Time on your hands?
That’s the only reason you should consider an online Website Builder.
Website builders, what a great idea! I bet you never expected us to say that? It is a great idea, there’s very little knowledge required (although, don’t believe it when they claim none!) and the results are quite decent really. I’ve seen some very nice sites created with website builders like Wix, Squarespace and Shopify. So what’s the problem, they’re relatively cheap, look ok and do the job? The problem lies with time – your time. You see, even the best website will start falling in the search engine rankings if it’s not updated with new, and interesting content, frequently. Website Builders are ok at getting an online presence, but they’re known to not perform well at SEO. Search Engine Optimisation is creating content (and a whole load of other stuff) that will help to keep your site at the top of the search results of your potential customers. If you’re busy, and you want to stay busy, you can really forget doing a proper job of this yourself, you simply won’t have enough time and there’s no-one at Wix etc. that’s going to help you with this – you’re on your own.
Going with a professional web developer like Next Phase Digital will free you up to work on your business, while we concentrate on keeping you at the forefront of your field and provide your website (and social media) with regular content to ensure your business is found before your competitors are. Website builders allow a certain amount of customisation, but not many offer total customisation. By working with the industry leading web platform ‘Wordpress’ we can give you exactly the site you’re looking for. Also, if you’re not sure what you’re after yourself, we can offer guidance and suggestions for the design of your site to get you looking totally professional in no time. Shopify can’t give you that!
Let’s look at two scenarios…
- John at Local Tyres Ltd wants a website to increase his business. Every time he goes on YouTube he’s bombarded by adverts that tell him he can do this himself with little or no experience, so he signs up with Squarespace and sets off building his site. His company didn’t have any stable corporate identity in place and he used the logo in his email (firstname.lastname@example.org) signature and uploaded it to his new website – it was a bit blocky, but you can still read it. John wanted to integrate ecommerce into his website, but couldn’t make sense of the complicated procedure required to register for payments – he’s asked a friend to look over it when they get chance. Two months later, the site is still half finished, he can’t sell anything online and it’s nowhere to be seen on Google.
- Linda at Superwheels came to Next Phase for her website and we worked with her to recreate a scalable version of her company logo, and designed a mock-up of her new site that she could approve or suggest areas for improvement. Once the mock up was exactly as she wanted, we then apply that design to a WordPress installation and work with Linda on adding the content. Linda also wanted ecommerce on her site, so we set it up for her, added the initial items of stock and trained her how to add future items herself. Oh… we also got her domain and created several email addresses for her and her staff. Two months later, the site is on the first page of Google for local results, it is updated with regular news content and is generating substantial income through online sales. Linda doesn’t have to worry about her website again.
What does building your own website involve?
You have to learn how to use the interface (or software) – this sounds simple enough, but anyone who’s spent any amount of time with an online web builder trying to create their own website, will know that it’s not as easy as the companies would lead you to believe. These software packages don’t create the website for you – they give you the tools you need to build the site, but you’re still going to have understand what you’re doing to get anything anywhere near professional from it. Writing SEO friendly content, ensuring all of your images are in the correct format, configuring the commerce platform that’s integrated with your DIY set (actually getting it to work can be a major achievement in itself), regularly updating products and blogs and updating your social media accounts with any new content on the website all mounts up – before too long you could find yourself spending a large proportion of your week updating several online platforms when you should be dedicating time to the business.
When you consider the costs of these two options are quite similar, you’re not really saving anything by going with an online builder. It’s costing you time, and we all know how precious that is in the business world, well… in life! We don’t want to be working more than we need to! If someone is willing to do the work for you and it costs more or less the same, then I know what I’d be doing. The question you need to ask yourself is, have you got the time to not only learn how to use the interface and build a website yourself, but to write and prepare content regularly enough for your business to be seen online?
Thinking of increasing your online presence? Think about your Next Phase… Consider cost, consider effectiveness, but most of all consider your own time and health – you can’t do everything! Every successful business has a Next Phase.