Should You Build Your Own Golf Course Website or Hire a Professional?

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I was speaking at the National Golf Course Owners Association conference in Ottawa when I was asked a question from a golf course owner/operator. She wanted to know what I thought about website builders like Wix and Squarespace and if I thought it was a good idea for a person in her position to make her own golf course website.

There are pros and cons to both choices and when it comes to golf courses, it really depends on what the goal of the website is.

The pros are easy to list.

  • You will spend less money.
  • It’s possible to have a website built in one day.

The list of cons is much longer and more involved:

Using a Website Builder Can Take Up a Lot of Time

There is a learning curve to using a website builder. What seems like a simple process in a 30-second TV commercial is actually harder than it looks. That’s not to say it’s too difficult to use or that it’s impossible to get a good result in a short time-frame. For most, getting the look of the website just right can be a frustrating process.

It’s also important to consider the time it takes to create a golf course website using a website builder. Every hour spend making the website is time not spent on other aspects of the business. There is a real cost in hours invested in making a website that should be factored into the equation.

Outsourcing your website design could save you money in the long run.

There’s More to Design than Just Building a Website

A great website is more than just some nice pictures, a Google map, and some slick title fonts. The real heart of website design is creating a user experience that is easy and intuitive for visitors. A great golf course website should be easy to navigate and should guide visitors to the information they want and to perform the action they came for.

It’s possible to get great results from a website builder, but without a focus on user experience, it’s also possible to waste a lot of money, time, and effort on a website builder.

Slow Page Speeds

Have you ever been in line at a store waiting to buy one item, but there’s a line up that’s just not moving fast enough for you? Have you ever abandoned your item and left that store empty-handed?

Imagine how much easier it is to abandon a website that hasn’t loaded after a few seconds of waiting.

Website builders often come with a lot of unnecessary JavaScript code that will cause a golf course website to load slowly. If somebody searches your golf course on Google, and then clicks the link to your website, you don’t want to risk having your page not load in time for them to start down the path to becoming a customer.

Wrapping Up

There’s no question that there is a lot of money to be saved by using a website building platform like Wix or Squarespace, but there are other costs associated with this approach.

If all you want is a simple website with beautiful pictures of your golf course and some information like directions and a phone number, then a quick and cheap website builder will do that. But you’ll be trading off support, speed, and a lot of time

If you plan to integrate other software solutions like online tee time booking, dining room reservations, email marketing etc. or you’d like to capitalize on trends like e-commerce then having the expertise and support of a website design professional is well worth the investment.

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About Offcourse Golf

We're Josh & Roger. We started Offcourse Golf to combine our expertise in custom app & web development and digital marketing with our passion for golf. If you're looking to grow your golf business and earn more money, we have the tools and expertise to help.

"We've seen first hand the impact of using the app to fill our tee sheet."

Shawn Lavoie - The Winston Golf Club

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