Should You Hire a Professional Web Designer/Developer or Use a Website Builder Tool?

May 26, 2021 | Online Strategy, Web Design

website design sketch

As someone that runs a professional website service, I get approached all the time by others asking about getting a website done. However, most of the time there is a lack of understanding about why a professional web site is going to cost way more than using a website builder tool like Wix, Squarespace, Shopify or any of the others.

I am going to give you an objective viewpoint (or at least try to) on whether or not you need to hire Professional website designer, or if you should use one of the many online website builder tools to create a website for your business or brand.

The Short Answer

It completely depends on the situation you are in. If someone tells me that they need a pretty basic website to be set up quickly and cheaply, and they are not looking at it as a long term investment into their business, I would recommend that they use a website builder. 

This is because it wouldn’t be justifiable for them to hire a professional, as they would actually need enough time (at least a few weeks) to go through a full website creation process, and the client would need to have a high enough budget to commit to such a project.

On the other hand, if they have time and can invest a few thousand pounds, then I always recommend that they use a professional who will be able to deliver a website that is able to suit their needs best, and they are more likely to see a return on investment.

What to consider when choosing to use a website builder or a website design professional

If it is the lowest possible price you are after, it doesn’t get much cheaper than a website builder tool. You can expect to pay as little as £10 per month on Squarspace and setup a pretty professional looking website in a matter of a few hours.

However, because a website builder service is specific to that platform, you’ll likely find yourself with several limitations. Some of these are:

1 – Lack of design flexibility – as you try to make some specific changes to a page layout, you’ll find that there may not be too many options available to make these adjustments. You’re mostly given a set template with a very small number of customisation features. If you are happy with what you get out of the box, then this may not be an issue for you.

2 – You don’t actually own the site – ok, so you own your content i.e. images, text and files, but you can’t just take the site away as is to another service. You’d basically have to rebuild the entire site on a new platform.

3 – No control over hosting – You are limited to the performance that the platform’s hosting provides, because it is all part of the package.

Those are just a few things that the opposite will be true if you were to go with a professional site.

Website builders are easy to do it yourself 

With all being said, I know that there are lots of business websites built on website builder platforms and they do just fine. They make it easy for you to create your own website by selecting from many design templates that are more or less plug and play. You can just pick one and add your content to get going. 

The key thing to realise here is that it is a DIY option with limitations. This may be a good thing for you though, as you may not want to be overwhelmed with too many options.

However, it’s worth noting that even though you may be able to set up a website easily on your own, it still requires some degree of competence to make it look good, flow well and function properly.

If you are looking for more custom designs and the ability to implement other tools and software that are more widely available, and need guidance to handle the project in the best possible way, then working with a website design professional is the way to go.

It’s great to know that you have options

The great thing here is that you have options nowadays. You don’t always have to hire a professional if you don’t want to. And you can absolutely get great results with a website builder service.

The main thing is to clearly understand what your goal is, and use the best option that is going to put you in the strongest position to get results.

Need extra help?

Check out the resources I have on futurestepscreative.com including online training and ongoing support, to help you build and grow your website and audience with content marketing.