No doubt if you’ve watched TV or YouTube, you will have seen an advert with someone looking at you directly through the lens of their brand-new Mac in a room that looks suspiciously between a show home and a movie set. They’ll often describe how they’ve built their own website and the huge difference it has made to their business. Naturally though, reality can be a little different.

Over the years, we’ve been asked by many clients to solve the shortcomings that websites built on these platforms have. In response we’ve created websites that meet the client’s needs and provide them with something to build on as their business inevitably expands. This is why it is our job to cut through the salesmanship of these glossy adverts and put forward the case for a professionally made website.

  1. ‘Free’ never means free

There are many websites currently occupying this competitive market. Popular examples include Wix, Weebly, SquareSpace and GoDaddy. They often work on a pay monthly or pay annually service and generally have multiple options that start off free and move towards a premium service.

A key incentive for using one of these builders is the cost. Bear in mind with the cheaper plans, they often contain the branding of the builder in places where you can’t remove it. This has the potential to make you look unprofessional. It also encourages you to opt for one of the more expensive packages, undermining one of their incentives.

  1. Design restrictions

In addition to this, one of the key drawbacks to using a build-it-yourself website are the restrictions that come with design and customisation. Whilst there are many attractive themes to choose from, the compromises start when you try to make the template suit your business. The end result is often a website that looks like all the others with the same theme and a limited view on what makes your company a unique and exciting prospect.

It’s also important to note that mobile optimization is more difficult on these builders, providing even less customisability.

  1. They’re not always SEO friendly

With the mobile version taking a hit, this compounds the poor SEO options available to you.

We’ve had examples of unhappy clients on these builders coming to us asking for help on their SEO and us unfortunately having to say that our options to help them are limited purely down to the platform they’re on. This is not a situation that anyone wants to be in.

  1. The break-up can be messy

Finally, the companies that run the website builders are often reluctant to let you go. The migration process of domains is often time consuming and the movement of content is potentially a copy and paste job.

While the customer service is often praised, many of these companies are US based, meaning you’re working on their time rather than UK time, and you can end up speaking to a different person in the call centre each time you call.

Research your options

A professionally designed and built website has numerous advantages. Firstly, you will be working with a team of experts who will get to know you and your business, how you work and your aims for the website. This tailored service enables your business to become the key focus for the website. This allows for a faster, more personal response to potential issues and downtime.

With you having a dedicated team for your website, you know who you need to talk to for anything that may arise. This gives more scope for future marketing, both through website focused promotions (such as landing pages) and through SEO.

The options for SEO on a professionally created website are vastly superior to build-your-own websites. Freedom of design and personalisation is perhaps the biggest draw to professionally developed websites.

Whilst no website is without compromise in some form, there are many more possibilities and far fewer compromises when the site is developed professionally. The platform we use is WordPress with a premium theme that offers flexibility and a large creative license. The functionality of this along with our talented design team allows us to make websites that suit the client’s business to a tee. This functionality also allows for load time optimisation too.

Finally, there are the future possibilities once the website is complete. Want e-commerce functionality? Refocusing the business and want the website to match? Want to write about your company for the world to see? All sorts of functionality can be added after the website is live. Your website can grow just like your business.

For those who want to take a step ahead of their competitors, a strong, professional and marketable online presence is an excellent place to start. Not only will a professionally developed website boost your credibility to potential clients, it will also put you on a stable platform for the future that’s able to evolve just as your business will.