You may have seen articles online stating why hiring a website designer is a thing of the past. Well as a web designer for over 22 years now, I find this hard to believe, at least not yet. Here are some of the reasons why I think you should hire a website design company or a website designer with a marketing background, to build your website, rather than using a crappy page builder.
Here’s why you should Hire Website Designer 2021
A good website designer has a design background. Yes, you can build your own website with a page builder, but will you design it exactly the way you want or need it to be? Do you know how to create a website that looks good, loads fast, and converts visitors into customers?
A good website designer not only knows how to build your website but also knows about conversion optimization. For this reason, I recommend hiring a well-established, well-rounded website designer that knows web design, SEO, and website conversion optimization. There is no way a website builder can do all that. Sure, you can create search-engine-friendly websites with a page builder, but only if you know how to optimize the website in the first place.
Do you know how to set up all the tracking scripts for Google Analytics, Google search console, conversion tracking, and how to SEO optimize your pages, add XML website maps? Do you know how to make sure all your images are in the correct format, size, have the correct alt tags, and load fast, and they are all correctly tagged and optimized? How about creating the correct screen sizes for all the top mobile devices, so that they still look great on mobile? Not to mention many more things you probably don’t want to know about. It’s like asking how the sausage is made, nobody wants to know, but somebody has to do it, sorry I wrote this just before lunch.
Basically, to build your own website correctly with a page builder you need to be a website designer in the first place. Then you need to learn SEO and some online marketing. Then you need to learn how to convert your traffic into sales and leads so that when you have built your website it makes you some money. I mean that is the point, right?
When it comes right down to it, you can build almost anything yourself and you can get a machine to build things for you also. However, when it comes to your business it’s important that your website can convert your traffic, ranks well, and looks great.
Are Page Builders Easy To Use?
Most page builders allow almost anyone to build their own website with a drag and drop interface. You select a template; some options and you have a shiny new website. It takes away most of the learning curve involved in designing your website.
However, what most people don’t know is that you can do the same if not much more with your own website by using a built-in page builder plugin. For example, if you build your website using WordPress and a theme such as Divi and their Divi builder plugin, you have far more control of your website.
What About Website Hosting?
Most page builders are hosted for you, meaning your website is stored on their server and you pay a monthly fee. Now some might say this is a bad thing, but it really depends on what you want. Having them host your website might be exactly what you want and in this case, you are golden. If you are the type of person that would rather live in your mom’s basement until you are 45 because it’s nice and safe and warm, then this option is for you. The hosting company usually hosts your email and domain too. So it’s a one-stop-shop for all your website needs. However, if you are like me and enjoy actually owning your website then I recommend building it without a page builder with something like WordPress or Joomla! and a reliable hosting company such as liquidweb.com or hostek.com
What About A Unique Design?
A page builder cannot design your website for you, it will give you options to choose from, usually starting with a template and then you modify this template to fit your needs. However, unless you are a designer it’s very likely that your website will not look anywhere near as good as what a professional website designer would be able to build. Have you tried giving your kid a haircut lately? How did that turn out? Has the trauma worn off yet? Have the kids stopped bullying him/her yet? Most website designers have a degree in design and know about using color, fonts, space, and other design elements to make sure your design looks great on many types of devices. Sure, many page builders have come a long way, but they can’t design your website for you.
Search Engine Optimization
Do you like traffic? Then you might want to make sure your website is optimized for search engines. Search engine optimization is the process of optimizing each page of your website as well as your entire site’s structure to give it a good chance of ranking in search engines. A WordPress website or almost any of the leading content management systems, are easier to optimize and have a better website structure than any page builder. They simply are not the same breed.
Best of both worlds
When it comes to the best way to build an affordable website that looks great, is extensible, easy to update, converts well, and allows for unlimited capacities your best options depend on your budget.
If you have buckets of gold nuggets, then you can build your own custom-designed content management system from scratch with all the bells and whistles you can dream of. You can use advanced programming to build anything. However, if you are looking at page builders then your budget is probably a little more down to earth, so I’m going to focus on the best low-budget options that will allow you to fully compete with the big guys.
Yes, I know you knew I was going to mention WordPress right? But that’s because it’s the best CMS on the planet and it’s free. You can build almost any website you can dream of with WordPress. Also, the advanced themes, with page builders built-in, will allow you to build your own websites quickly. I highly recommend WordPress and the Divi Theme along with Divi page builder. Combine this with Yoast for your SEO, some speed optimization plugins and you are all set.
Yes, you will have to hire a designer to build the initial website and set up your SEO, however, you will own the website afterward and have just as much control if not much more than you would have with a page builder.
For example, you can easily add eCommerce to your website if you want to turn it into a fully functional online store by using a plugin called WooCommerce. WooCommerce only takes a few hours to install and configure and it has everything you need. If you need more, then there are tons of great plugins and more being built constantly.
Another great system is Joomla!, which is also a CMS. Joomla! It May have a slightly higher learning curve than WordPress but some say it’s a bit more powerful. I have used both for over a decade and we have developed plugins for both and I would say WordPress is a bit better in many respects. There are more plugins, it’s easier to work with and easier to optimize for search engines.
Are You Serious?
If you are serious about your business, then you should be thinking long term, if you use a page builder to build your website you don’t own the website. You can’t move your site to another hosting company if the company that owns your page builder goes out of business or is taken over by a company with bad support. If you sell your site then you can simply move it somewhere else. If you sell your business one day you have the chance to sell the site to the new owner without requiring them to stay with the page builder host.
After 20 years in the web design industry, I have studied many systems and methods for building websites. The only page builder I would recommend, and it’s not really a page builder, is Shopify. Shopify is mainly for eCommerce websites, but it’s also used for regular websites. Shopify will allow you to build a very good online store very quickly and there are various plugins to make it SEO friendly. However, it must be hosted on the Shopify servers and you will need specially trained developers to work on a Shopify store if you require custom development.
In closing, if you want a real website, then hire a real website design company. Don’t hire one website designer, hire a team. One person cannot build, host, and provide online marketing to the level you need to grow your business. An automated website builder can only build your website, it cannot design, optimize, maintain and promote it as a web design company can.
It’s sort of like building your own house. You can build your own house, but will it be up to code? Will it be safe? Will you do it correctly and how will you know if you did? Would you want a robot to build your house or a craftsman?
Websites should be an extension of your business and not just a thing you pop up online, so you can say you have a website now. Most businesses make most of their money from their website and this is increasing every year. Also, you don’t have to hire us, but you can if you want 🙂 We also have a directory of website designers aptly named websitedesigners.net. Feel free to join if you are a website designer, or you may want to hire someone local for your next web design project.