With all the cheap options for building template-based do-it-yourself websites, why have it done professionally? I'll boil it down to just two words: "distinctive" and "effective." Those 20 total characters are the difference.
Let's take on Wix websites for a moment. To my eye they all share a generic look. You don't have to look inside the source code to know that you have landed on a Wix website.
As opposed to that paradigm, a custom website will look "distinctive," conveying the idea that your company offers a completely unique value-added proposition. There's no one else quite like you. You are in a class by yourself. Your competitors? A bunch of third-rate wannabees.
You're a future Milwaukee web design customer of ours if you place a value on distinctive. If you don't think that being distinctive matters enough that you are willing to pay for it, you'll go to Wix.com right now.
Be aware though that their websites are not free, as the ads tout. You'll be paying $50 a year for a site that's wallpapered with Wix ads. So really, at the low end of the price range, you are renting space on an Internet billboard. Ad-free Wix websites start at about $110 per year.
Right now, the only add-on app is an e-commerce module. Serious business users will go with the so-called "unlimited" plan at $150 per year. First-year domain fees are covered, but you will pay for subsequent renewals.
Technical support is reported to be so-so. These sites also have a reputation for being very slow to load. You will not be able to customize/optimize the site for different smart phones and tablets.
Professional Web Design is Effective Web Design
In its ubiquitous and misleading advertising, Wix claims 77 million users around the world. The actual number is reported to be around 1 million (compared to 30 million websites for Joomla). In any event they have done well, demonstrating a big appetite among people who don't ask much from a website.
If you do ask a lot from your website, you need the second commodity offered by professional web developers: "effective." That one word covers a lot of territory, but here's the core meaning: Your website vividly, compellingly markets your brand, expands its reach, wins customer loyalty and drives increased revenue. It looks great, gets seen and works hard for you.
To accomplish all of that, you need a team of talented, experienced and creative Internet marketing professionals.
In my industry there's been some unfair bashing of Wix websites. It's been claimed that Google doesn't index Wix website pages. That is false. But on the other hand, it is true that Wix doesn't equip you with the tools to do intense, competetive search engine optimization. Assuming you do know a thing or two about SEO.
So Wix provides the kind of website that functions as an online brochure to which you direct prospects. "Hi, I'm Jim Gribble, Milwaukee website designer and SEO Internet marketing specialist. Take a look at javelincommunications.com." And your website address is on your business card and maybe you do a little cheap advertising. For something like that, Wix might do fine. We can even help you create the site so that it looks professional and reads well.
What's happening with web design parallels what has happened with photography. Smartphones have given everybody access to immensely powerful, high-resolution digital cameras. But just because you carry around this fantastic camera in your pocket doesn't suddenly make you Ansel Adams. Just because Wix and others are selling cheap websites doesn't make you an Internet marketer.
Try to remember that cheap isn't free when it results in lost opportunity. In fact, if cheap were an element, it would be the most expensive element known to science.