.If you’ve ever been on a website that looked as though it had been cobbled together at the last minute, you’ll know why a well-designed website is crucial to the success of your business. And when you have only four seconds to grab your visitors’ attention (the average time visitors spend on a website before deciding whether or not to click away) you’ll want to make sure you get it right.
Here at Fort Lauderdale and Aspen-based public relations agency Durée & Company, we have led a number of clients through website inception to execution. We understand that if you want to stand out today, you must build a website that properly showcases your products or services while generating business for you. In order to do this, a well-formulated website should be attractive to the eye; be easy to navigate; communicate your brand well, and function properly across various platforms.
It is possible to achieve these characteristics by using various templates or prefabricated website building platforms, but there are times you might want to consider hiring a professional website developer or firm. We’re weighing the pros and cons below.
Understanding the basics
If you need a website for your business, you have two options: using a website builder that offers a selection of ready-made templates you simply fill in or hiring a professional website developer. To decide, you must first determine your budget, your short and long terms goals, and your upkeep capabilities.
To begin with, many people are confused by the terminology associated with building a website, as well as how hosting and various platforms work. Here is a quick glossary:
- Domain/URL – securing and registering your desired website address.
- Website Platform – where your website is built.
- Server/Hosting Provider – the server where you house your website.
- Design – How your website is laid out and its functionality.
Let’s look more closely at each of these steps.
You have several options available when you want to buy a domain/URL from a domain registrar. All of the registrars provide the same basic service. None are “better” than the others. Just pick one, create an account, and purchase the domain. Our top picks based on usability and availability are Google Domains and GoDaddy. This will be an ongoing expense for your website, regardless of whatever other options you select.
If you have a limited budget and your goal is to build a website and manage it without the help of a developer, then you should use a do-it-yourself website builder like Squarespace, GoDaddy, or WIX.com. Using a “pre-fab” website builder is turnkey with some control of the design. You control the interior design only. However, this is the biggest drawback of using a website builder. The lack of control, ability to customize, and absence of advanced features are why most expert website designers discourage businesses from using them.
It’s also important to note that you do not own the design or platform functionality itself. If you ever choose to cancel your account with the website builder company, your website is erased.
If your budget permits, you should hire a professional website developer and designer to custom-build a website for you. They should use WordPress, Shopify, or Magento – depending on your functionality needs. You pay a one-time fee upfront for a website, instead of having to pay monthly as you would with a website builder.
In addition, you own every aspect of your website. You’ll only have to pay for your domain name (#1) and the fee of the server you select (#3).
If you choose to use a ready-made website builder, then your server is included in your package from that company.
However, if you decide to hire a professional website designer, you will first need to select a server or hosting provider. Your website developer will suggest the best place to purchase hosting. This will be another ongoing expense for your website.
Designing your website is very easy to do with a website builder, using the pre-designed templates they have already created for you. Keep in mind that MANY other businesses are using the exact same template and design. There are very few parts of the overall design that you can change to your liking.
When working with a website designer and developer, they will create a website designed to suit your brand. You want to effectively “tell the story” of who, what, where, and why. That is, who your company is, what it can provide to your customers, where you’re located and why people should buy from you.
Your website, your choice
There are pros and cons to going it alone versus hiring a professional website developer. A great deal depends on how familiar you are with the concepts involved in successful website design. Also consider your budget and how much time you can devote to building and maintaining your website yourself.
You should also consider whether you’ll want to update your site regularly, as well as the image you want to project to current and prospective clients. A build-it-yourself website can look professional and function well, but employing an expert not only offers more flexibility but a more polished appearance that you may not be able to achieve on your own.
Need help getting started? Durée & Company is the right team to help make your website shine. Our team includes professional designers, programmers, marketers, and writers. All of these professionals will work closely with you to ensure your website wows your visitors and builds your business. Give us a call today!
About Durée & Company, Inc.
Durée & Company, Inc. is an award-winning, full-service public relations, marketing and special events firm founded in 1999. The firm has offices in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, and Aspen, Colorado. Durée & Company serves the corporate, agency and nonprofit arenas for local, national and international clients. Services include public relations, social media, marketing, digital marketing, content development, advertising, special events, branding, radio promotions, affiliate marketing and more. Durée & Company clients include well-known names in yachting, business, real estate, hospitality, travel, cannabis and hemp, wellness and CBD, art and culture, fashion, nonprofit organizations, legal and professional services. Durée & Company is a member of PR Boutiques International™ (PRBI), an international network of boutique PR firms. To learn more, call 954-723-9350; go to dureeandcompany.com; or visit its new, specialized cannabis- and CBD-specific site at cannabismarketingpr.com. Join the social conversation and follow Durée & Company on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and LinkedIn at @DureeCoPR, or on YouTube at @DureeAndCompany.