Design Method

DIY Web Builders vs. Pelling Design

The simplification of almost everything has ensured that anyone with an idea can now have their own website up and running within a few hours and minimal fuss. Welcome to the rise of the 21st century digital shortcut known as WYSIWYG (What You See Is What You Get), a world where knowledge of HTML is just a distant memory.

DIY builders such as Weebly, Wix and Squarespace can be seen heavily marketing themselves to small businesses with the promise of a quick and easy web presence at a very low cost. However, like any shortcut we might be tempted to take in life, it often ends up much more expensive and ineffective in the long run.

There is much more to a website than an online home for your business and this is a mistake that many continue to make. For example, our online world is surrounded by white noise and it is becoming increasingly difficult to stand out from the crowd. The creation of your brand to differentiate either your unique self or business in a crowded market simply cannot be achieved by a prebuilt template.

Your businesses digital presence should deserve more than a drag and drop template. Considering that your website is now the gateway to your business and the difference between clients choosing to spend money on your services and clicking elsewhere, maybe you should invest a little more thought into what you want to achieve.

Before even thinking about hitting a create site now button, we need to understand that behind the shiny buttons or templates, a website should also be about search engine optimisation (SEO), graphic design and branding. Those shiny pages may look atheistically pleasing, but if Google can’t find your new creation, your business might as well put up a big closed sign to the online community.

There should also be a strong focus on the content structure long before posting blog posts and podcasts etc. Once again, an incorrect strategy results on your business appearing on page 29 of potential customers who are Googling your site. By dumbing down website creation and protecting its users from the complexities of web design, they could be doing more harm than good.

When encountering any issues with a website that has become the front doors to your organization in a mobile first world, would you rather speak to a fellow human being or a chat bot? Equally a support hotline where a virtual agent reads from a script is frequently the cause of more frustration than anything else.

When choosing a digital design agency, you should have a dedicated team of people that have an active interest about your company, brand, and the importance of the slightest niggle to your website.

There is also a misconception around what DIY web builders can achieve and what their real incentives are.

Ultimately a digital agency will want to work closely with you to ensure you succeed, if your online presence and business grows, they will also grow with you. Whereas the likes of Wix or Squarespace could see you as a virtual billboard to advertise their own products rather than yours by displaying a banner informing businesses who built the site. Is this something you want to feature on your site? There is also a potential pitfall in building your online presence on somebody else’s land. Should you decide 12 months later that maybe a service such as Wix is no longer for your company, there is a good chance you will have to start completely from scratch as you are unable to take your current design away from their platform.

At least if you had a professionally designed and hosted website, you are free to work with other agencies should you choose to. These are just a few reasons why the foundations to any website should be built on neutral territory.

We often read about how advances in technology and automation are delivering cheaper solutions and will remove traditional job roles and even agencies. However, here at Design by Pelling, we believe that as machines begin to automate repetitive tasks and offer a plethora of identikit DIY web services and templates, it’s actually a time for design companies to excel in an area where machines are unable to compete. The creative process.

As a plethora of identikit DIY web services continue to flood the market and churn out easy to make websites. The inconvenient truth is that any business that has a website that looks like every other out there, including their competition will struggle to stand out from the crowd and make their voice heard.

Many quick fixes also fail to understand the fundamentals of any website creation. Both you and your business have a unique and authentic voice, your digital presence should showcase this to make it heard in ways that a drag and drop template could only hope for.

Expressing your expertise, insights, solutions and what makes your offering so special is only the start of your journey. Anything that brings customers to your business deserves so much than a drag and drop template. Maybe we should think less about how much a new website design costs and more about the lost revenue a poor design could cost your business in missed revenue.

What experiences have you had with both DIY web builders and design agencies? Please share your experiences with us by commenting below.