DIY vs Web Development Agency: Which Way to Build a Website
July 13, 2022
SINGAPORE – We all know how important it is for a business to have an online presence these days. But while it is clear you need a business website, have you given any thought how you’ll develop one?
If you’re reading this article, chances are you’re trying to decide between creating a website yourself or go with a web development agency. Sure, web developers are experts, but hiring a competent agency can be costly and out of reach for many small businesses. Meanwhile, DIY builders like Wix promise a website building experience so easy anyone can have a professional looking website up and running in a few days.
Which one should you choose to create your website? It all comes down to your budget, timeframe and long-term business goals.
Here are some guiding points while planning for your website: What sort of functions does your website require? Do you require a custom design, or can you make do with a generic template? Do you need to launch your website soon, or can you wait for months?
Answering these questions can give you a better idea of whether you should go with a website builder or web development agency. Let’s go over the pros and cons of both so you can make an informed decision.
What is a Website Builder?
Website builders use customisable, pre-made templates that enable users to create a website without having to code. Users typically can customise everything from the font to background image, layout, buttons and more.
Website builders are popular because they allow users to create their own websites at a low price. Most website builders are free to use, with paid premium options available to unlock more advanced features.
Paid premium packages can range from $10 – $40 a month, and typically come with your own domain name, higher bandwidth, higher number of pages, storage space, e-commerce features and more.
You can create a complete website using a website builder within a week or even a day. This makes it suitable for those who want to launch their website as soon as possible, and have prepared everything they need to create a website.
Ease of Use
With website builders, there is no need to know how to code as users can design their website simply by dragging and dropping elements and widgets.
Trial and Error
With website builders, you have to do everything yourself. Whilst you may not have to know how to code, you’ll still need to have basic knowledge of the platform to set up a website and run one.
This includes everything from resizing images to testing for mobile responsiveness and understanding how to create user-friendly designs.
Limited Design Options
Website builders are easy and fast due to their use of pre-made templates. Whilst you will be able to customise certain elements within the templates such as overall design, colour palette and the placing of individual components — the overall structure of the website remains the same. Your business website could end up looking similar to other websites built on the same platform.
Limited Customer Service
Unless you’ve subscribed to their more premium (and more expensive) packages, chances are you’ll have to get a ticket and wait in queue before they can attend to your problems, instead of receiving priority care.
You Will Eventually Have to Pay Once You Scale
The free plans offered by website builders may seem like a good deal at first, but they are typically limited and only usable by solopreneurs or very small businesses. As your business scales, you’ll have to shell out for paid options to access features like your own domain name, more data storage and other functions critical to your business website.
When to Choose a Website Builder:
If you have a tight deadline to launch your website, don’t mind using a design template, and you’re willing to invest time into experimenting with the platform to get the results you desire — then a website builder is for you.
Just be aware that you’ll likely have to put aside some funds for a monthly or annual subscription, and that technical support will be limited.
Still unsure if a website builder will meet your needs? Let’s take a look at what you can expect if you go with a web development agency.
What is a Web Development Agency?
By choosing to hire a web development agency, you will be working with a team of specialists typically composed of a UX/UI Designer, Web Developers and a Project Manager. Agencies will often offer packages to help businesses develop custom websites from the ground up and even assist with website operations after the project goes live.
Pre-made templates can’t compete with complete customisation via code. A web development agency can build your website from scratch to help you realise the ideal look for your business website.
Web agencies can help you add personal touches to the design to ensure your branding stays consistent throughout your website.
You Have Direct Communication with the Development Team
One of the benefits of engaging a web development agency is being able to consult with professionals whenever you are unsure. A good web agency will inform you of the best industry practices to ensure your website is modern and up-to-date with the latest standards.
Hiring a team to plan, develop, and maintain your website will take up a significant chunk of your budget. Unlike website builders where you can start for free, web development agencies will need to secure some form of payment before they can begin work on your website.
Longer Timeframe to Completion
As web agencies typically develop websites from scratch, they require a longer timeline before the website is completed. A web development project will naturally include revisions, troubleshooting and additional requests — all of which will add to the project’s development time.
When to Choose a Web Development Agency?
If you have a big budget for website development, or if you require unique designs, widgets, and other features to be integrated into the website, then a web development agency is the option you should choose.
The third option for developing a website…
For the longest time, these were the only two options to choose from if you wanted to create a website. However, there is now a third option that can combine the perks of both into one — creating a hybrid solution.
What is a Hybrid Solution?
To put it simply, it’s the best of both worlds. It combines the cost-saving benefits of being and having speedy development of a website builder with the customisation and expertise of web developers. Velo by Wix is a full-stack development platform that empowers developers to rapidly build, manage and deploy professional web apps.
As an official reseller with the Wix website builder platform, FirstCom Solutions offers a hybrid solution for SMEs. Bridging the gap between website builders and web development agencies, our hybrid solution helps us to develop customised, user-friendly and SEO-friendly websites for SMEs with minimal development time whilst providing creative and technical support after the website goes live.
Why choose FirstCom’s Hybrid Solution?
One of the most popular website builders around the world, Wix is a cloud-based website building platform that has the trust and confidence of hundreds of thousands of businesses around the world.
As an official Wix reseller, we combine Wix’s premium website building features with developer expertise to build your customised website in less than 4 weeks.
We understand your website design and web development needs. Our team of web designers and web developers are ready to help you create a mobile-friendly and responsive website that encourages your visitors to stay, take action, and meet your business goals.
To empower SMEs, we also include in our service package technical and content creation support even after your website is launched. This includes things like adding a webpage with a new functionality upon request, or engaging our professional photographers and studio to take original photos for a promotional campaign.
Speak to a consultant to discuss how our hybrid approach to website development can help you with your business needs.