Self-service offerings like SquareSpace, Wix, Weebly, and WordPress will tell you that building a website is easy. Just pick a template, upload your text and images and—boom!—you’re done! Professionals (hey, that’s us!) will tell you that websites are more complex to build than ever, and that their success depends on the expertise of designers, developers, copywriters, and marketers who foster long-term, human relationships.
Potential clients who’ve decided on using self-service offerings instead of hiring us have run into predictable issues, many of which have had a real impact on their website’s success. Among the hidden issues:
- Enormous page weight and load times that make their site all but unusable on mobile devices
- Cookie-cutter designs that tend to fall apart when co-opted to reflect their brand
- Confounding interface and layout choices
- Confusing site structure
- Poor code and content quality
It’s easy to see how this happens. Automated services pitch the simplicity of their offerings: “Make It Happen,” —SquareSpace. “It’s Easy,” —Wix. “Do What You Love,” —Weebly. Those are catchy headlines. But just as Nike’s “Just Do It,” won’t magically turn you into a pro athlete, creating a website without expert knowledge won’t deliver professional results, no matter how eye-catching the template—or how sweet the sales pitch.
Instead of letting automated scripts and algorithms code your website, hire a professional team like ours that makes smarter choices specifically tailored to your business. We’re concerned about much more than outward appearances, like writing code that's leaner and faster than computer-generated code. Or knowing what typographic choices would best fit your audience. Or how image compression decisions can make or break a site. Or what voice to give your content to best present your brand, business, and undertaking.
If the siren-song of automated services still entices you, ask yourself this: Would you...
- feel confident in creating a print brochure, catalog, or billboard on your own?
- write and record your own radio spot or television commercial?
- design your own trade show graphics?
- take and process your own photographs for use in your publications?
- negotiate your own media buys?
Unless you’re incredibly gifted, insanely versatile, and have gobs of time (or don't care about quality), the answer to all of these is likely: No, of course not. Creating a website is no different than these other creative endeavors; they share the same requirements of time, talent, and experience to get right. Websites are often more complicated than print pieces, and they’re likely more important than just about any other aspect of your outward-facing marketing efforts. Website creation is not the place to scrimp if you’re looking for results.
Of course, you may be tempted to turn to automated services because of a low budget. If you're considering doing so, we suggest you calculate the cost of your time in writing and proofing content, finding and purchasing imagery, and using the service’s user interface (and customer support ticketing services) to build your website. You’ll likely find that the long-term cost of hiring an algorithm or hiring a team of professionals is not as far apart as you might expect.
With a professional website firm like ours, you’ll not only make use of our expertise in the short-term, you’ll also be building a long-term relationship you can rely on when you need to adapt to new technologies, new services, and even new legal requirements. Get in touch and ask us for an estimate for your website project.
For more on the pitfalls of automated website creation, read “Own Your Publishing Workflow.”
To learn more about the importance of budgeting for success, read “You’re Going To Need A Bigger Budget.”