Not too long ago, DIY web design for a business would have been a crazy concept. But thanks to new online tools like website builders, easy to use content management systems and ready-made web design templates, you no longer have to be tech savvy to get a website online. So maybe you’re wondering whether you really need to hire a professional website developer or if it would be possible for you to build a website yourself.
Six Things to Consider Before You DIY a Website
DIY projects can be faster, easier, and cheaper, but there’s usually a catch. DIY websites can come with their own issues, some of which may end up costing you more in the long run. If you are considering building your own business website, it’s important to weigh your options carefully. To help, here are some pitfalls of DIY websites for you to consider.
1. Building a Website Takes Time
We’ve all heard “time is money” more times than we can count, but it’s true. Especially for anyone who runs their own business. Most small business owners are incredibly busy just running their businesses and balancing the rest of their lives. No matter how simple a website you’re planning or what builder you choose to use, it’s going to take time. You’ll need to research website builders, choose a design theme, write your content, take or purchase photos, install plugins, search engine optimize it, etc. Depending on how valuable your time is, in the end the amount of time your DIY website takes may not be worth the money it saved you.
2. Web Design is More Than Looks
Good website design goes beyond simply looking good. It requires purpose. It needs to consider function and user experience. It may sound appealing to have complete creative control over the look of your website, but you will be limited by your skills and abilities. And if you rely on a theme, although there are many attractive designs to choose from, they aren’t optimized for your business, your consumer or to drive conversions. An amateur looking website that isn’t tailored to your fit your business, brand or consumer can hurt your business, ruin your credibility, and cost you customers.
3. Writing Web Content is as Much an Art as it a Science
We’ve said it before. We’ll probably say it again. When it comes to your website, content is king. The words you choose matter. They not only need to represent your brand in a friendly and meaningful way while also providing visitors with useful information that will get them to take action and drive sales, but they also help determine where your site will rank in the search engine results. That’s a lot to take into consideration. If writing isn’t really your thing, it might be best to leave the task to an experienced copywriter who can balance SEO best practices with compelling content that will bring your brand to life in a way that meets business goals.
4. Templates Are Limiting & Lack Customization
Templated or themed websites come with far too many limitations. Design options are limited, and you might not be able to find something that matches the look and feel of your brand. They are difficult and time consuming to customize. Future buildouts are pretty much out of the question, severely limiting the life span of your site. Functionality is limited to what’s available with your chosen theme, which means your site might not work the way you want it to or the way your visitors expect it to, costing you customers. You may even run into issues integrating analytical tools that help track and evaluate your website’s performance. If you want a website that’s going to work the way you want, do all the things you want it to do and grow with your company, a DIY templated site isn’t going to cut it.
5. DIY Websites Aren’t Always Search Engine Friendly
DIY websites tend to not have the cleanest code. While that might not bother you, it makes it difficult for search engines to read your site and determine which results it should show up it. This, along with the fact that most themes are built to accommodate a lot of add-ons and plugins, can affect your site’s SEO. All this unnecessary code will bog down your site, slow down its load time and negatively impact your search engine rankings. Another SEO factor a lot of themes miss the mark on is mobile responsiveness. Now more than every people are viewing websites on phones and other mobile devices and Google is rewarding the ones that provide a great experience across devices. Unfortunately, not all templates are mobile responsive.
6. Trouble Shooting Issues & Finding Support is Difficult
While you are having fun dragging-and-dropping images and content into your template, there’s a lot of coding is happening and usually a few bugs and technical glitches as well. What nobody told you is that web design and development require a lot of troubleshooting, not to mention updates, hosting and maintaining your website once it’s up and running. With a DIY site you’ll be limited to what’s available from the builder as far as support and hosting go, whether it’s the best option for you or not.
So Why Use a DIY Website Builder?
The reason most business choose a DIY website is cost. Hiring a professional website designer and programmer can be expensive, and when you run the numbers building your website yourself is almost always going to come in lower than hiring a professional. At least initially. In the long run, a website that doesn’t perform well, isn’t easy to navigate, doesn’t sell your products or services, looks cheap, loads slowly and isn’t mobile friendly, will cost you customers and could end up costing you more money than you saved.
Your website is often the first impression new customers get of your business. It sets the bar for the kind of service and products they’ll expect from you. It’s not where you want to cut corners. A better option is to find a web company that has your best interests in mind. One that will seek out your needs and exceed them in every possible way while setting you up with custom website that will grow with your company. If you’re looking for a web company that will do that, give us a call at (414) 232-7862 or contact us online to find out if we’re a good fit for you.