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Website Builders vs Dev Agencies

Have you ever tried to make something from scratch when you were a kid? Like a fort, a cake or a batch of cookies? But then to your dismay, it fell apart before your eyes and you’re stuck with a pile of unworkable materials. Despite religiously following the instructions, you missed the single crucial step that decided between a batch of soft, chewy cookies or a rock-hard mess only good as paperweights. This is why lots of people stick to ready-to-bake cookies or store-bought forts and playhouses. They just work, and negate the risk of heartache by having every element in a cohesive, readily-deployable package.

For the reasons described above, site builders like Squarespace and Wix gained traction throughout the past few years. They would simply work. And just like those box cookies that you mixed, added some ingredients to your liking, popped in the oven, and bam, you’d get cookies with perfect consistency but with sprinkles just as you always like it. Site builders offer a great balance between ease of use,  cost, and flexibility for a number of scenarios, and it’s definitely a boon that it allows people easy access to getting their thoughts out on the web.

But why then, would clients ever choose to pay agencies thousands of dollars for a custom website when all these DIY solutions are so plentiful? We live in a time where anyone, even with zero coding knowledge, can create a high-quality website. So why are web development and design agencies still around? Well, there are a number of reasons, and we’ll explore them here.

Diversity in Design

The most immediately apparent advantage of a bespoke website is the literal design. While there has been a vast improvement in the quality of the templates in DIY solutions, it’s hard to ignore that most of the templates look the same. With flat, layer-cake home page designs, and filtered stock photos, the common themes of ready-made site templates make it hard to stand out. Even if your message is unique or your service is unlike any other, the generic designs of site builders ironically make you a unique gem amongst many other unique gems. A custom-built site with your message and purpose in mind helps your business and presence be felt, and can make the difference between sales and bounced visits.

Backend Backbone

Digital agencies bring not just design prowess, but backend expertise as well. Additionally, with their broad experience with many external web platforms, agencies will help your site successfully interact with a plethora of third parties, making it deliver a holistic experience to the user. While site builders provide a respectable level of interaction with things like e-commerce and commenting platforms, many site builders are unable to organically deal with things like outdated financial reports API that still uses SOAP calls and XML responses. A professional dev team can take all that chaos and pull them together in a maintainable way that fixes current problems but ensures that your site it future-proof as well.


Perhaps the least apparent, but undoubtedly the most important benefit of working with an agency is that they formulate complete digital strategies for your site. It is often the hardest benefit to see, but it’s the most rewarding. It’s true that most sites have relatively simple systems, so it can be hard to see why anyone would need to crawl through URL structures and organizing existing content.

But for one large e-commerce site who has complex systems, seeing $300M yearly profit increases from a single change that a digital agency suggested is pretty concrete proof that it’s necessary.

For many users, website builders are ideal even for running well-known blogs and online shops. They are affordable, fast, and can provide relatively high-quality results, but when clients need sites that go beyond ready-made templates and generic designs, working with a talented digital agency can definitely pay off in uniqueness, dependability, and overall user satisfaction.

Published in Design Development


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