Building your own website or using basic website builders is much like buying furniture at IKEA. It seems a great, cost-effective idea, but is often a much more complex job than expected, with pitfalls you may not be aware of.
Don’t get me wrong, I love a good IKEA piece. But I can recall a time where I bought a brand-new cabinet to proudly store and showcase my treasured whiskey collection. It was affordable, looked stylish, seemed sturdy, and the instruction manual said it was “Easy to assemble for a single person to complete within 1.5 hours”.
Four hours later, I was standing in my living room next to my father, mother, and girlfriend, sweat dripping off my upper brow. I was frustrated and had uttered more than one expletive during the process. I wondered why it was taking all of us to build the cabinet and I was feeling very much defeated and in need of a whiskey!
Despite the cabinet door not closing properly and the unit being slightly lop-sided, we got there in the end. But I had my doubts:
- Is it steady enough to not fall apart on me later?
- Is it good enough to do what I want it to do?
- Should I have hired a professional instead?
All valid questions if you are considering building your own company website.
While the allure of a quick, affordable, and “easy” solution is always a temptation, this article outlines the risks behind using website builders and DIY web design templates to create a new website or landing page.
It also explains why investing in a professional website is key if your business relies heavily on its website for lead generation and conversion. It includes some tips to help you focus on what is important in your website design, page structure, hosting, and site architecture, amongst other things.
Before We Get Started…
If you run a start-up or small businesses, and budget is tight, or you need a quick website solution, we get it. This article is not for you.
But for established businesses where the quality, performance, and efficiency of your website has a direct correlation with the effectiveness of ongoing marketing campaigns and overall business prosperity, read on.
Table of Contents
Objectives Of This Guide
The objective of this article is to help you understand:
- important factors in building a website geared for user experience, conversion activity, and performance to ensure it aligns with your business objectives
- the value of optimising your website architecture to guarantee popular search engines can easily locate, index, and rank your website for organic reach
- the benefits of partnering with a company that lives and breathes website design
- the intricate experience such a company offers when designing a website that will perform to your expectations.
By the end of this article you will learn:
- the limitations of template-based website design services and how these often seem like a great idea at the time, but may lack the features and functions you need
- the risks associated with investing in cheap, DIY solutions that don’t cater to metrics and factors that ultimately determine the overall performance and ranking of your website, and why this directly correlates with your profitability
- why you should avoid those online ads which provide the false promise to “Build your own website in 5 simple steps,” since simple and easy don’t necessarily translate into quality and professional.
But First, What Is A ‘Website Builder’?
Before we jump into specifics, let’s take a moment to provide some context around what a website builder is and what it does, before looking at what it doesn’t do.
This article is not referring to web developers – coders who build websites for a living. It is about template-based website solutions. These provide users with an ability to buy a pre-made template with drag-and-drop features, plugins, and tools for an easy, low-cost website. No manual coding or programming is needed.
Templates are a common option for companies looking for a DIY website, as well as some web development agencies who steer away from customised, conversion-driven website designs for price or time-related reasons.
Examples Of Website Builders
Some of the most popular website builders include Wix, Squarespace, and Weebly. If you’re specifically looking for an e-Commerce website builder, BigCommerce and Shopify dominate the market alongside Magento or Volusion. Many of the common content management systems (CMSs) you might have heard of will often be categorised as both ‘website builders’ as well as coded websites due to the option to choose from templated solutions or custom website builds.
WordPress is the most popular CMS on the Internet, commanding a 60% market share of all websites in 2020. Why? Because it offers diversity to users by providing ‘drag and drop’ website builder templates, or it can be the foundation platform on which to design and build a custom-coded website.
There are also a host of other website builders creating some healthy competition in this space: Network Solutions, Site123, Jimdo, Webflow, Carrd, Format, Duda, HostGator, GoDaddy Website Builder, MailChimp, Constant Contact Website Builder, Domain.com Website Builder, BoldGrid, PageCloud, Strikingly, uCoz uKit, Simvoly, Webnode, Webydo and Big Cartel just to name a few. There is even a Google Website Builder that entices business owners to “Let Google build your first website for free.”
