Is creating a website yourself really a good idea?
Regardless of whether you know anything about web development, these days, anyone can create their own website.
Many CMS (Content Management Systems) such as WordPress or Drupal, and web development platforms like Wix or Squarespace, offer the possibility to design a functional and dynamic website in a matter of minutes. Without any experience required!
But is creating a free website a good idea? Is it really cost-effective for your company in the long term? Is it better to use the services of a professional? If so, in what situation and why?
In this article, we will help you discover what a CMS is and how to use one, as well as the pros and cons of making a website yourself.
What is a website builder, and how to choose?
CMS and other website builders are pieces of ready-to-use software which allow anyone to create a website. Thanks to a simple drag-and-drop system, users place elements wherever they want on the page. No specialist knowledge or experience in coding are required. Beginners and experts alike can create websites in just a few minutes.
There are several CMS platforms on the market. We have chosen to discuss the two most popular in France: Wix and WordPress. The former offers a complete package, including the purchase of a domain name and hosting. The latter requires users to deal with installation themselves, but offers a wide array of customizable options.
Creating a site with a website builder is incredibly simple. All you have to do is:
- Create an account.
- Choose a theme (or graphic template).
- Edit the content and tailor it to your needs.
- Purchase a domain name and hosting plan (already included with Wix).
- Publish the site to the internet.
And that’s it. Pretty much.
The main differences between Wix and WordPress
Wix Website Builder
The main advantage of Wix is that it’s incredibly easy-to-use. The software is very intuitive and allows you to create a showcase website in very little time. For more content-heavy sites, we recommend using a richer CMS like WordPress.
The drawback with Wix is that it is difficult to become well-referenced in search results. This is perhaps because Wix sites can only have a limited amount of content.
Wix is therefore the best option if you’re looking for an all-inclusive site designer which is easy to get to grips with, and if SEO is not your priority.
With more than 36% of users in France, WordPress is one of the best-known CMS. With its large choice of themes and free or paid plugins, the software offers a large number of features which evolve over time.
The drawback with WordPress is that it requires a more complicated technical approach than Wix.
WordPress would be the best option for you if you know a little about installation and hosting, and you are looking to build a more content-rich site.
The pros of creating a website yourself
Creating your own website has the advantage of giving you total freedom when it comes to user-friendliness, graphics, images, colours, text (within the capabilities of the CMS, of course).
You are 100% autonomous and can access the admin console at any time to edit page formatting or content yourself in just a few clicks.
Using web development platforms like Wix or WordPress allows you to configure your site on a budget. A little over 20 Euros a month is enough to afford a theme, a domain name and a hosting plan.
Whether you’re in hospitality, health care, freelance or even a life coach, content management systems offer many templates specially designed for (almost) any industry or profession.
Working to a deadline
Websites created by web agencies or web designers can take several weeks or even months.
If you’re in a rush, you can use a pre-existing template and personalize it in just a few hours with your own text, photos and videos.
The cons of creating a website yourself
Even though creating your own website allows you to do whatever you like, there is a risk of coming up with what you think is the best solution for your needs, but which, in the end, doesn’t necessarily meet your clients’ or prospects’ expectations.
The best way to learn a new skill is to learn from mistakes. Web designers already have a good vision of what works and what doesn’t, however you would need to take the time to test and experiment yourself.
You can quickly be limited in terms of available features when using a pre-existing template.
As opposed to bespoke web development which starts from scratch and where anything is possible, you can’t just add new features that aren’t already offered by the CMS.
Lack of originality
Since most companies make their own websites, it can be difficult to make yours stand out. Similar themes and tree structures can be found on most of your competitors’ sites, so you would struggle to create a truly unique site.
For a site that truly represents you, design alone is not enough. Graphic charts, visuals, text and video content must all reflect your brand identity. Quality photos and text optimized for search engines are also essential parts of a good user experience.
Your website should allow you to grow your visibility and revenue. However, if you are poorly referenced by search engines and/or your site doesn’t lead to conversion, in the end you will have wasted your time and money.
How to choose between creating a website yourself or using professional services
Adventuring into making your own website is a good idea if:
- You have a clear idea of what makes a good website and what mistakes to avoid.
- You want a simple website that allows known prospects and current clients to find the information they need (in other words, you don’t need to be easy to find on search engines).
- You have the time to experiment and learn, without worrying too much about the final result.
Using professional services will be a better solution if:
- You don’t have the time to learn how to build a website – as easy as it may be – and prefer to keep concentrated on your core business.
- You want a website that attracts qualified potential customers and grows your visibility.
- You want your website to convert prospects and help you find new clients.
We hope this article has helped you better understand the pros and cons of creating a website yourself. We would be delighted to watch your project take shape, so please feel free to share your experiences with us!
We are also on hand if you would rather entrust the creation of your company website to a web agency.