On the surface, website builders and templates offer an affordable alternative to custom-built websites. They handle your domain name registration and hosting services and in 30 minutes you’re ready to go. Seems too easy, right? It is.
Your website is your online business. It is an online platform used to engage leads and conversions with potential clients and partners. Your website is a reflection of your brand!
When considering whether you should use a website builder or invest in a custom-built site for your business, think about this:
- Which option will win you more business?
- How much money will be won or lost in each case?
- What are the trade-offs of website builders?
Key Advantages of Custom-Built Websites
The specialized approach of a custom-built website comes with up-front costs that are an investment in your business. You get what you pay for with a custom-built website as you experience these key advantages:
- Ideal for ensuring that your brand is visible on the web: You have control over search engine optimization for optimal website performance and visibility in Google searches for your products and services
- Professional expertise supporting your long-term vision: Custom-built sites leverage professional expertise in usability and design to handle strategic oversight of how your online business will evolve as technology evolves
- Option to include install interactive tools: leverage your client interactions online with lead generation, ecommerce, email subscriptions, etc.
- Save time: The time our clients save by hiring a professional is worth more than the cost of the custom-built website. While collaborative, the process for building your custom-built website frees up your time. Professional expertise allows you to save time trying to figure out all the technical aspects of building and launching your site
Limitations of Website Builders
- Ownership of site content: Life Facebook, you don’t own your own content with website builders. What does that mean? When you are ready to move your online business to the next level and self-host, you will need to hire a professional or manually transfer all of your content as website builders do not have an export functionality for migrating your content.
- You don’t have control over your website: Just like Facebook algorithms update without your input, website builders can change their terms of conditions at any time. The impact: you don’t have control of your online business.
- Limited Customization: Regardless of customization options offered in the template you purchase with your license, other sites will look similar to yours. Even the most robust website templates offer limited customization options, therefore it will cost you additional time to figure out the content management system (CMS). Any template customization beyond set options for each website builder requires specialized technical expertise at an additional cost.
Consider Opportunity Cost
The investment in your online business depends on your website goals, timeline and budget. Consider the opportunity cost with these key questions:
How much is a lead worth?
The value of a lead is based on the projected amount of average revenue each lead contributes per year. The value varies depending on your business model. For example, a lead for an online book store that sells items priced $30 or below has lower lead value than a lead generated for a financial investor, who may earn more than $100,000 per client.
How much revenue are additional leads worth?
A custom-built site allows you to include lead generation via custom email subscriptions. The amount of additional leads generated through your custom-built site will vary based on individual online business requirements.
Most importantly: what is the overall impact that leads generated on your website will have on your business? How much additional revenue will your business gain or lose if you chose the custom-built website option over the website builder?
Potential Lost Revenue with Website Builders
If your website expects to generate 10 or more qualified leads per year, consider the added revenue that leads from your website will generate:
- Cost of custom-built website: $5,000
- Value Per Lead: $10,000 of additional revenue
- Projected Leads Conversion: 10 or more
- Additional Revenue Projection: $100,000+
- Projected ROI (Revenue Projection – Cost) = $95,000+
In this example, a custom-built site would have paid for itself after gaining one new client from the custom-built website.
Consider the ROI: While you’re paying less up front with a website builder, it would effectively cost you more than $95,000 in lost business.
Maximize your ROI: When it comes to building your online business, investing more up front makes sense when your projected revenue outweighs the costs for your custom website.
Think about the future of your business
Clients often decide against investing up front in custom-built websites when their expected lead generation and conversions seem marginal at this initial stage. The trade-off of saving money on professional fees in exchange for passing on a perceived insignificant number of leads costs companies a lot more money in lost revenue in the long run.
Kuhlabo recommends custom-built websites for your online business to ensure that you receive long-term value for your brand, while engaging your target clients and generating quality leads and revenue for your business. Consider the opportunity cost so that you know how much revenue you can gain with a custom-build or lose with website builders. Maximize the ROI in your online business!
Kuhlabo offer clients support in establishing a strong foundation for building your online business to achieve your long-term objectives and measure quality leads and conversions. Contact us for a free consultation for your online business today.