Templates Are Ideal For Smaller Businesses
When compared with custom websites, templated website builders are far less robust and a lot less complicated, which explains their price point. These template sites are more suited to smaller businesses with minimal transactional and lead generation requirements from their website. However, it is still essential for business owners, CEOs, and Marketing Managers to understand the pitfalls and limitations of website builders before embarking on a new website design.
Regardless of the size of your business, if it relies on your website generating traffic, leads, and conversions, using DIY website builders isn’t necessarily a good idea.
What’s The Problem?
Your business needs a website and that’s a fact.
According to Theme Isle, 84% of consumers believe a website gives you more credibility over companies who only use social media for their online presence.
In today’s world of digital connectivity, your website is the window into the soul of your business. It’s arguably one of the most essential tools for brand awareness, engagement, and eventual sales.
There are always risks with going for the easiest and cheapest option. Quality is usually determined by the level of complexity needed.
If you need to set up a website and are concerned about spending too much time or budget, web builders or template-based website design services can offer a fast and affordable option. But buyer beware! A cheap solution now might very well cost you a lot more in the long run once you become aware of some of the dangers.
Why Does This Matter?
You need to be aware of the limitations of website builders before you sign up for them.
As with any purchase decision, it pays to be conscious of what you’re buying before clicking that “purchase” button or signing that contract. There are a large number of limitations, risks, and potential compromises you may be faced with.
Sure, some of these risks may not apply to you, and yes, the quicker and easier option is often favoured by those who don’t have the time or money to devote to a full-scale website development project.
However, faster isn’t always better.
If you need the Rolls Royce of websites, you’ll need to invest the time, budget, and resources in order to make this happen.
Perhaps your customers may even demand this level of quality to progress through your sales funnel with complete confidence that they are spending their dollars with the most suitable company.
Most business owners are understandably not aware of the limitations and restrictions of website builders. They can affect key functions like search engine optimisation (SEO), conversion activity, and general user experience – all things that link to revenue-generating activity and sales opportunities.
Here at Living Online, we provide an SEO Audit service to help you identify and address the many website issues that can affect organic ranking and website quality score. These essential components ensure your site is ‘discoverable’ by all search engines and give you more website traffic, and conversions.
Templated websites can provide a quick and easy DIY solution. Make no mistake, however, website design is a complicated beast.
Business owners and marketing managers shouldn’t be managing website development. Instead they need to focus on fulfilling their leadership role while setting aside time for what matters most to their business. They don’t want to be bogged down in a complete DIY website build.
It’s best to leave the creation of a website to a professional web design agency with years of experience specialising in creating unique websites that work – and work well!
55 Risks, Limitations & Considerations
Still not convinced? Let’s get into the nitty gritty of the risk and limitations of template-based website builders for your next business website project.
This extensive list of 55 points split across 14 specific categories, gives a detailed overview of the biggest mistakes you don’t want to make, and how to avoid them.
Ready to go? Let’s get into it!
It Often Takes Longer Than You Think
- Like my IKEA example, creating a new website with a web builder or template always takes longer than expected. It assumes you are comfortable with handling a wide range of tasks that are native to web developers, like fitting text, optimising images, rolling websites live, and more. In most cases, people using DIY web builders don’t have this knowledge, and wouldn’t even know it until their site fails to perform.
- Template websites mean you take over creating and managing your website, taking you away from revenue-generating activity within your business. This is a risk to productivity and the opportunity cost of not driving your business growth.
- Troubleshooting moments can occur at the most inopportune times. You could find yourself in the height of your busiest sales season with issues you can’t solve given your limited expertise in this area. While a template may be faster to set up, when things go wrong you can disappear into a vortex of wasted time.
- If your website includes an eCommerce gateway (like Shopify, WooCommerce, Magento or Volusion) you will need to learn the program to understand how to use it. This can take a lot of time you may not have.
