You’ve chosen your domain and you’ve found the hosting package that’s right for you. Now it’s time to actually make your website. When you purchased your hosting package, were you offered the opportunity to hire web designers from your hosting company?
While it sounds like a great option at first glance, delve a bit deeper and it might not be the best idea. It all comes down to what your goals are for your site. What do you want your site to do? Does it need to look a certain way or perform specific tasks for you to achieve those goals? Let’s investigate further.
What Design Services do Your Web Hosts Offer?
Many web hosts will offer you a design package when you take out a hosting plan with them. The specifics of what they offer will vary from host to host, but it’s likely to be something like this.
You’ll be able to choose from a few pre-made templates. You’ll then be allocated a web designer from your host’s roster. You’ll send them an outline of how you want your site to function, along with all of the content you want on your site. The designers will do the rest. It won’t take long, around a week or less.
Once your site is up and running, it will update automatically. If you want to make any changes, the designers will carry them out, for a fee.
The main advantage of getting your web host’s designers to create your site is that it’s easy. You send the details over, and it’s all done for you, quickly and efficiently.
While prices vary between individual web hosts, it’s likely that the fees will be cheaper than those of specialist web design companies.
The designers build hundreds of these websites at a time, they work with templates they know function well. They’re stable, and won’t confuse your visitors.
The main disadvantage is that any website set up by a web host’s designer will be basic at best. If you want anything over and above basic, you can’t achieve it with the web host’s designers.
If you want third-party software integration for e-commerce, or if you want professionally written content, optimized for SEO, you won’t get that from a web host’s designers. Social media integration will be rudimentary at best.
If you want to make changes, especially on the fly, you won’t be able to. Furthermore, you’re tied to that web designer for the duration of your site. You won’t be able to make big changes further down the line, without paying a fee.
This is why you should consider all of the pros and cons before you make a decision. Think about how you want it to look, and whether how it looks affects visitor numbers. It may be that you can get away with the cheap and cheerful option. However, if you want to your website to perform any kind of function, or you want any kind of personal control over your site, you need to get your own designers in.
If you don’t want to use your web host’s designers, there are alternatives.
The halfway house option is using your web host’s drag-and-drop templates. Then you can design your website to a simple template, but still have control over look and content. These drag-and-drop systems are very easy to use, so don’t be daunted.
If you have a WordPress site, you can use a pre-existing theme, and add your own content to it. Again, it’s easier than you think, and it gives you control. Many themes are free, or they can be purchased for a small amount of money.
If you really feel that you don’t want to do it yourself, or your site is going to be so technical that you can’t do it yourself, then you will need to find a web designer. You could choose a specialist web design agency, or go with a freelancer. Again, think about what you want from your site, and find the designer that is right for you.
How to Choose a Web Designer
When you’re shopping around for a web designer the main consideration should be, can they provide what you need for your site to achieve its goal?
When you’ve found a web designer that you may want to use, check their past work. Does it look good to you? Have they ever made a site similar to how you want yours to be?
Can they write SEO optimized content? Can they provide seamless social media integration?
Look for reviews or testimonials from previous customers. Were they happy with their experience? Was the site built quickly and easily?
Do their prices fit in with your budget?
Finally a pro tip. Make sure your web designer uses a commonly used CMS, such as WordPress, Joomla or Drupal. It will make it easier for you to use a different designer if you want to make changes further down the line. You won’t be tied down.
It’s up to You
Should you hire your web host’s designers for your website?
Only you can decide whether a web host’s designers should design your site. If all you want from your site is something basic, that you can set and forget, then the host’s designer is a quick, easy and cheap option. If you want anything over and above that level, then it’s probably not the best idea.
Have you ever used a web host’s designer? How did it go? Leave us a comment to let us know.