The need for a website is nondebatable as we’ve written in our previous blog post, but your website is more than just a functional platform; it’s the face your business shows to the world. If you’re new to online marketing, you might think that it’s enough for this face to be attractive and usable… But imagine this: What happens if you place a nondescript, pleasant face into the middle of a crowd of thousands of others like it? It quickly fades into the masses. The same is true of websites; unless they’re expressive and unique, they soon get lost amongst the competition. Obviously, then, you’ll need more than a template from a website builder if you want your business’s site to succeed. You’ll need the assistance of a professional web design agency, and most likely a Toronto web design agency because of geographical advantage, for all of the following reasons:
- Functionality needs to be more than skin-deep.
This might not seem like a deal-breaker at first, but as your business grows, you’ll probably find yourself wanting features (like expanded e-commerce functionality, live chat, and database support) that require custom programming. If you’re stuck with a website builder, you’ll be out of luck unless you’re willing to start from the ground up with the aid of professionals. (Most website builders will not allow you to download your existing site and take it elsewhere because they own a large share of its content.
- Those “free” website builders can get really expensive over the years.
Most website builders either place ads on sites built for free or severely limit the functionality of their non-premium sites. In either case, it inevitably becomes necessary to upgrade to a paid package (let’s face it, no one will take your business seriously if its landing page is full of ads)… And these packages usually aren’t cheap. The cost of paying for these packages year after year can easily approach what you would pay a small business to take on a similar project.
- Most Toronto web design agencies perform a full suite of necessary services.
In 1996, just having a website for your business was impressive and made people sit up and take notice. Alas, it’s not 1996 anymore; today, chances are good that no one will even find your website if you launch it as a standalone entity. Instead, launching a successful website requires a wide array of supportive services. You’ll need someone to set up and manage social media accounts, for example, so that your customers can interact with you. You’ll need someone to optimize your site for search engines. (Yes, many website builders offer basic SEO features, but there’s a lot more to SEO than just on-page optimization. You’ll also need someone to build backlinks for you, generate blog content, help you manage your online reputation, etc.) You’ll probably need someone who can build an app for you, too.
Website builders usually provide none of the above services, whereas many professional web design agencies provide all of them. Even if they don’t, they almost certainly know someone reputable who can provide you with the extra services you need… Something that is invaluable in a day and age when freelance marketplaces are less reliable than ever before.
- Branding matters.
There’s only one way to make your brand memorable in the minds of customers: Make it unique. Of course, it doesn’t take a great leap of deduction to figure out that a site built on templates (templates used by thousands of other people) is going to be a lot less unique than a site with 100% bespoke graphic design. When you work with a professional web design agency, your site can be designed to wholly embody your brand’s aesthetics, allowing you to achieve a consistent look and feel across multiple platforms. If you want to be instantly recognizable to your customers (and trust me, you do), then an agency is absolutely the best choice.
When investing in your business, it’s important to take calculated risks that are aimed at helping you grow over the long-term. A website builder might get you online today, but a Toronto web design agency will ensure that your online presence greatly expands over the next five years. The bottom line? If you’re serious about the future of your business, start from scratch and do web design right.