- Website builders are designed to have the essentials, but they often lack flexibility and key functionality. This can have a lasting effect on your campaign performance, giving you headaches when you try to fit and style your content the way you want.
- Since most of us can’t speak fluent HTML or CSS coding language, coders often restrict access to templates to reduce the chances of users breaking the site or moving outside standard parameters. This means you’re highly restricted if you ever want to customise or edit elements of the template. It could make a simple desired change, such as adding an extra link in the footer, become impossible.
- Website builders often provide a very standardised and generic navigation tree, or menu, rather than a custom browsing structure. This can make the website difficult and confusing to navigate for both website visitors and search engines.
- Some templates don’t provide the simple function of being able to ‘preview’ your content before it goes live. This not only creates significant challenges when trying to style, fit, and structure new content, but can look unprofessional if your customers come across a half-completed page while you are still working on it.
- Due to the limitations of some templates, they do not always function and appear properly across all website browsers, like Chrome, Safari and Firefox. This can be frustrating when you are working in the back-end of your website.
- Web builders also give you major FOMO (fear of missing out). It is less about what you want to do and more about what you are able to do within the template. If you want to implement complex marketing campaigns with multiple touchpoints and smooth user journeys, a template might constrain your creativity.
- Web builders and templated sites often lack the “wow factor” your business needs to convert browsers into paying customers. Since website visitors usually make up their mind within seconds of hitting your site, those first few moments are crucial in helping them decide to stay and check out your product or services. First impressions always count!
- Even if you do find a stylish looking design, most savvy users can still see that it’s a template to the cookie-cutter layouts. This projects a lower quality and questionable value and is a risk you shouldn’t be willing to take.
- It is not uncommon for template sites to be set up using Flash, a multimedia technology that enables animations and interactive content to feature across websites. Since search engines struggle to read Flash, they won’t be able to find your site, nor will your potential customers. If this isn’t concerning enough, Flash is also set to become obsolete and is already being phased out by popular design software like Adobe.
- Templated websites often suffer from design restrictions that prevent conversion rate optimisation (CRO). They have a number of limitations with how content is positioned, showcased, and used throughout the website. This gives you less opportunity to change the position of key elements like contact forms or call to action buttons. You ultimately get less flexibility when optimising for website traffic and ongoing campaigns, which hampers your possible results.
- You may also think you have a good handle on what template design would resonate best with your audience base. If you’re not a designer, however, the risk of choosing the wrong template can have a significant financial effect on your business for years to come.
To explore the value of a carefully considered web design process, browse our blog: Web Design Process: Unpacking The 5 Stages Of Optimal Design Workflow & Methodology
Minimal SEO Functionality
- One of the most crucial elements of any website is the way it can be indexed via popular search engines like Google. This helps your website show up in search results for key terms related to the products and services your prospective customers are looking for. Google isn’t a huge fan of templates or website builders due to their severe lack of SEO capabilities, making your website much harder to find for customers as well as search engines.
- DIY templates often restrict updates to XML sitemaps. This limits the ability for search engines to find and index new website pages you add to your blogs for example. This can negatively affect your website’s ability to rank for keywords related to your products, services or industry.
- Templated websites also lack the essential microdata elements search engines use to rank websites. Your organic search traffic suffers, you receive less browsers on your site, and ultimately lose revenue opportunities.
- Templated websites often load slowly due to a less robust framework or structure. This has a lasting effect on the user experience and the quality score of your website as determined by search engines. Unless you’re an SEO whiz who understands how to hack a template in order to increase site speeds, you’re at the mercy of your template’s current capabilities.
- Templates often have a limit to the number of pages available on their standard plan. Unless you are willing to fork out more dollars, this limits you in how much content you are able to provide and is critical for SEO factors such as your website’s quality score and domain authority.
Why is this important?
Websites with 10-15 landing pages generate 55% more leads on average compared with websites using less than 10 landing pages. This is particularly true for B2B companies.
