Websites are an essential part of your business operations as it provides company history, details about products and services, location and hours of operation, and much more. Though it’s important to have, it can be overwhelming to choose where to even start. There are several options to build and maintain your website at your disposal, including the do-it-yourself (DIY) route with website builders, website freelancers, or an experienced website development agency (like TM).
Why Hiring an Agency to Build Your Website Makes the Most Sense
Website builders are a desirable option because of the minimal costs associated with them, at a monthly rate, along with the DIY mentality. For example, Wix’s unlimited business plan costs around $23 per month plus fees for hosting and domain name. Compare that with hiring an agency. You could shell out anywhere between $3,000 and $10,000 for a not-so-complex website with a team behind them for support. Agency pricing differs depending on their reputation, experience, and past and current clients.
Given that comparison, it seems like a straightforward option: DIY website builders win. They are cost-effective upfront, and you can get a website up in no time. That’s how they pitch themselves too. A drag-and-drop interface with hundreds of pre-built themes that you can customize. Sounds great, right? But that’s only a very small part of the big picture. Let’s see the bigger picture and see if DIY website builders still make sense for your business.
DIY Website Builders vs. Web Development Agencies
1. The Design Itself
The internet is a crowded place. Very often, your website is the first thing that your potential customers will see. DIY builders, such as Wix, have pre-built themes. You can drag and drop blocks of design and start creating your website. With pre-built themes, you can start to look like everybody else. There are customization options available, but those are very limited. There is only so much you can change in pre-built themes unless you get under the hood and tweak the code, which is also bloated and bad for SEO. That beats the whole point of DIY, which is that it is quick and requires no coding knowledge.
When you hire an agency to build your website for you, the sky’s the limit. You get access to experienced developers and designers. You can customize every little detail of your website or online store and optimize it for speed and search engines. Your website immediately becomes a differentiator from your competition.
2. End-User Experience
The importance of customer experience has come into sharp focus after COVID-19 as online and digital experiences play a huge role. With global restrictions, consumers have flocked online for everything. This has resulted in a change in their buying habits, and that’s here to stay. If your business cannot deliver a seamless customer experience online, customers will find another company who can.
With DIY website builders, there’s not much control over the end-user experience. That includes technical details, including your page load speeds, optimization across devices, and design responsiveness. When you hire an agency to build your website, you have complete control over the end-user experience.
You can even request custom plugins that elevate visitors’ experience. For example, customized AI-enabled chatbots that can handle customer queries. Or you can add a custom plugin that reduces the size of images on your website and improves page load speeds.
3. Customer Support
Your website will run into troubleshooting issues, especially if you have a dynamic website with lots of content. Adding even a small element to an existing website can send everything knocking. Customer support is critical to fixing any issues, so customers have a seamless experience.
DIY website builders offer very limited customer support if any. Very often, you will have to go through troubleshooting guides to fix an issue. It can be frustrating. Some DIY builders, such as Wix, offer full-time customer support, but it is expensive. You purchase dedicated customer support with Wix’s enterprise plan, which is an additional $500 per month from your website plan, hosting, and domain name fees mentioned above and other unplanned fees.
When you hire an agency to build your website, dedicated customer support comes with the package. Agencies are able to offer personalized, priority customer support to their clientele.
When you hire an agency to build your website, you get much more value compared to DIY website builders. What about freelance web developers as an alternative? Let’s take a look.
Freelance Web Developers vs. Web Development Agencies
Freelancers have limited resources and time. They will have specialized domain knowledge in certain languages and that’s it. That poses two challenges. If you are building a particularly complex website, you will need to engage more than one freelancer. That can become a logistical nightmare and backfire on your web development process. For example, you may find a freelancer that is only able to take care of basic on-page SEO but not the technical aspect.
Cybersecurity is another critical factor, which is not discussed very often. An SSL certificate is your first line of defense against cyber attacks. With hackers getting more sophisticated, you need more than that. A broken plugin on your website, for example, can expose your customers’ data. Any data breach results in a loss of consumer trust, and that can have a detrimental effect on the reputation (and bottom line) of your business.
Web development agencies have more resources at their disposal. An experienced agency will also be more in sync with SEO and digital marketing trends. You can, often, engage the same agency for web development and digital marketing. At TM, we handle both of those aspects for our clients, and there are end-to-end services available. You don’t have to engage with several vendors for your digital presence needs, therefore managing your online presence becomes so much easier.
Additionally, when you hire an agency to build your website, you get dedicated resources that make sure your website is secure against online attacks. That also answers an often asked question — why website maintenance is important.
Why Website Maintenance Is Important?
Other than the all-important security factor, there are three more compelling reasons to pay an agency for website maintenance:
1. Consistent User Experience
Broken links, website crashes, slow load speeds — there is a lot that can go wrong with your website every day, and any website error costs you business. If consumers are unable to log on to your website, they are not going to stick around. When you pay an agency for website maintenance, you ensure a consistent user experience for your visitors. Consistency in user experience translates to dollars in revenue.
2. Best-in-Class Hosting
Your hosting provider is one of the key factors that determine end-user experience. You want reliable website hosting that is able to handle your inbound traffic. As your website grows, your agency may switch your hosting plans to their dedicated providers. All that is taken care of without any loss of crucial data when you have an agency taking care of website maintenance for you.
3. Content and Design Updates
How do you bring visitors to your website? You run marketing campaigns. Every campaign will need relevant supporting content on your website. Think dedicated landing pages, special holiday promotions, and freebies for lead generation. You will need someone to upload new content to your website and tweak your design to cater to your marketing goals. With an agency handling your website maintenance and digital marketing, all that comes bundled as part of the package. You won’t need to hire any extra resources.
How Much Does Website Maintenance Cost?
Assisting our clients as an all-in-one agency, our website maintenance retainer costs are based on billable hours of work completion and vary by client. Our rates are affordable, and we recommend booking a Discovery call with our Sales team for a full scope of value we can provide. Within our retainers, we can include the services of what you need to meet your goals.
Typically, website maintenance retainer covers the following areas:
- Installing SSL certificates
- Performing tech support
- Strategizing and implementing marketing and SEO tactics
- Maintaining site updates
Additionally based on your business needs and goals, more items, like graphic design and digital marketing, can be discussed to package all services together.
Build Your Website With Trademark Productions
Start your online journey on the right note. Choose Trademark Productions as your web development and digital marketing agency. We’ve been building websites since 1999, and we know what it takes to build a website that delights your visitors and gets your desired conversions and goals. Contact us to schedule a discovery meeting to discuss building a website that meets your business goals.
*Resources for cost analysis: https://www.hostinger.in/tutorials/website-maintenance-cost