Website design service 1: DIY website builder

DIY sites allow you to create your own website using a template, but what are the quality implications?

Website design service 1: DIY website builder
Website design service 2: Bespoke design on a WordPress platform
Website design service 3: Bespoke website solution

Best for: Price, ease of creation
Compromise: Amateur design, on-going costs

What is it?

A DIY website builder is an online service which allows you to create a website by selecting a template design and entering the content yourself.

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Whilst they are often free to create initially, if you want to keep your website running long-term the costs are ongoing. Usually payment is taken in the form of a subscription fee, around £40 a month, for your website and hosting combined. This means that you do not own your website, and must stay with this provider for your site to remain active.

Price: Low in short-term – potentially free to start and then £40 per month
Value for money: Long-term expensive and inflexible
Quality of the design: Average and also not unique
Contact with designer: No – the site is created by you
Speed: Fairly quick – determined by your input
Ease of ordering process: Very easy – online subscription packages
Ease of creation process: Simple, but limiting

The verdict:

Many DIY website builders started out as hosting providers and then expanded by bolting on a website creation service to their existing business. The advantage of this is that your hosting costs are included and are incredibly competitive in terms of price. However, the disadvantages are that website design and development are not their area of expertise, and this shows.

The template designs are basic and won’t necessarily put your brand across in the best way. In the past a lot of websites were pretty basic in terms of design but today users expect to see a certain level of sophistication from a business website. If a user views your site as having a poor design it will reflect on how they perceive your entire business. If you want a user to associate you with good quality service, then you need great quality website design.

In addition, if you create your website through a DIY builder you do not own your website outright. This means that there is nothing to stop you seeing your template design on another business’ website – making it hard for your business to stand out from the competition.

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More importantly, your website is owned by the provider you use, therefore tying you to ongoing monthly costs for eternity – or you lose your site completely! This suddenly renders the short-term costs less appealing, especially when you can get a great looking website for a one-off cost, with no ties.

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