TRUST ME, YOU REALLY DON’T WANT TO DO THIS ON YOUR OWN
If you have a business you need a business website, that part is clear to almost every small business owner. Actually getting a business website is a totally different subject. In an effort to conserve limited startup funds especially new business owners want to do this on their own. Unfortunately DIY business website design is a really bad idea in most cases.
To be absolutely clear, of course you can build your own business website! With access to website builders like Weebly or Wix, and other free website templates, the ability to build your own website for your small or new business has never been easier. Or so it seems at first glance. What isn’t included in these DIY business website design templates are the actual instructions for creating an effective business website.
Of the DIY’s (Do-It-Yourselfers) that embark on building a site, 98% of them fail in publishing one at all. Marketing Tech Blog
By hiring a professional web designer or agency you ensure that your business website serves the needs of your business by attracting visitors, engaging them, and converting them into consumers right from the start. Doing this on your own will take a lot of trial and error, and most likely you will not succeed on your own.
If you really, really want to build your own business website I can’t stop you. But I recommend that you consider this very carefully! Here are some of the main reasons why we consider DIY business website design to be a big mistake for most businesses
9 REASONS WHY DIY BUSINESS WEBSITE DESIGN IS A BAD IDEA
1 – WRONG PRIORITY
Unless you are a professional web designer yourself designing your own business website should not be your priority. Instead of going through all the effort just to figure out how to add content to a free template, or struggling to understand how to get started with a free website builder you have better things to do.
That includes everything from talking to existing clients, networking to get new ones, stocking your shelves or cooking in your restaurant. You may even want to consider spending more time with family, loved ones, or simply relaxing and recharging yourself.
If you believe that DIY business website design should be your priority you should reconsider. I am sure that as a new business owner you have lots of other things to do that are more valuable for your business and more fun for you. Focus on those instead. By doing so you will have a much more positive impact on your business than failing at DIY business website design.
Trust me with this; I have seen too many DIY website failures to wish this on any business owner
2 – BAD FIRST IMPRESSION
The first reason why DIY business website design is a really bad idea is the fact that you most likely will create a bad first impression of your business. Your business website is your most important advertising tool. Your website will likely be the first place a potential customer will learn about your business, story, services and products. And just like in real life you only get one chance at this.
Your potential customers are going to form an opinion about your brand based on your online presence. And your business website is a big part of that! If you don’t grab your customer’s attention in a few seconds (remember that goldfish have a longer attention span than we do!), or if your website has a confusing navigation menu, many typos, or lacks a functional contact form your customers will move on to your competition.
Only a well-designed business website will attract and convert consumers. Simply put, by having a quality business website design you are showing your site visitors that you are a quality business. It shows that you care enough to invest in your online brand. For that reason alone DIY business website design just doesn’t measure up!
3 – NO IMPACT
If you want your business to stand out from the digital noise you need to create an effective brand. One of the major downfalls of DIY business website design, website builders, and free templates is the lack of customization. If you’re using a free website builder or buying a pre-made template, chances are that hundreds, if not thousands, of other business websites are using the same design. That alone makes DIY business website design highly ineffective for most brands.
Furthermore, most DIY website templates only allow for very minimal customization, and in some cases even basic customization is not even an option. And without a custom design your business website will simply blend into the digital noise blend. And all of this becomes an even bigger problem id you don’t even have an existing brand identity; most new businesses don’t.
Professional web designers or agencies provide additional services that can really make a difference for your business website. Professionals can help you develop a brand strategy that gives your company a consistent brand image. Not only will that make your other marketing and print collateral cohesive; it will give your business the polished look that will get you noticed.
Another important consideration is the content you need for your website. Yes, of course you can write your own, and take your own images. But we have seen enough examples that we really don’t recommend that. To really make their website content shine most business owners benefit from content strategy and copywriting and professional photography services. DIY business website design includes neither.
4 – NO SEARCH VISIBILITY
Most business owners simply think of the actual design when considering the DIY business website design approach. While that may seem pretty straight forward, there is a lot of behind the scenes work that goes into developing a website. Among them is the process of search engine optimization, or SEO. And that alone is a very big topic, and one that most business owners don’t really understand at all.
To get your business website to rank well on search engines, you really need to know what you are doing. In addition to having SEO-friendly content and building SEO-friendly links you also need to pay attention to Google best practices and avoid common small business SEO mistakes.
So unless you have experience working with website code, your on-site and on-page SEO will not measure up to that of a professionally designed and developed business website. Go ahead and do a Google search for your industry or service, and see who comes up first. The companies that invested in professional development most likely rank higher in search engine results pages (SERPs.) In other words, if you want to rank you better forget about DIY business website design.
5 – NOT OPTIMIZED
Another serious concern with DIY business website design is the basic lack of security and performance. Most DIY website builders or free templates offer minimal security and are unable to meet the high traffic volumes. This type of website is more likely to be compromised, which can be fatal for businesses if any private information is leaked.
