Category : WordPress

website designer vs website builder

Website Builder vs Website Designer: What’s Best For You?

As a business owner or entrepreneur, you could have numerous reasons for wanting a website. Websites offer us the opportunity to take our ideas, services, goods and products to a global audience. It’s the bridge between turning a local business into a global business. However, like anything in life, building a website is neither easy nor cheap. If you want a cheap website, you often get what you pay for: cheap, low-rent, generic website designs with mediocre content that does nothing to excite the reader.

Since website designers at low cost can be so lacking in value, should you not instead use a website builder?

Often cheaper by a large margin, website builders allow you to build the whole website yourself. Naturally, though, that has some limitations and problems – namely your experience in building a winning website.

At SF Website Design, we make it incredibly easy for you to see the benefits of building a website with a website designer. However, we want you to be fully aware of all options on the table. With that in mind, then, let’s take a look at the comparison between website builders and designers.

Website Builders

  • hire a web design agency in San FranciscoFirst off, a website builder is not a bad idea – if you know what you are doing. In the grand website builder vs website designer debate, there’s ample argument on both sides.
  • Quality locations such as Wix, Squarespace and WordPress make it easy(ish) for you to build a decent quality website without breaking the bank.
  • They also come with a group of templates for you to pick from, with industry-specific designs ready to go.
  • This means that you can build a website with a pre-built template in a matter of hours, for around $150 per year.
  • You also hold full editorial control so you can change everything you like whenever you want.

You could, for example, change the color scheme (though, for reasons stated here, we don’t recommend that or just some of the content. You could add some new images, or upload a new logo for the site. You are in total control.

Of course, this control comes with some rather damaging limitations. For one, you are left with a narrow number of options in terms of templates, and you’ll obviously suffer from a lack of unicity. Clients who come across your site and then see a competitor with the same will likely be put off by the template approach to website design.

Add in the fact that the site won’t be specific to your business, and it becomes easier to understand why some people are a little hesitant to get involved with website builders.

Website Designers

  • Website designers make a fine starting point as it allows you to get a unique, bespoke website built by a professional that is fully tailored to match your business.
  • More importantly, it’s built from scratch – it’s entirely your own. It suits your business, it’s only for your business and it means you never look the same as a competitor.
  • With more opportunity for a unique design, the opportunity to scale it up as your business grows always exists: unlike website builders, website designers make it easy to keep growing.
  • Add in the fact that professional imagery, branding and content is provided – all optimized for better search engine rankings, too – and it’s easy to see why designers win the day.

The only real issue that you might have when choosing website designers is the attached cost. You could easily be into the four figure region if you want to build a quality website that delivers business to you time and time again. That being said, the money you spend on a website that lasts for the long-term is the equivalent of what you might spend on a few months advertising alone.

With the fact a website provides you with professional help to solve any issue, too, it becomes increasingly easy to see why this is the go-to option for so many people. The cost might sound a lot upfront, but website designers make sure you always get a high return on investment, making it a worthwhile expense.

why hire a web-designer in SFWhat is right for you?

Naturally, at SF Website Design we come down on one side of the website builders vs website designers debate. We believe that no amount of the value provided by a website builder – and they do offer great value – can match the long-term reputational gains of a bespoke website design.

This helps to make it much easier for your business to strike out and stand on its own, rather than being tethered to the competition. While your competitors decide to stick with a generic website template, why not change it up and wow your audience with a new and improved website design?

Getting this right can be tough, but it’s a decision that is well worth your time and consideration. Done right, it could help to positively transform the way your business handles its marketing for years to come.

major website redesign update

The Key Elements to Consider During A Major Website Update

For many people, running a website is a pleasure – a source of joy that extends throughout your lifestyle. However, many people also find that, over time, they begin to lose that love for their website. Like a room in your home or the garden outside, the passing of time and the changing of culture means that it can begin to look a little flawed, empty – even dated. When you look at your website and can see the creeks and wrinkles beginning to form, a little bit of proverbial Botox might be just what it needs.

Knowing what to change, though, is just as hard as knowing when to carry out an update. With the rapid state of change in the digital world outpacing anything like fashion and furniture, changes can come about sooner than you had ever considered possible. To make sure that you aren’t sinking valuable time and capital into your website update, though, we recommend that you have a think about the following checklist.

Following this, you should find it a fair bit easier to make critical calls that will really improve the look, style and feel of your website.

Improving Performance

First and foremost, before any kind of facelift takes place, you want to know what is working well on the underside. What kind of facilities is your website using? You could likely modernise the back-end running of the site to improve the front-end at the same time.