- Website builders are also restricted when trying to edit canonical tags, that help clearly define which content and URL are the main versions for your site when being indexed by search engines. If search engines can’t work out which page is the ‘true’ version, they rank other websites higher.
Poor Mobile Optimisation
- Many website builders struggle to provide an adequate mobile browsing experience. This can lead to significant reductions in conversion rates, lead generation, customer satisfaction, and general user experience.
- Why is this important? Because the mobile browsing experience that your website provides is critical in how search engines rank your website.
- Even though DIY website builders promise you can adjust content or move components within their templates, the reality is there is minimal flexibility to make significant adjustments to fit content across the hundreds, if not thousands, of mobile devices on the market. This restricts what you can and can’t do.
- Understanding the essential components of mobile optimisation can be a tricky process. If you use a template or DIY website builder, this process is left up to you to figure out yourself. This can be both time consuming and complicated when you want to cross-check all your content to ensure the mobile experience is optimal.
Over the past 12 months, 50.13% of all global website traffic came from mobile traffic, with Australia clocking in at 53%, so mobile optimisation has never been more crucial. Source: StatsCounter
Unexpected Additional Costs
- Beware of the long-term costs of DIY website builders. They often come with a monthly subscription either for the website template, themes, plugins or integrations, which can all add up considerably over time.
- If you run an update for your plugins and something breaks on the website – a fairly common occurrence – you will be faced with potentially expensive bills to fix the issue. On the other hand, a good web design agency will provide support and ongoing maintenance for these issues.
- Despite there being a series of add-ons and plugins available to use on templated websites, they can be costly and difficult to add to the site after it has gone live, unless included in your initial template purchase.
Common FAQ: What Do Website Builders Actually Cost?
Website builders are priced on a subscription-based model. Depending on the functionality, features, support, and add-ons you need, most monthly subscriptions range between AUD15-40. If you run an eCommerce website, be expected to pay towards the higher end of this range as these are often charged on the premium monthly subscription rate.
Common FAQ: Are Package Bundles Always Cheaper?
No. Website builders often provide packages to entice customers to combine all their website services into one place. This can increase your costs. For example, a package bundle may include hosting, a website domain and an SSL certificate. Yet, you can end up paying more for each of these individual elements compared with setting them up separately. You are ultimately paying for the “convenience factor”.
Common FAQ: What Are Plugins/Add-Ons And Why Do I Need Them?
These are essential software components that give your website specific functions and features for customisation and automation. Plugins, or add-ons, include forms on your website to capture leads, others are used for site security, while some are used for website speed and performance. For example:
- WPRocket (From $49/year) – to boost web performance for WordPress sites
- Gravity Forms (From $59/year) – to manage contact forms and lead generation
- WooCommerce Shipping (From $79/year) – to facilitate Australia Post shipping
- Formidable Forms (From $81.95/year) – to integrate your site with MailChimp
- Cloudflare (From $240/year) – to provided premium site security and reliability
The above figures are starting prices. They can shoot up quickly depending on the complexity of your website, resulting in hundreds or thousands of dollars a year in subscriptions and maintenance fees.
Bear in mind that pricing is often represented in US dollars, so it can turn out to be more expensive than you first think.
Form Tracking Is Convoluted
- Templated websites often have limitations on the number of people who are notified when people complete forms. This makes it hard to keep multiple team members in the loop and informed of regular sales activity. You can find a way around this by integrating your site with third-party providers like Automate and Zapier, but this requires more set up time and added subscription costs.
- Automate subscriptions start from USD $39.00 a month when billed annually
- Zapier subscriptions range from USD $19.99 a month when billed annually
- Adjusting or adding new fields to forms can break template websites, sending you into panic mode to try and fix before your customers or Google notice your website page is down, or your contact form is broken. And if you are the only one managing your website, you might forget to test your forms and not even realise they don’t work – costing you valuable leads and revenue.
- There are some templated website builders that don’t let you use the same form on multiple pages. You need to set up a form for every single page, including tracking through programs like Google Analytics or Google Tag Manager. This can be laborious if your business is running multiple lead generation campaigns across multiple touchpoints.
