Why is a custom designed website the best for your SME?

There are a lot of “build your own website” or “free website” platforms being offered by online companies out there on the market today. Presenting new store owners with the temptation of being able to build their own websites at an extremely low cost or better yet, free of charge.

However, why hasn’t everyone jumped onto the “FREE WEBSITE” bandwagon? In this article we’ll explain why it’s best to stick with the professionals rather than building your own website. We’ll cover the cost implications and possible sales drops your company can experience if you try building a website yourself. Here are a couple questions you might be asking before starting your website.

1. Is a free website really free?

You will notice if you Google “free website designs”, there will be a wide range of results for you to choose from. The problem comes in when you sign up with these “free” website services, you will start noticing the limitations of the platform and how many of them need you to pay for the “premium versions”, which end up costing more than initially anticipated – especially if you thought it was for free.

The other thing to keep in mind before embarking on your “free” website endeavor is that the website doesn’t actually belong to you. When you create a website on platforms such as Wix, Godaddy or Weebly you will soon realise that the website technically belongs to those companies. This means if you ever want to upgrade your website or expand on the sites capabilities, or even migrate the website to a different service provider, you will end up hitting a wall. So, all the time and effort you put in to creating your site will fall apart and this results in having to start again from scratch.

2. Is a professionally designed website needed?

The key benefit of having a professionally designed website is having a site that meets your design requirements and your business goals. For starters, a professional designer focuses on creating a website that not only adds to brand recognition and corporate identity, but also focuses on user experience. If a visitor  doesn’t know how to navigate through your website in an intuitive way, then the odds are they won’t stay long. This ultimately affects your ranking on Google.

A professional designer also adds value to your website by “future-proofing” it so that your site is adaptable for current and future methods of viewing. You will be able to get a website design that is scalable and can grow alongside your business. Another benefit, of course, is the financial one. By using a professional and experienced designer you are investing in your busieness and in essence paying for the knowledge and experience that has been gained with time. For example, an experienced designer uses a marketing strategy embedded into the design process to help the company generate leads via the website platform which boosts online visibility and increases the potential to close a sale.

3. Can I save money getting a website designed by a professional?

The answer is yes. Think of it this way, when you build your website via a free online platform there are a lot of things that can go wrong like. A few things to keep in mind:

  1. A free website platform generally provides an unprofessional URL (website address)
  2. Your website loads far too slowly due to these platforms generally storing up to a thousand websites on one server, which damages your user experience and SEO
  3. Limited customising tools, which means paying for premium options. These premium options can add up and cost more than what you bargained for
  4. A complete lack of security, which opens your website to malicious hacker attacks which could end up damaging your online image. In the digital age, hacking is on the rise and shows no sign of stopping so you really want to have a safe and secure site
  5. Poor credibility amongst your users, especially if they feel you went cheap on your company image because what does that say about your product and service offerings

With an experienced designer your website is built for the long haul. In other words, the website will be built with added security to prevent website hacks. If your site does get hacked, then they provide support or have backups, which means your site does not stay vulnerable for long. The site is built by them which means they customise the website to match your company image as well as your design expectations. The website is also designed for mobile compatibility meaning you only need one website which can be displayed across all platforms. Mobile usage is surpassing desktop usage so having a responsive and mobile-friendly site is incredibly important.

Ultimately, a professional designer saves you money in the long term by getting it right the first time and creating a sustainable and effective website for your business.

The bottom line

There is no shortage of marketing professionals and experienced designers out there who have made it clear by providing you with countless facts as to why it’s a bad idea to go for the “free” options. This is ultimately because of experience, we have all seen the damage a free platform can do to our customers and how they have ended up spending more time and money simply to fix a logo or a website that was done using said platforms.

A thing to keep in mind when building your website is that when you go for a professional, you are paying for their marketing / design experience and can trust that they have your best interests at heart, as opposed to a free platform which solely provides the illusion that what they create will benefit you.

Get in touch today to find out how Cognite can build you a custom website that is professional, sustainable and meets all your design requirements and business goals.

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