Professional website designers will offer technical solutions to keep your business website running smoothly and protect it from cyber attacks and other malicious threats such as malware. In addition they can help improve website performance and page load times, which is another key ranking signal for search engines. DIY business website design means that you have to figure this out yourself.
6 – NO COST SAVINGS
Another reason that many owners opt for DIY business website design is the common belief it is the cheaper option. The cost of hiring a professional web designer or agency is often a deciding factor, especially for startups and new businesses. However, DIY business website design will end up costing you much more in the long run.
Look at it this way. It is not just the initial investment; it is the return that investment provides for your business. If you do go the DIY route, you run the risk of making all kinds of mistakes because web design is not your expertise. Professionally designed business websites not only receive more traffic, but they will engage your potential customer to take a look around, and convert them into your consumers.
You absolutely need your visitors to stay on your website long enough to learn enough about your brand to purchase your product or services. You really don’t want them to go to your competition for their needs, do you? Most DIY websites inevitably lead to that result, which is another reason DIY business website design is not helping you succeed
7 – WASTED TIME
For most of you web design is not your expertise. You may well think that a ready-made theme or template will save you time. But in reality you will spend hours simply learning how to install and configure the theme, add your content, and make modifications to match the theme to your current branding. It takes a lot of research to find color schemes, images, and fonts that reflect your company’s brand.
Let’s break this down a little more. The average business website takes our team around two weeks, or 80 hours. About a day of that time is spent researching the required functionality, testing frameworks and plugins, and collecting the required components. Figure on four days of design, two days of adding content, and one day for tweaks and edits. Don’t forget that we are experts and know all kinds of shortcuts that the average business owner doesn’t.
A project that takes our team 60-80 hours can easily take the average business owner anywhere from 120 – 160+ hours, or more! That is anywhere from 3 to 4 plus weeks of time you should spend running your business instead! Imagine all that you can do with that time that will be much more beneficial to your business than DIY business website design. Of course, you could simply take an extra 2 or 3 weeks off, or take an extra half-hour for lunch every day!
Especially when you are a small business owner, your primary focus should be running and growing your business. By hiring a professional web designer or agency, you save the time learning how to create and update your business website. And that is a main reason that DIY business website design is not a good idea.
8 – LITTLE OR NO SUPPORT
There is a little known secret in our world. Professional web design is 20% design and development, 75% troubleshooting across different browsers and devices, and 5% of WTF moments. Welcome to our world! Unfortunately most business owners only see the “fun” part when considering DIY business website design. It takes a lot more than that to build an effective business website.
There are all kinds of bugs and technical glitches that can occur with your small business website. Google’s requirement that you have a responsive, mobile-friendly website only adds to that difficulty. Not only are professional designers always looking for better solutions, they are also more familiar with implementing them. DIY business website design usually requires a steep learning curve, and that hurts your business.
And then there is the whole aspect of hosting and maintaining your business website. Yes, many DIY business website design options include hosting, and even some support. But is that really the best option for your needs? There are many different options for business website hosting that a professional can help you understand. And most also provide regular website maintenance and support options that are not included in a DIY business website design project.
9 – EXPENSIVE TO MODIFY
Many new businesses consider DIY business website design simply as a starting point. The idea is to start on the cheap with a DIY website, and upgrade to a more custom design at a later date. I really advise against that approach! For a number of reasons this is most often a very expensive option.
Many DIY template builders are set up so that a website developer can’t even make customizations to the template, or access the website code. That means that for any customizations or changes you may want in the future will have to hire a professional web developer. And usually that will end up costing you more than getting a professionally designed website in the first place.
Even worse, most DIY template builder services are what we call hosted solutions, meaning that your website cannot be transferred to another hosting provider. If your domain name changes, or if you need to move your website, you would have to invest in a new website. This will end up costing you more time and money and take away all of the work that went into the original site.
THE DIY BUSINESS WEBSITE DESIGN ALTERNATIVE
Let’s face it, folks! The only way to get a business website that will work for you instead of against you is to work with a professional web designer right from the beginning. You need to look at this as an investment in your business success. I am sure most of you engaged the services of other professionals to help you get started, such as a lawyer or business consultant.
A professional can offer you better options and solutions than the DIY business website design approach ever could. They can help you avoid common business website mistakes and help you establish an effective business website right from the start. And for almost every small, new, or startup business that is a much better, faster and cheaper option than DIY business website design
WE DESIGN AWESOME BUSINESS WEBSITES
Here at SDDS Web Design, we offer a full range of business website consulting and design services, click here and learn more about our business website design services. Our team can help you determine exactly what type of website and content you really need, and help you avoid the DIY business website design blues. All you have to do is click the button below. The highly caffeinated team is here to help!
Do you have anything to add to our list of DIY business website design concerns? Maybe you have your own horror story you can share? Please leave your comments below so our audience can benefit as well, and help other business owners get an awesome business website without having to go through the DIY business website design pains by sharing this post with them!