You’re faced with a decision; your business needs a new website, and you’re in charge of sorting it out. What do you do?
Well, you have a few options. Your site could be small or large; simple or complicated; expensive or cheap; good or bad. But the first choice you have to make is whether you build the site yourself, or if you get a professional to do it for you.
DIY website builders, such as Wix, SquareSpace and GoDaddy, make it easier for anybody to build their own website without needing to have any knowledge of coding or web development.
Your other option is to contact a professional web developer, like us. The way we see it, you could use a DIY website builder, but you won’t have the benefit of website best practice and expert knowledge. The sites we build are optimised to perform. We take your business goals and apply nearly 40 years of marketing knowledge to ensure the right people are getting the right message from your site. And sending the right message is only a small decision away from acquiring the right customer.
Websites are more than just a box to check off. It’s not website or no website, it’s website or good website.
DIY Website Builders
Website builders are a great tool which can be used by anyone, even those with no coding knowledge, to create their own websites. DIY builders are the choice for many business owners due to their price. They can be cheap, and often the end product looks the part.
We see these builders more as a tool than a finished product. Sure, a builder might use a hammer when they’re building a house. That doesn’t mean that owning a hammer means you can build a house too.
The process of building a website in a DIY builder might look easy, but there are a lot of things liable to slip through the cracks.
The downfalls of DIY
The first difference you would notice when using a builder compared to engaging a professional web developer is the amount of support you receive. While some of the builders offer technical support via email or phone, it isn’t personalised to your business. When you come to us for a new website, we consider your business objectives first and foremost in everything we do.
We don’t just give technical support, we give marketing support & advice
We will advise you on the best practice for websites in your industry, and give support which is tailored to increase your bottom-line business results, not just troubleshooting.
The next problem you might run into is with customisation. When you use a website builder, you’re limited to the templates and design options they provide. Sure, you can bring in custom images and colours, but there are many things you might not be able to change. This can be an issue if you have strict branding guidelines you need to adhere to, and it makes it very difficult to create a website that is truly unique.
The final issue with website builders lies in the future. Sure, you might be able to create a great site using Wix that does everything you want it to do for now, but what if your business grows in the future? While there are some options to add functionality to DIY sites, they are limited to what the builders provide. You don’t want to have a build a completely new site within only a couple years of building one, and it’s always better to future-proof.
So, what makes us different?
Our process involves clearly defining the project before anything else starts. We make sure you’re happy with the direction we are taking every step of the way. This means we don’t proceed to the next step until we get your seal of approval.
Our sites combine beautiful designs with performance optimisation. It’s pretty + performance.
Before we build your website, we talk with you at length about your objectives and what your business needs to achieve.
Our thoughts during this process may completely change the approach you thought you were going to take.
Our years of experience have told us that many clients don’t know exactly what they want when they come to us for a new website. And why should they? You don’t go to an architect with an exact picture of the house you want built, or why would you be going in the first place?
We aim to take your objectives and your vision and craft them into a website which you love the look, feel, and functionality of. We make it pretty, plus we add the performance.
At at+m, we have a strong bias towards custom design, because let’s face it, template websites are obvious. Website builders like Wix and Squarespace make extensive use of templates, and after a while, the sites can start to look pretty same-y.
One important thing to acknowledge about templates is that they’re certainly not ALL bad – and there is a strong benefit to sticking with a tried and true method. But why not shoot for the best of both worlds? We combine tried and tested formulae for performance optimisation with beautiful custom designs – creating a website with a unique look and feel, tailored to achieve your business objectives.
Our website building process consists of developing a design concept before we wake up the code monkeys. There’s no sense creating your website until you are completely happy with how it is going to look.
The Build + Testing
While Squarespace and Wix might allow you to sign up and get a website going on the same day, they don’t provide much support for you to get from Point A to Point B. There’s also no guarantee that your website being completed even fits what you saw as Point B.
Our process is designed to work out what your ‘Point B’ is, and how we are going to get you there. After we define the project and get the tick of approval on the design concepts, we will progress to building your website.
Our websites are built using WordPress – WordPress.org, not WordPress.com
WordPress.com is another DIY website builder, albeit a bit less user-friendly. It gives access to some of the features of a full WordPress site, granted you have the coding knowledge to get your head around it.
WordPress websites created using WordPress.org are so much different. They require a strong knowledge of coding in several languages, but the effort put in is equal to the value of the websites that come out.
Our websites are heavily customisable, modular, responsive to all screen layouts, and future-proofed. If you want to get your site up and running and decide you need more advanced functionality later down the track, that’s no worries – we can do it.
After we finish building your site, we try to break it. Thus begins the testing process.
We also prepare a draft site to review in our private client testing area. You’ll be given a private link to access a staging version of the website for final approval before we hit the big red button.
When all the technical and user testing has been completed and approved, we are ready to make the site live.
Ongoing Technical Support
Once your site is live, we don’t hang you out to dry and go cold on your emails.
We’ve been in business for over 38 years, and sometimes we get calls about 4 or 5 year old websites that need some love, and we’re always on the case.
When you call us during business hours, you will talk to a human, and if you send us an email, we will respond ourselves, not outsource it to an office halfway across the world.
We also perform daily backups of all of our clients’ websites, so if something breaks after you edit content, or for any other reason, we can help you get back up and running as soon as possible.
Staying Competitive with SEO
Search Engine Optimisation is a huge factor for success in the digital age. If your website is organically the first result to come up when a customer uses Google, they’re much more likely to choose your business over others. In fact, the top result on any search page gets over 30% of all clicks1. That’s nearly 1 in 3 customers visiting your website, just because it was the first one they saw.
When we build your site, we do so with performance and SEO in mind. We ensure your website loads quickly, fits all international requirements for websites, and makes the search engines happy.
While website builders have some SEO features, they aren’t end-to-end, and they can’t do everything for you. They are built as a one-size-fits-all solution, rather than a solution for your specific needs.
We can offer editing assistance with supplied copy, or full copywriting services for your website, which has the benefit of our advertising knowledge combined with our knowledge of SEO. We make sure all the right keywords are on your site and everything is up to the top SEO standards, but ultimately, we write for humans, not robots.
Website builders don’t necessarily make bad websites, but they don’t create great websites either. They create websites that are good enough.
If you are a local business in a competitive industry then you put yourself at a serious disadvantage if you choose a sub-par option while your competitors use best practice. The SEO benefits of a custom-built website are often enough on their own to justify the investment.
Yes, website builders are cheaper. But that certainly doesn’t mean they are a better investment.
The most important consideration when it comes to an investment isn’t the cost of the investment itself; it’s the opportunity cost.
It’s not a question of how much a custom designed website costs;
It’s a question of how much it will cost your business in potential lost revenue if you choose not to go with a professionally designed, performance-optimised website.
So, which option should you choose?
If you just want a website for the sake of having a website, then by all means, use a DIY website builder.
But, if you want a performance-optimised website, with a beautiful custom design, one which gives an everlasting online showcase of your brand and directly supports your business bottom-line, then you should choose us.
Though you certainly don’t have to make that decision right here and right now. If you’re interested in a new website, we would love to talk you through our process in person. You bring the objectives you want to achieve, we’ll bring the coffee and our thinking caps – let us work it out.
- Dean, B 2019, ‘We Analyzed 5 Million Google Search Results: Here’s What We Learned About Organic Click Through Rate’, Backlinko
- Kirkpatrick, D 2016, ‘Google: 53% of mobile users abandon sites that take over 3 seconds to load’, MarketingDive