If you want to create a website, you have a few options available. For most people, the trickiest decision will be between the use of a browser-powered site building service and splashing out on the services of a professional web designer.
There are positive and negative aspects to either route, so here is a closer look at the main factors at play so you can determine which is right for you.
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Accessibility & affordability
The reason that online web builders like Squarespace and Wix have risen to prominence in recent years is that their services allow novices with no previous coding or design experience to launch websites quickly, easily and affordably.
In comparison, working with a professional web designer will be more expensive, although you will still have the advantage of offloading the more complex aspects of setting up a site to someone who is an expert in this process.
Uniqueness & flexibility
The main issue with site building services is that they rely heavily on standardized templates and are less customizable and adaptable than alternatives which are built from the ground up to be bespoke for a given client.
Meanwhile a professional agency will understand the importance of graphic design from the perspective of tailoring this to individual organizations and the industries they occupy. This kind of uniqueness and attention to detail will simply not be possible when using the cookie cutter approach that site building platforms prefer, so it is worth assessing how this will impact the growth of your brand.
Communication & collaboration
Site builders provide plenty of different templates and themes to try out, some of which are included as part of the package and others of which are priced at a premium. The problem, aside from the aforementioned lack of guaranteed uniqueness in all of this, is that you will be less able to take the project in a particular direction which is not already factored into the platform itself.
Meanwhile an agency staffed by professional developers and graphic designers will be able to have an ongoing conversation with you, taking your initial ideas and needs and turning these into a finished product which satisfies your every expectation. This communicative, collaborative relationship will ensure that every angle is covered, and the additional costs involved will easily be justifiable as a result in many cases.
Striking a balance
The final thing to note is that you can get the best of both worlds if you choose to work with an established design agency in combination with a site building platform that is affordable and accessible.
For many site owners, this means turning to a solution like WordPress, which is equipped with ample templates and simple interface elements for beginners, while also being adaptable enough to encompass the expert tinkering of professional designers.
Even if you do decide to go it alone, it makes sense to at least speak with a design pro to get an idea of what they can offer and how much it will cost, so that you know how best to balance your budget.