- Custom-built websites like WordPress usually have the option to store leads in the back end of the website, like a central database of enquiries. Some website builders do not offer this, so you need to map your contact forms to third-party software like Google Docs to accurately store lead data. Just another thing you’ll need to set up. If you don’t have a backup of your leads and something happens to your email, you could lose the information of those interested prospects forever.
Inability To Add New Features Or Integrations
- Limited integration capabilities mean you may struggle to link your website with third-party tools such as a customer relationship management (CRM) system, which can restrict things such as database management and automations. It also maintains a clear divide between your website, and the sales and marketing departments of your business. The lack of automation costs time, and time is money.
- Your template may do everything you need at the time you choose it. When the market changes, however, and you need to add new site features or functions like integrated event booking widgets, eBook downloads, or pop-up prompts to register for an upcoming webinar, you will have to work within the restrictions of your template. Your business could stagnant through being unable to adapt to the changing landscape.
Image Optimisation Is All Up To You
- It’s time-consuming to source high-quality imagery to showcase your brand and website in a strong, positive, and professional manner. While this is often done for you by website design companies, when you work with a website builder or template, it’s all up to you.
- Another thing left up to you is image optimisation, crucial for organic search traffic. Without proper training or tools to do it yourself, this can slow down the development process and add further costs and complexity to your website build.
- If you’ve never used photo-editing software before, you may be in for a shock when it comes time to crop, edit, and fit an extensive library of images on your website. It takes time and often needs specific photo editing software, adding to your outgoing expenses and subscriptions. If you’re getting someone to build you a custom professional website, it is likely the team of website experts will take care of this step for you.
Common FAQ: What Are Some Typical Examples Of Image Optimisation?
- Naming your images correctly and with adequate titles, captions and descriptions.
- Using alt-tags for accessibility and so Google indexes your images.
- Ensuring the crop and image dimensions suit your website layout.
- Reducing the file size of images so they do not slow down your website experience.
- Implementing image sitemaps to help Google identify images from galleries or pop-ups.
- Optimising thumbnails so they look great and don’t slow page loads.
Website Builders Dilute Your Brand
- Since no business is ever the same as the next, templates often fail to accurately represent the quality and professionalism of your brand. You are left working within the confines of their template without being able to fully align the style with your unique business proposition.
- Templates are designed to be downloaded by hundreds of users and businesses. There is a chance that your website could look a lot like one of your competitors. This is not great for business and could even lead to legal ramifications.
- You may need to share the website domain name with the web builder company or template developer, for example, firstname.lastname@example.org. This looks unprofessional when showcasing your brand. Changing this to a custom one such as www.businessabc.com usually means another fee.
- Some templates also insist on having the developer’s logo visibly included in the standard template. The only way to remove this is by paying a fee to upgrade to the next level of subscription or hosting package. This all adds up to the overall cost – you can see how this “cheap” alternative starts becoming very costly.
If you think your website isn’t hitting the mark with your customers, check out our article ‘Does Your Website Reflect Your Brand And The Value You Provide?’
Heavy Reliance On External Providers
- When selecting a template and effectively ‘signing up’ for a subscription to a website builder service, you rely on the template owner to help you for the lifetime of your website’s existence. Should their circumstances ever change, you may be left without any ongoing support or troubleshooting options for your chosen template.
- If new pricing is introduced for hosting, plugin subscriptions, site maintenance or other fees, you won’t have much choice other than to pay. After all, the provider completely controls the template and website. You should always ensure you own the site, and have all the logins and full access rights.
- If something does go wrong and the developer or template owner is on holiday, busy with other clients, disappears off the map, or closes their business, you could be left helpless and without a functioning website. A scary notion for any business owner.
- There are also some website builders that can’t export site data to other platforms. If you ever want to change domains or move your site, you’ll need to start from scratch.
Hosting & Ownership Risks
- If you’re finding your website is running slow and you want to change to a faster hosting provider, website builders require you to only host the site with them. If you decide to leave, you’ll have to build a new site.
