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New Website Development: DIY Publishing Platform Versus Agency

If you’ve been watching TV, reading online articles or listening to buzz around the web design world, you’ve probably heard of a new company called SquareSpace. A web publishing platform, SquareSpace touts ease of usability, fresh templates and domain hosting all within an affordable package. The concept isn’t new – there are older DIY platforms that offer similar services such as Wix, Weebly, Google Sites, and (our favorite) WordPress. While budget conscious businesses may find these options appealing over investing in an agency, these platforms aren’t a one-size-fits-all strategy. Here are some key success factors that B2B businesses are missing out on:

Brand Appropriate Website

Many modern-day web publishers have a portfolio full of image rich, contemporary templates. While these templates work for photographers, restaurants, boutique shops and more, it’s not always appropriate for a B2B business. Website design that does not appropriately reflect your company branding sends a disjointed message to your target audience. DIY websites ultimately fail its core function: to educate and attract customers to your products and services.

SEO

Fast forward to the launch day… the platform publishes your website, but no one is able to find it. Site builders come with zero instruction on web appropriate marketing. Working with an agency provides a holistic look at your business’ web rankings, analytics, and overall performance verses your competitors. With this data, an agency can make changes based on knowledge of your industry and inbound marketing best practices.

Content Strategy

A website publisher may provide an option to add blogging or email marketing capabilities, but insights on what to write and how frequently is nonexistent. By employing a full-service agency, you receive a tailored website with an integrated content marketing strategy to keep your website current.

Dynamic Plugins

Some publishers include e-commerce, blogs, web analytics and social media plugins at additional cost for the user. While these plugins may seem helpful at first, many feature limited usability, resulting in you having to re-create your online sales process as a work around. Agencies are able to take your B2B business’ current practices and find the best digital solution.

Technical Support

Although site publishers advertise friendly 24/7-customer service by phone or email, remember the responsibility to repair programming errors falls on you. We understand most B2B businesses don’t have robust IT and web developers on staff, so fixing a website falls on the busy schedules of in-house marketing, sales, HR, even CEOs. Hiring a full-service agency ensures you have a direct line to “website 9-1-1” with someone who is personally invested in your site’s performance.

While these site generating packages are appealing, remember that creating an effective website can work for all budget levels. For a B2B business, investing in a firm with comprehensive capabilities in web development and marketing provides greater long-term returns.

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