From free website platforms and contractor web design services, to professional agency built websites, there are many options to help you get started. Here is a real-life non-biased guide to help you understand how much website design services should cost. This article will discuss the pros and cons of building a website for “free” with DIY software, hiring a freelancer / independent contractor, and lastly working with a professional marketing company experienced with designing high performance websites for attracting clients and increasing sales.
Getting a Website That Costs You “Nothing”
Let’s start from the bottom with free DIY software. Many companies like Wix allow you to build a website essentially for “free.” However, these websites aren’t really free as you have to pay for hosting, use only their selection of tools, and sometimes even include an advertisement on your website for them. Why should you promote another business on your company’s website for free?
Another example is SquareSpace. With SquareSpace, you have the freedom to use their DIY software and cookie cutter templates for your business, with no upfront costs and just a simple fee every month. You can fill your new website with content and images as you please. The downfall here is that you may not know which content or images will work the best. The result? Your website will not rank on Google or appear in organic search results. Potential customers will not find your site, unless you pay to promote it. Unless you’re an English major or a writing expert, your website copy may not be persuasive and the content may not reflect your brand. You might also be missing out on the user experience, search engine optimization (SEO), and professionalism with your DIY website.
Are Cookie Cutter Websites That Bad?
Websites are a source of credibility for you and your business. DIY templates and website software can be the right option for you if you have background knowledge in website design. Simply Google search “website design builder” and select the option you prefer. We like SquareSpace the best out of the DIY software options. Aside from the website design, building a website can take countless hours. From planning, to designing, to hosting and optimizing content, completing a website can take anywhere from 10 to 60 hours, depending on your experience level. How much is your time worth? Time is money and free websites can turn out to be low in dollar cost but high in time costs.
The Price for Hiring Freelancers and Contractors to Build Your Site
Freelancers and contractors can be found on sites like Upwork or local directories like Craigslist and Kijiji. Finding the right person can take more time than it’s worth but it’s not impossible. Ask the right questions to make sure the person has the capacity to take on your work, will deliver on their promises, and won’t scam you of your money.
Let’s say you hire your friend because you trust them, like them, and they can build a good website. You’ve seen their portfolio and they charge you $50 per hour. 40 hours later, you receive a new website with some limitations but it’s good enough for a starter site. Your overall spend is $2000, which is a good deal for a website using best practices for UX and SEO. But what are the best practices? Let’s hope your friend knows this! When searching for a freelancer or contractor, it’s important that the website designer knows how to do proper on-page optimization (dedicated landing pages, keyword focused titles, URLS, and metas, etc.), installs Google Webmaster and analytics tools, optimizes for speed, and all other factors needed for search engine ranking. It’s a big list!
Is a Professional Marketing Company the Better Option?
Do you want your website to attract new customers and increase sales? An online marketing company with experience in website design can custom build a website to meet your goals. Although these professional agency services will cost more than using a DIY template from SquareSpace, you will not have to spend time researching or designing your own website. This can save you from a lot of frustration and headaches. You’ll receive proper on-page optimization to ensure your website ranks on search engines like Google. 91% of users don’t go past page 1 of Google search results. If your website doesn’t appear on the first page, potential customers may not find your business. What’s the point of having a website if your business can’t be found?
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