The initial cost of a self-build website may be low or even free, although there will be other charges further down the line. There is also the time taken to build the site by you to consider, this comes as an indirect cost to your business.
'Free' websites often start with no fees and then costly monthly charges are applied or you have to upgrade your package to avoid intrusive banners being displayed on your site. Also, there may be expensive additional fees for adding plug-ins for example.
Look and Feel
Visitors will make a number of assumptions about your business based on your website, having a great looking, clean and professional site offers huge value to the business. One size fits all templated websites can be difficult to navigate and appear almost identical to thousands if not millions of other sites.
With few options to customize a templated site and it being impossible for one of these sites to look unique, your templated site stands little chance of standing out from the competition.
A self-build site is likely to have little capability for SEO (Search Engine Optimisation), this will mean your site will effectively be invisible to potential searching customers. Even if your site has options to help you optimise it, you will need to have sufficient knowledge of SEO yourself. Without professional advice, this can be a difficult and time-consuming exercise. SEO is also important to small businesses for a number of other reasons also.
Additionally, build-your-own websites will share hosting with thousands of other sites. This will lead to slow page loading times, leading to visitors becoming inpatient, which is one of the main reasons people will leave your website.
If anything goes wrong with your self-build website the level of assistance is almost zero. Website support is not usually included, meaning when you inevitably encounter a problem with your site, it will cost you or certainly take up a significant amount of your time. As you will more than likely have to spend hours scrolling through online tutorials.
Whilst the idea that your site could be built in a day is appealing, the truth is quality websites take time to design and build. Usually the first place people will look to find out about your business is your website and all other marketing activities will lead back to your website. With this I mind, having a great looking and effective website is an important investment, requiring time and effort to produce.
Creating an effective website at the very least means great design and a reasonable level of SEO. Your website is also a huge focal point of your brand and a way to convert leads. For this reason, self-build websites are not adequate for most businesses. Becoming an expert in different fields of web design is also time consuming, wouldn't your time be best spent on running your business?