Web Designers vs Digital Agencies vs DIY Websites: Pros And Cons

Jan 29, 2019 10:00:00 AM

There are about a million different options for people needing a new website.

Between local businesses, the multitude of online agencies, and the long list of DIY platforms, it is no wonder people typically feel overwhelmed. This usually leads people to either make a hasty, uneducated decision, choose a crappy platform, or prolong the process simply because they don’t know where to start.

We understand where you’re coming from.

That’s why we decided to break down the 3 major avenues to consider when you need a new website.

Making a smart, educated decision will ensure it’s much easier making edits, update code, add modules, incorporate design elements, implement marketing tactics, and simply make your site amazing.

  • Web Designer
  • Digital Agency
  • DIY Website

We’re going to break down each of these, so you can choose the best method to build your website.

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Web Designers

a picture of web designers designing a website

When people need a website, they typically Google something along the lines of “web designers in (insert location here)”.

Which makes sense.

You need a website, so you search for people who make their living building websites.

Web designers are pro-status players that know the ins-and-outs of coding. These gurus typically know their stuff, and can build web pages from scratch, but are they the right choice?

Let’s break down the pros and cons of strictly web design companies, to see if it is the best option for you.

Pros Of Hiring Web Designers

  • Web design companies are typically a group of people who have an eye for design and understand the insane world of code.
  • Website coding is a language of its own, and few people really speak it fluently.
  • Understanding code is a skill that takes a lot of practice and time.

The main benefit of going directly to a web design company is the high likelihood that they understand how to code well.

Why does it matter if they understand code?

Code is what will allow you to really customize your site.

a picture of web design coding

A lot of web design companies will choose pre-built templates to design a new site and just change images, colors, and a few elements.

However, if you want a completely unique and custom website, you need someone who understands coding.

This means that they have the ability to create a brand new web design based on your needs and preferences much more easily than someone who doesn’t understand coding.

Cons Of Hiring Web Designers

  • They don’t offer marketing
  • They cost more (usually)
  • They don’t do branding (also usually)

Their talent and expertise lean more on design, therefore they may not have the best understanding of SEO. Not to say they’re unknowledgeable; they simply focus more on making beautiful sites that align with your desires.

Is This The Best Option For You?

This depends on your goals and how savvy you are with marketing.

If your goals are to have a website that ranks competitively online and you don’t have logos, branding, or much else to go off of then you’ll be shopping around for these things.

If your company has a robust marketing team (or you can do your own marketing) then this is probably best for you.

If your primary goal is just to have a beautiful website, not increase your online presence or have a continued digital marketing strategy, then, by all means, go to a web design company.

Their expertise will provide you with a beautiful site and they won’t try to up-sell you with a bunch of ongoing services.

Digital Agencies

digital agency company

When looking for someone to design your website, you may come across marketing agencies that build sites, with the intent of doing continued online services.

Full Disclosure: We are these guys. We do websites, digital marketing, and paid ads for clients. However, we aren’t trying to just sell you on our services because...well they might not be right for you. There are limitations to them (like all services). We just want you informed and educated to make the best decision.

Most agencies use web design as a launching pad for more robust digital marketing strategies that help increase your website’s Google ranking. 

Having a digital strategy is incredibly important, and agencies emphasize web design with marketing strategy at the core.

Pros

  • SEO Expertise - SEO is what they do, so they implement it best (usually).
  • Optimized web design - they focus on optimizing every aspect of the website.
  • Fast delivery - typically they’ll use templates with lots of customization as opposed to building from the ground up.
  • Conversion Pathways - They focus on websites that convert, so they don’t settle for CTAs. They want to see you getting leads and business.
  • They offer branding (usually).

If the ultimate goal of your new website is to get more business, then they will have a plan for both during and after web design to help you reach your goals.

You can have an all in one web design and marketing agency, rather than find one agency to build your site and have another agency try and market it for you.

Cons

  • Less savvy coders - Smart enough to be dangerous with code...but not enough to build from scratch.
  • Up-selling galore - Agencies will often jump at opportunities to up-sell you (even if you don’t want marketing)
  • Selective partnerships - Sometimes, they’ll only build for clients that are also interested in marketing

Is This The Best Option For You?

If you’re simply looking for a website then it all depends on what fits in your budget. If you can afford a web designer for solely building a website go for it.

Digital agencies are right for you if you are needing more than just a website. They focus on getting business websites found and making your company profit from its online presence.

Also, the cheaper cost might be the right route to go even if your only looking for a website.

DIY Website

build your own website DIY website

A lot of people who are just getting started with their business look at local prices for a website and their hands start sweating.

Yeah, there is a lot that goes into building a website, so it’s not cheap.

And if it is, be careful. You don’t want to purchase a $500 website from someone who doesn't care about you or your success. Those kinds of designers usually disappear halfway through the project or can’t continue to help you once the website is launched.

A website is an investment, not an expense. However, if you are in the very early stages of your business and don’t have a big budget, the DIY website, while not encouraged, may be your only option for the time being.

Pros

Really the only pro for a “do it yourself” website is the price.

If you use a site like Wix, they walk you through all the steps, suggest layouts, and offer support plans in case you need help on some aspects of the site.

With a little creativity and a plucky attitude, you may be able to design a site on your own that looks great and gets the job done as well as saves you money.

Cons

  • They usually don’t look good.
  • You have to study a ton to get it found.
  • If it breaks...you’re stuck.

Building a website is so much more than picking a layout, slapping pictures and your logo on the home page, and then writing some decent copy.

There is a behind the scenes world you need to know and understand in order to have a great site that performs well and has a great user experience.

If you are trying to start or grow your business, you will see a quicker return on investment if you partner with a professional who can help get you off the ground and set you in the right direction.

If something breaks, you need something customized, or you do not understand how to get your site to rank higher in Google searches, you probably should not take on the task of building the site yourself.

Is This Option Best For You?

If you simply do not have the funding for a professional site, and you are just looking to have a live website that you can direct people back to, then definitely look into sites like Wix or Squarespace to build your site on.

Final Thoughts

A website alone will not grow your business. Will it help? Absolutely.

But if you have goals to grow your business by “x” amount and to increase your brand’s awareness, you need a flawless design and a digital strategy to support it.

We’re running a half off website special! If you’re interested in getting a stellar website for half the normal price then drop us a line!

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