etc.
- Initial investment costs can be quite significant, but their are ways to avoid this. For instance, we at Direct Line Development give our clients 12 months of interest-free financing in order to create the website at an affordable rate.
SUMMING IT UP
Remember that your website serves as a direct representation of you and your business. If you choose to make the website yourself, you must make sure you are aware of this fact. More often than not, a website made with a site-builder such as wix will not garner the legitimacy that a serious business or entrepreneur desires. The only instances during which a serious professional should build their own website are if that person is a web developer themselves or if they plan on having the site for less than six months. The same can be said for template websites. We’ve written other articles are the pitfalls of WordPress, so we won’t expound on them too much here, but it is important to keep in mind that these sites too are to be seen as only temporary solutions to the serious business person. Template sites are good for startups in their preliminary stages and for sole proprietorships with limited capital to invest. These sites are prone to security vulnerabilities, so business owners should think twice before soliciting too much personal information through them such as passwords and credit card information. Similarly, these risks could result in down time for the site, meaning you lose potential business until your issues are resolved and paid for.
Freelance developers offer the possibility of quality web design, but there is no guarantee. Similarly, you are limited to what each freelancers’ capabilities are, which could mean you’ll end up hiring multiple freelancers for the same project, effectively assembling your own web design team, but at a much higher rate. It is also worth noting again that you will largely be running on their schedule, not the other way around. If the launch of you site is time sensitive, this option may not be for you. Finally, there is no contractual obligation keeping the freelancer from quitting the project, leaving you with a half-finished website and a half-empty wallet.
If you truly want to upgrade your business and equip yourself with a powerful online presence, you need to visit a professional web design studio. These studios usually have all of your website’s needs available in-house and they are trained to guide you through process with them. You will be able to monitor the progress each step of the way and contribute you input so that the team can best reflect your vision and needs. While the initial costs may seem comparatively higher, the site serves as a long term investment, paying itself off multiple times over. These sites typically last at least three to five years, leaving you to focus your resources and attention to other aspects of your business as your site works for you. If you are serious business owner who wants to increase the amount of customers his business serves, we recommend you take the time to select and work with a professional web design studio.
If you decide that Direct Line Development can be that professional studio for your business, then we personally guarantee that you will be given the best possible service and will not be disappointed! If you have any questions about this article or your own current (or potential) website, feel free to call us or leave a comment in the section below!
Original publication can be read in our blog!