First off, you should look to improve how well your website is running behind the scenes. Start off by taking a look at working with an analytics tool, such as Pingdom. Using this, you can get an idea of how fast your site is, how easy it loads, and how reasonable people are finding the overall user experience.

Once you do this, you know what needs to be changed and improved. From navigation being modernized to improving loading speeds of various pages, you can begin to make a telling difference to your website before a single pixel of the design is altered. To check your website speed you can always check: GTmetrix.

Going Responsive

Another key element of a good website stems from using a quality mobile-ready design. A website has to be capable of scaling down depending on the device it is being viewed on. If your website is hard to use on a smartphone or tablet, then change becomes an absolute necessity to make that possible.

Going responsive is a very important element of your business, and can utterly transform how you work, think and feel about management in general. Making sure that you are part of the ever-growing scale of mobile users is not an after-thought: at least, it shouldn’t be.

carousel responsive design

Laying the Trap

How good is your website at getting the details of those who come to visit? Do you have a mailing list? A subscription platform? Even just a ‘keep me updated’ section that helps people to sign up and get e-mail alerts? If not, why not?

This is vital in a modern business. Invest some crucial time and effort into ‘laying the trap’ of lead generation and you’ll find that you need less unique hits to make an impact. From making sure it all runs concurrent with active and fun social media accounts to building a mailing list that offers help, advice and offers, you can find many ways to help keep people engaged after their visit.

Take the time to work out how important your website is to the overall business performance, and how much it could play if it was running at optimum capacity. From finding mini-niches that you could explore further with your site to making sure people can feel comfortable about the speed and layout of the site, you have a lot of planning to put in place.

Correcting the Design

mobile design developmentMore importantly, though, is the design. The back-end and the user features are wonderful for keeping people interested and engaged, without doubt. However, correcting the design is just as important. A site could run like a dream, and have everything someone needs. If it looks awful, amateurish and out-of-date, though, it’s likely people will never get to see what lies beneath the surfaces.

For that reason, correcting the design is more than just a recommendation. While copying your competitors is a fruitless exercise, you should always look to work with a web developer who can modernize your business look.

From the color scheme to the layout and the fonts used, you have a lot of items to look at. Are you being too stereotypical in parts of the imagery? Are you someone who has built up a platform that feels outdated and over-the-top?

These are common problems, and can make your business less attractive to those who were potentially interested.

Do you have much media being used, either? What kind of content is on there? This plays into the design as much as anything else. Does the content make good use of headers, for design purposes as much as helping search engines do their hunting?

Does your website need a new look? Then hiring a professional to help you modernize it is very important. Hiring a web developer with an eye for imagery and artistic quality can be the difference between a good website, and a website that is inundated with customers!

Catching The Eye

Lastly, you should be paying attention to the overall kind of content being used. Is it word-heavy, or image-heavy? A fine mix is always the best aim for any business. You should always be ready to do some extra work and plan out accordingly. If you don’t have a blog, then making one and updating it once per week with SEO-friendly content is a must (See On-Page SEO Part 1 and How to structure your Website SEO).

The aim here is to update your website to make it more informative, more enjoyable to use, a bunch more simplistic and making it more appealing to the layman.

If you need help doing so, then contacting a professional web developer to help you begin the process is a must. Never accept second best: when treated with the right level of respect, a website can be your business card, your sales front, your blog and your advertisement all in one!

If you are looking for a website redesigned or update you should get in contact with us!

A WordPress Security Update with Brennen Byrne

Brennen Byrne wordpress security specialistSF Website Design at WordPress security seminar

On June 25 Automatic hosted a seminar about WordPress security in San Francisco.
The speaker of this event was Brennen Byrne. Brennen he is the cofounder and CEO of Clef, which is a company that provides services that takes care of website security. Here is the link to Clef website: getclef.com

Brennen was discussing what are the most important aspect about the WordPress security and he was emphasizing why it is so important to have your WordPress Website updated all the time.

If you thing about having a website secured, you also have to consider to update our template and plugins. We managed to get a list for you that will increase your website security and it is extremely important to follow through the checklist if you really want to have a secured website. You can get access to the list by visiting the link below:

http://blog.getclef.com/wordpress-security-checklist/
Another great plugin that can increase your wordpress website security is called Wordfance and you can download it from this link bellow:

https://wordpress.org/plugins/wordfence/

Seminar recording video:

If you are looking for a WordPress website designer don’t forget that we are here to help you get a website designed for you or your company. To see some of our websites you can check out our portfolio page by clicking this link. We are also offering WordPress tutoring lessons and you can get more information over here: https://sfwebsitedesign.net/wordpress-tutoring-san-francisco/.