That’s the first question we’re usually asked when a potential client approaches us about creating a website for them. We wish there was an easy answer, but there isn’t because every website is unique in scope and the audience it speaks to.
At Maniaci Marketing, when we’re speaking to new clients with questions like this, we use the analogy that a website is like the siding on a house – hopefully, one with some curb appeal. The wiring, plumbing are all in there. You don’t see them but you know all of those elements are integral to the functionality of the house.
Sticking with the real estate analogy, when you buy a home, the price is based on how many rooms and the levels of amenities that it contains. The price of a website also fluctuates as it reflects the volume of pages and levels of functionality needed to be integrated into the website.
The second question we’re asked is “Why would I pay you to design a website for me when I can make my own for free on Wix?” (or Squarespace, or Weebly…etc.)
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Yes, those website builder sites are great for someone who is new to the website world yet there are drawbacks: First of all, they are only “free” if you allow their advertising on your site. Removing ads or add features beyond your basic template requires payment, which in turn negates the “free” part. Depending on the audience or market you are trying to reach, having someone advertising on your site can make you appear less professional.
Another big disadvantage is that the free website building platform “owns” your website and its content. That means that if you decide to change it down the road, you are limited to merely using to a different template on that website builder and cannot easily migrate your content to another platform. You will be unable to migrate the layout of your existing site to another self-hosted website building site or WordPress template.
It is possible to move JUST your content to another self-hosted platform or a WordPress site through the process of copying and pasting (and will also need to remove the formatting from the website builder). In addition, if you hadn’t filed your images separately from that website builder, you will need to recompile them for your new site. It’s all possible, but very tedious – and time is money. If you opt to have your site on a WordPress platform it is YOURS.
Here’s an excellent comparison we found online:
Self-hosted Website Builders:
A website builder dedicated to simplicity and ease of use.
- Free/Freemium, including hosting.
- + Easy to learn and use.
- + Page builder built-in.
- – Small App Market with only 250+ plugins.
- – Not very flexible.
- – Lacking in advanced features and difficult to fully customize.
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A CMS (Content Management System), whose main draw is its massive community and full customization.
- Endless repertoire of user-made plugins and themes.
- Near unlimited control over design.
- It’s extremely easy to create, organize, and publish content — that’s what a CMS is for!
- Free and open-source, but that doesn’t include hosting.
- Easy to use, but takes a while to get the hang of.
- Doesn’t come with a page builder by default.
In general, self-hosted sites are simple to use, not very customizable and suitable for beginners. For beginners, using WordPress involves a higher learning curve to learn how to edit, update content and maintain. But, if you find yourself struggling to publish content on a self-hosted website building site and want more control over how it looks, a WordPress site is a great solution. The Content Management System (CMS) of WordPress has unlimited potential for any type of project or level of functionality and adaptability you need.
“Where do I start if I’d like Maniaci Marketing to create a custom website for me?”
The first thing to do is connect with us here on Embrace Creatives and private message us. We always begin the process with a Client Questionnaire that clarifies your website needs. Your responses help us identify and quantify the structure and functionality your website will require for us to create a custom website for you. We then prepare and send you a formal proposal containing information about the website design process and other details including timeline – and yes, the price.
Maniaci Marketing, LLC, brings 30+ years of experience in Graphic Design, Marketing and Advertising. We enjoy collaborating with our clients and approach every website design project from the vantage point of a new user to your site; how to make it visually appealing and easy to navigate. And, the launch of a site doesn’t necessarily mean we’re done.
We offer ongoing maintenance and update packages and can also provide tutorials if a client wants to learn to do it themselves. We make sure all of our client’s needs are addressed, they are happy with the process and ultimately have a site they are proud of.