It’s common knowledge that if you want any kind of exposure to the public, an online presence is essential. Whether you’re an established business, a startup or a blogger, having a professional-looking and easy to use website and app is often the first step involved in presenting yourself to the world. With over 2billion websites on the internet, 400million of which are active, cyberspace can feel like it’s running out of space – but this is just testament to how important websites and apps are in the age we live in.
The reality is that many people do not know how much time, money and attention goes into building a website that looks and feels slick. Building your own site or app can take the focus off the day to day running of your business, and many online platforms like Shopify have moved to fill this space – offering tools and apps to help skyrocket your sales. These platforms are often the best option for businesses. Here we will find out why
The bottom line is ultimately the most important factor when it comes to running any kind of business and paying a professional to build your website can eat into it in a big way. Web developers can charge anywhere between $30-$80 per hour, even more, if you’re after a top-end service. Factor in software support and IP rental and the costs being to stack up.
Choosing a cheaper developer may seem like a good cost-saving idea in the short term. But having a badly designed website that has a poor user experience and is prone to bugs is likely to drive customers away, ultimately costing money in the long run.
This is where pre-built websites and apps come into the picture to save the day. These services give you a chance to build your online space from pre-existing templates, meaning you don’t have to spend the money to hire a developer to build from scratch. Platforms such as Wix offer their premium business packages from as little as $23 dollars a month – domain name and hosting included. By spreading their expense across thousands of users, these providers can afford to offer budget beating prices without scrimping on the service.
Time is money – one of the oldest cliches in the book. But it’s a cliche because it’s true. The average time it takes to build a website from the ground up is an eye-watering 14 weeks. This includes 3 weeks of discovery (learning exactly what it is your business needs), 6 weeks of design, 3 weeks initial development, and 2 weeks of development. That’s without factoring in extra time spent to develop an app. All of this adds up to a lot of potential money and customers lost. Not to mention this, while the website is in development your focus as a business owner is drawn away from the day-to-day running of your business and towards the ongoing construction of your online space.
In comparison, you can list products for sale on a platform such as Shopify in as little as 20 minutes. These platforms have done the hard work behind the scenes already – all you need to is come in at the last moment with the finer details and add the finishing touches. Using a tool like Wix, you can have a clean, crisp and professional website launched and ready to browse in under 2 hours – a huge difference on the 14 weeks it would take to launch a site from scratch.
Pros of building a website/app
Hiring a developer to build a website isn’t all one-way traffic. Time and money will be lost if you chose this route, but it does come with its advantages that pre-built websites or apps lack. Firstly and chiefly, by hiring a developer you are guaranteed a unique website that looks exactly the way you want. Although there are many design options to choose from, a lot of the prebuilt sites and apps can have a similar feel, especially for someone who spends a lot of time on the internet.
Secondly, hiring a developer will give you much deeper customisation options and will ensure that your online presence is tailored exactly to the needs of your business and clients.
Prebuilt software can create great-looking sites and apps that give a fantastic user experience. If you have restrictions on time and money this is definitely the way to go. If you are willing to stretch the budget a lot further in these areas or your business really needs a unique, fully customised website – it’s time to start reaching out for a web developer.