- There is always a small risk that the website builder or template developer could shut down your site at their own discretion. This can be for things like violations of user agreements or failure to follow their terms. Your business products or services could “go dark” overnight like flicking off a light switch.
- If your site has been set up via a website builder, the chances are you’ll be sharing server resources and bandwidth with other companies. This can drastically reduce your general website speed, particularly during peak sales periods such as Black Friday or Christmas Sales.
A Lack Of Tech Support
- Not all template providers offer ongoing support so make sure you double-check this before signing up, otherwise if something breaks or the site goes down, you’ll need to put on your IT support hat to sort out the issues yourself.
- Launching a website can be complex, and DIY templated sites often don’t help with this crucial process, leaving you to set it up yourself.
- It’s easy to unintentionally “break” a site when performing plugin updates or making web changes, causing your site to go offline. It’s important to ensure your website partner is available at all times to assist with troubleshooting – something that is quite uncommon with web builders often located in different time zones to yours.
- Templates lack robust web maintenance services to keep your site up to date, leaving it vulnerable to cyber-attacks and hacking. We all know what happened with the Panama papers where the WordPress Revolution Slider Plugin was to blame for one of the most high-profile hacks of all time, so beware of becoming the next target. Some DIY website builders automatically update plugins and templates for you. However, these can very easily break the site and your website could be driving away or losing potential customers.
You’re Kind Of On Your Own
- Have you studied website design and have several years of experience setting up websites of all shapes and sizes? The web designers in the Living Online team of coders certainly has. When it comes to using a website template or DIY builder, you’re really on your own with delivering a highly complex project that can make or break online business performance.
- While the process of embedding video, setting up HTML links or adding eCommerce functions may seem straightforward enough, if something goes wrong and you need to troubleshoot, you will be expected to use forums or online research to find solutions because you are the website owner and project manager.
- You need to understand the use of coding language in order to make edits or adjustments in some templates. Even the slightest error when adjusting code can result in your website breaking or a page going down on your live website. Aside from affecting your ongoing campaigns and browsing experience, this can also attract Google penalties, which can translate into notable drops in search engine rankings that take time to fix.
- Ever rolled a website live? If not, you’ll need to have a knowledge of changing nameservers, updating MX records and pointing your hosting to the right services. This is all assumed knowledge when using website builders.
What’s The Solution?
Don’t get me wrong, I don’t think all website builders are useless and worth avoiding – far from it. The solution simply depends on your specific website requirements.
Every business is different and therefore there is no ‘one size fits all’ approach to website design. While a one-page website may work for a company with a niche product and an extensive target market, it may be largely insufficient for a company with a diverse list of products within a highly targeted niche audience base.
As mentioned at the start of this article, website builders can be the perfect solution for a huge variety of business models, which explains their meteoric rise to fame over the last decade.
So, when is it best to use a website builder compared to a custom website?
Let’s take a look at this below.
Website builders are perfect for businesses that …
- are just starting out and looking to set up a website quickly
- have a limited budget to invest into a website design or landing page
- want a simple website design with basic functions and plugins
- don’t rely heavily on their website for online sales and conversions
- are seeking an affordable solution for a website or landing page
- have minimal integration requirements on their website
- require infrequent website or troubleshooting support
- are comfortable working within the restrictions of the template they choose
- generate minimal traffic to their website with a low bandwidth requirement
- don’t have a huge need for tracking multiple digital campaigns
- only have a small portfolio of products and services on offer
- are happy to be in charge of creating their own website from start to finish.
If this sounds like you, it’s worth checking out the 6 Best Drag and Drop WordPress Page Builders Compared (2020) for an introduction into some great options to get started, or you could even check out the Google Web Builder to let Google build your first website for free.
