Nowadays there are many options when it comes to building your own website.
- Free and paid page builders like Shopify or WIX
- CMS (Content Management Systems) platforms like PrestaShop, WordPress, Drupal, Joomla, OpenCart and Magento
- Hiring a professional web design studio
We will talk about the most popular ones, tell you the pros and cons and give you our verdict at the end, because deciding how you build your website is the first and most important step.
Free Page Builders
These are usually available through hosting companies or simply available online. Most of them are simple to use and have drag and drop editors, which is very handy for anyone with no coding knowledge. Disadvantages of using those tools are very limited design possibilities, features and scalability.
So, if your goal is to grow your company and scale, they won’t be the right choice for you.
Paid Page Builders
Services like Shopify or WIX are the most popular way of building a website fast and without any coding knowledge, but they are not cheap at all. You have probably already seen WIX or Shopify adverts online telling you how easy and cheap building a website can be. Don’t be lost on that, those services have monthly plans which you will be obligated to pay every month to keep your website online. For every additional feature you will pay separately, so building the website with them could actually be very expensive in the long run.
Prices range from as little as $29/month to as much as $299/month and they can grow by adding any additional functionalities to your website, which you will definitely do.
They also have drag and drop editors, so anyone can build their website or even create their own logo with them.
Great thing is that they have many things included in their prices like hosting and an SSL certificate, but there are so many paid features that you need which will make your price increase tremendously, so think twice before you decide to build your website with these types of services.
Do your research first, think about everything you will need on your website, then ask for the prices and make your decision.
Due to very limited customisability, they are not advised for e-commerce websites or advanced stores.
However, despite the prices, Shopify is a really good choice for drop shippers.
Open Source CMS platforms
Although they are all free platforms to use, many expensive plugins are required to build your website.
Some plugins are too expensive to use on just one website and some can be dangerous for your site, so you need to be very careful creating your website and choosing the plugins, especially when there are so many free plugins available in their repositories. Of course, everyone knows that you can build your website using only free plugins, but the security and customisability aren’t as good as with paid and supported ones.
If you don’t have the right knowledge to build a website you can learn everything yourself, there are many courses and tutorials available online making everything possible, but you have to also bear in mind that this is a lengthy process, and it will take you a while to learn everything you need to know.
All of these platforms are so powerful, that with good coding skills the design possibilities are just endless and that’s why they are used so often in the web design industry.
Another thing to consider is hiring a professional design studio to build your website. The biggest advantage here is that you will only pay once for the entire website, and all the expensive plugins & subscriptions will be included in the package, so you won’t have any obligations to pay monthly fees.
Lastly, every CMS platform needs a home, so you will need to pay for your hosting and SSL certificate to keep your website running and secure, but we will talk about this a bit more later.
Custom Coded Websites
If you know how to code, you are a web designer already and you know exactly how to build a website, so we won’t cover this subject in depth.
Web design studios
Professional studios have great advantages across all platforms and page builders mentioned above, with huge knowledge and experience allowing them to create websites their customers will love.
By coding a website from scratch or using an open-source CMS platform, you know they have great tools in their hands to customise it in the way that no other platform can.
The price you pay is a one-off payment and prices range from £250 up to a few thousand pounds for e-commerce stores. In fact, every web design studio has their own pricing and different standards.
Additionally, on top of your website price, you will pay a monthly hosting fee (usually £7-£10) and for your SSL certificate annually.
Certificate prices start from a few pounds a year for a basic low-security certificate and up to £250 for a high-security one. The price depends of the level of security required for your site. For example, certificates for banks or financial institutions can go up to even a few thousand pounds per year.
Although finding a good web design company can be like looking for a needle in a haystack when you finally find one there’s a high chance they will offer much more than just web design services. They will often have to host services for a good price, great security, SEO, email marketing, photography services and many others so you can do nearly everything to promote your business online in one place, plus some companies even print your marketing materials for you.
When it comes to printing or photography, their services will often be cheaper than hiring a product photography studio or dealing with the printers on your own, plus they know what they are doing.
We strongly advise you to get all printing done through your web design company to avoid anything going wrong.
When working on your marketing materials, professional studios use the latest software and hardware technology available on the market including cutting-edge wide gamut monitors with 99% Adobe RGB colour space coverage. This allows them to see the colours you will receive straight from the printing company. This is the most important part when it comes to printing, so if you can’t work on this type of device, let them do all the prints for you. If you do it yourself without the right technology, you will get all your expensive marketing materials in totally different colours than you expected and will need to print them all over again, risking another failure.
Cheap page builders won’t give you the features you need to build a professional website and customisability will be very limited, but you can use them for very simple websites.
If you are planning to open a dropshipping store, the best option for you will be Shopify but as we’ve said before, it will be an expensive option.
If you already have good knowledge on website building, open-source platforms would be a great choice for you.
You can build a professional and responsive website packed with amazing features using open source platforms but without expensive plugin subscriptions, you won’t get the results you expect.
There are many free plugins available, but we are only talking about the trusted ones with great support and thousands of successful installations. These plugins are paid and expensive.
If you are planning to build a professional website and thinking seriously about your business, the best and cheapest way is to hire professional web designers and work with them to create a website which will stand out from the crowd, automatically gathering you an audience, which is really important from a marketing point of view.
We’re not saying this because we are web designers, but because we know all of these platforms very well.
Hiring a professional web design studio will be always a little expensive at the beginning, but a lot cheaper in the long run, you will pay for your website only once and will get more than you would from other platforms or page builders.
What is included in the price when you hire a professional studio?
For our customers, all the features mentioned below are included in almost every website they build with us.
- Free hosting for 12 months
- Free domain for 12 months
- Free SSL certificate for 12 months
- Free logo design
- Finding you a great company name and domain
- Razor-sharp graphics and images
- A mobile-friendly website that is responsive on all devices
- Lightning-fast websites
- Websites secured with the latest technology available
- Unlimited Web Design Concepts and Revisions
- Great graphic design
- Standard websites, brochures, catalogues, bookings and blogging or e-commerce websites
- Endless design possibilities
- Fixed costs – no hidden fees
- Email templates matching your website design
- Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)
- Constant website monitoring and backups
- No templates! All websites are individually designed and developed to your needs
- Data Dashboard with in-depth analytics and statistics
- Email marketing integration
- Nice and strategic popups to gain you even more subscribers
- Keyword research
- Great and fast customer support
- A website you own!
We can do even more for you!
- Apart from websites, we also do professional product photography
- We do image retouching and apply pure white backgrounds under your products
- We do full branding for your business
- We can print all the marketing materials for you
- We do social media design
- We will run full Email Marketing for you
- We have a great and cheap maintenance plan
- And many more…
So, as you can see everything depends on the website you need,
but at the end of the day, this is an investment that will pay you off.
The choice is yours…
If you need our help, we are always open to a friendly conversation regarding your new project,
so please don’t hesitate to contact us.