WordPress and Drupal are two of the preferred options when selecting a CMS to build a website for your business; with a combined market share of over 40% of sites in the web, there are thousands of free and premium theme template options available that you can select and buy for your website design.
Each day more and more companies struggle with the decision of building their own website using either one of these free or low-cost templates or hiring an agency to develop their site. Below there is a list of 5 reasons why it might not be such a good idea to do it yourself and why it might be better to hire a professional design company to build your website.
More time and money
Every hour you spend working on your site is an hour lost developing the rest of your business, and this is what you excel at, your business.
Even when using a theme bought online, you will have to spend several hours, installing the theme or working on the design, installing plugins, creating pages, selecting images, creating content, adding SEO, page optimization and performance, plus many other tasks that are still necessary to complete your website.
If you are developing the site by yourself or even with a freelance developer, the above list is just the tip of the iceberg of tasks you will have to deal with, and even if you are good at one or two of them, you might lack knowledge on other parts of the process. On the other hand, working with an agency, will give you access to a group of professionals with specific skill sets, who excel in each of these tasks to take your website to the next level.
Commercial templates, usually require, out of the box, multiple plugins and widgets; because their focus is to get to a bigger audience, they usually have 10 different header styles, 10 different footers, 20 or more in page widgets that, even after you select the one you will be using in your site, there will still be code for the other 19 styles, embedded in the html, js and css, affecting the performance and speed of your site.
Adding to this, you probably will end up with 10 or more plugins that make the template work or fit your needs.
Working with a design company, will provide you with a design that fits your business and will have only the elements that you actually need, making your site faster to load which will improve your SEO on the long run.
As we discussed in the previous point, most of the themes out there make use of multiple plugins to match the design sold. After spending some time installing, setting up and making work the required plugins they will need to be constantly updated, and you probably are not an expert when you must deal with errors and version compatibility in the future.
These and other problems might lead you to make the decision to not updating your site and plugins, leaving it vulnerable to attacks and more likely to crash.
Working with a design company will take all these frustrations out of your hands, avoiding crashes and downtime. A design company can be there once a project is completed and provide on-going support.
SEO (Search Engine Optimization)
SEO is what makes your site rank better within search engines. Most of the templates out there were made by a designer with no SEO in mind so they are not SEO optimized, they use header tags to apply styling instead of semantic, they use images without proper naming or descriptions, no page index , redirects, etc.
If you are not comfortable with SEO you can make mistakes that will hurt your site.
A professional design company will work with you to make sure your site is SEO optimized and will use the best practices and tricks to make your site rank better.
Lastly, most of the cookie cutter designs are made to attract bigger audiences, and are not built for your specific business requirements, leaving you with a boring, squared, limited design.
Design is about building TRUST with your customers, is not just how it looks, but how it makes people feel, act, experience. It should be the way you get your message to the world.
A design company will work with you to find the design that tells your story and that is customized for your business needs.
These and many other reasons should be considered before you decide how to build your own site. Even though hiring a design company certainly has its advantages, only you know what the vision is you have for your site, and what requirements and constrains will drive this project.
Geronimo Gando is a Senior Software Developer at JP Enterprises Unlimited. He is married with 3 little boys. Born in Ecuador, he made Pittsburgh his home in 2008.