Custom-built websites are perfect for businesses who …
- rely heavily on their website for sales and lead generation
- have a comprehensive portfolio of products or services to market
- market a premium product that demands a high-quality browsing experience
- regularly implement new features, functions and integrations on their website
- run multiple advertising digital marketing campaigns to drive website traffic
- wish to track multiple website goals to regularly optimise conversions
- prioritise key SEO metrics like quality score, domain authority and loading speed
- want to ensure their website is fully optimised for search engines and mobile usage
- have a high level of plugins that need regular maintenance and updates
- want the ability to host or manage their website with any supplier they choose
- prefer a fully custom website that is uniquely aligned with the specifics of their brand
- don’t want to compromise on any of the 55 issues raised in this article.
If this is you, it’s time to start looking at finding a website development company that can deliver on all website design elements, and more.
Choosing The Right Website Partner
Choosing the right website specialist company is critical. You’ll need to ensure you align with the right partner to work through the complexities of your project.
You may even wish to seek out agencies with an award-winning track record of website design success, like the digital marketing and website awards we’ve achieved here at Living Online over the years.
There are a variety of website types available on the market, ranging from static, dynamic, CMS-built, and eCommerce websites, through to simple portfolio websites. It pays to understand the difference between these, and which is best suited to your needs.
Some agencies will steer you towards using a specific style of website. Here at Living Online we are technology agnostic. We can work with whatever requirements you have without any bias toward a particular style. This is something to look out for when choosing the best fit for your upcoming website project.
It is also essential to ensure that whenever you work with a company to build a website, you own that website at all times and have full admin access and logins to make any changes such as upgrading your hosting to a different provider, or partnering with a new digital marketing agency.
This can be a tricky process as some agencies make it hard as they do not want to lose clients.
At Living Online, our standard practice is to only ever request admin logins for any work we do on client websites. This ensures you are always the site owner with complete control should you want to move away from our services. Our clients love us, so this extremely rare!
What Are The Benefits?
It’s hard to place an exact value on the importance of a quality website.
They have always been the core component of online presence for all businesses, acting as the shop front for customers researching your products and services, while looking for reasons to spend their hard-earned dollars with you.
With more than 70,000 search queries on Google every second, there is no question that customers are increasingly turning to search engines in order to find products or services. Without a quality website, you’ll struggle to show up in search results and your customers won’t be able to find you.
The higher the quality of your website, the more your customers will view you as a reputable business provider, with symptomatic benefits that translate into more sales, engagement, referrals and overall customer satisfaction. By investing in a custom-built quality website that is ingrained and integrated across every phase of your sales funnel, the more you stand to gain.
A quality website will also last longer, giving you more bang for your buck in the long run, and firming foundations on which to build and scale your business to reach for new heights and goals.
What Should You Do?
Start by first determining what kind of website you want.
You should then be able to decide if a website builder would be sufficient, or if a custom-built website is the way to go.
From here, you can begin formulating the functions, elements, styles and integrations you need, which will help to scope out your website project.
If you’ve not done this before, a good first step is to analyse the websites of your competitors to see what they look like and how they function. Pay specific attention to the way they capture contact information and how they position their products or services.
Then look beyond your industry and spend some time browsing websites to get a feel for the styles you like – and of course the websites you don’t like – to give your eventual website partner some guidance on your preferred design preference. With 2 billion websites currently on the world wide web, you’ve got a decent pool of examples to look at, so go nuts!
Once all of these steps are complete, you will then have a “brief” of sorts to present when shortlisting potential partners who can deliver your project.
Working With Living Online
If you’ve decided you need a custom website tailored to your exact digital requirements, and you’ve figured out that you want a website design agency who can deliver, the natural next step is to align yourself with the right partner.
If you prefer a highly skilled, reliable, flexible and talented agency partner, our team here at Living Online are most definitely the perfect fit. We have years of experience working with clients from a range of industries, having delivered custom award-winning websites of all shapes and sizes. All our website design services are delivered in-house by our team of digital marketing experts who live and breathe website design.
We work across stages of the project, from gathering your requirements and conceptualising designs, through to expert coding, styling and testing. Our team is also on hand to help with copywriting should you need it.
We’d love to hear from you so we welcome you to contact Living Online for a discussion on your future website project.