The process of having a website created for your business is most often a daunting one for you and your company. Websites are more and more frequently becoming your first viewing from a potential customer, making it an obvious route to market for your business, whether you are established or new. In this article we will be looking at the options you have when looking for a website, particularly comparing a custom built website from a development company with an online website builder.
Why should I have a website?
Websites offer you the ability to promote your business to every person in the world with internet access. If you own a shop front, this is something you would never achieve, even in the best location imaginable. Admittedly your product or service isn’t ideal for every single person, but by being visible to more people, you have much more chance of business opportunities occurring. Some of the worlds most used websites such as Facebook, Twitter, Ebay and Amazon do not even have a shop, and yet they are names in every household. This is because of their websites.
The internet can be the biggest marketing tool for any company, like those names mentioned above. Without a website you are missing out on business opportunities and leads, meaning your business could be doing better, and that’s what we all want, right?
What is a web designer & developer?
A web designer is a person or team which look at your brand, with any current material you may have such as business cards, logo’s and brochures to incorporate your brand values into a website.
The reason web designers do this is simple.
You see thousands of brands every day, be it walking past a shop window, wrapped taxis, leaflets and more. If your brand doesn’t match throughout your different materials, potential customers won’t recognise the fact they have seen your brand again, and will not acknowledge it. For instance at Visualise, all of our materials represent the same brand, so when someone see’s our brand time and time again, they will acknowledge the brand, which is essential for business.
But then the web developer..?
The web developer will build the website concept made from the web design team. This is built custom for the needs of that specific website. This means the code is very neat, something Search Engines love, which we need! Learn about why we want Search Engines to love us. This whole process makes your website look and feel great! This is the process of any web design and development team.
What is a web builder then?
Web builders are websites that you can build websites on, you sign up for fixed monthly fees and use their software. You then upload images, do some clicking, some dragging and you have a live website. This is a very quick way of getting a website up and running very quickly. However they are relatively limited with what you can do with them.
So which one do I choose for my business?
Many factors effect this decision. There is not a one size fits all for every business. Like everything else the many factors make the decision of choosing a web design agency or web building software very different for every business. Below I am going to go through the top 4 factors, to help you decide where you sit with each one. (If you need more than 4 to decide, simply subscribe for the full list!)
1. What do you want your website to achieve?
The first step of getting a website is deciding what you want to achieve. The things with websites is it can be used for so many different things! Do you want to capture contact details so you can follow up, using it as a lead generation tool,E-Commerce so you can use your website to sell your products online, maybe to educate potential customers on your services. All of these can be achieved through a website, above is only a couple. With a website the possibilities are truly endless. If you are only educating clients, you could manage with web builder websites, if you want to achieve any of the others, strongly consider a web design agency.
Do you want your website to work? No doubt on the internet recently you have seen references to ‘Mobilegeddon’ – could this affect you? Mobile searches will overtake desktop this year. If you want to work mobile searches to your advantage, your website needs to be able to look good on every device, this is something online site builders cannot offer you. Web and Graphic design companies like Visualise can make this effective for your business.
3. Do you want to be seen in Search Engine results?
Earlier I spoke about how web design companies make code neat, which is something search engines love. Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) is important if you want to be seen in Search Engines, a service which is more and more important for businesses with an online profile. Web builder websites cannot offer this service on the websites they build to the quality of web developers. When Visualise build websites, we take optimisation very seriously, as we know it will help you and your business.
4. Do you want your website to represent you?
Web design companies will work until your website represents your brand, from content, to images to layout. We focus on layout per device, so your personally branded website looks great and represents you on any phone, tablet or desktop. Web builder platforms can only offer you one frame for a desktop, with a couple offering one size for mobile devices too.
So consider all of the above when you are on the market for a website. Visualise web and graphic design offers a full brand design to development package. With a fully responsive website, Search Engine Optimisation, custom graphic design for offline materials and more.