If you spent the time researching web design you may have noticed thousands of web designers exist in your city, additionally thousands of free or cheap services exist that can help you build a website in minutes. Do such services have downfalls? Should I hire a web designer and pay the extra amount?
Let’s breakdown some crucial points.
Will you be expanding your business in the near future and will the free online service allow this?
Personally, I’ve experienced this situation several times with clients. They want to keep their start-up costs low (who can blame them?) and go with free service. Down the road they want to expand their online presence and are faced with serious limitations. Often they can only have so many pages, limited images, and rarely can they offer eCommerce options. Some of these free services offer the ability to lift these limitations but at a steep monthly cost.
Your business is unique, shouldn’t your design reflect your business?
Customers know when your website is outdated. A unique design will not only show your customers that your business is different but it also allows you to have features that may be unique.
Is your free service mobile/tablet friendly?
Let’s face it. Your customers and readers are using mobile phones and tablets. In fact, the Pew Research Center, an American think tank organization shows that 91 percent of Americans now own a cell phone, the firm extrapolates that 57 percent of adults are cell Internet users, which it defines as anyone who uses their cell phone to access the Internet.
The 63 percent figure can be further broken down into two categories. 60 percent of cell owners use the Internet on their cell phone and 52 percent use their devices to check email. This statistic is expected to expand over the next 5 years.
Free services rarely offer a mobile version of your website and your customers are going to prefer a company that can offer the most reliable and accessible website for their needs.
These are a few points that you should be thinking about when considering free services versus hiring a web designer. Although a web designer may be a large cost upfront the benefits will greatly help out your personal blog or business. Additionally most web designers can work within your budget or on a payment plan. Start your business off right and make that first impression really count.