Taking a stab at making your own website might appeal to you to save on costs for your business, but it’s a lot more complex that it seems. It can even end up costing more to do it yourself than hiring a professional, especially if you want it to be good. Here is 77 Rockets’ breakdown on why you might want to reconsider taking a DIY approach to your company website.
Keep your DIY to shelving, not websites
A new, high-quality website can be a major turning point in the life of a business – especially when three in four customers judge a company’s credibility based on their website. Having a confusing or visually unappealing website can seriously hurt your sales and your reputation, so why is it that a lot of business owners try the DIY route before going to a professional?
Many business owners who are trying to minimise costs think that making a website is something easy that can be knocked out in a few hours. They don’t really think about the skill or cost of making a good website. Using a DIY website builder like Wix or Squarespace might seem high quality, quick and cheap, but you can only ever have two of those things. If it’s high quality and quick, it isn’t cheap. If it’s cheap and quick, don’t expect high quality. If it’s high quality and cheap, don’t expect it to be quick.
How much patience do you really have?
A big flaw of DIY websites is ultimately a mix of your own lack of web design knowledge and an extremely limited amount of customisation. Without knowing a good chunk about design or website creation, you’ll likely end up doing one of the following when you think you’re ‘finished’ with your DIY website:
1. Scrapping it and starting again because you don’t like how it ended up
2. Going back to editing it more
3. Saying it’s done just to get it over with
Time is money, and that’s a lot of potentially wasted time – especially as you might end up paying an expert to fix your DIY attempt anyway.
DIY websites also rely on you to make any changes or tweaks to the website yourself. This takes up a lot of time and can easily be forgotten about – especially when you’re already working on your business. Forgetting to maintain your website can quickly make it outdated and leave your customers in the dark about any changes or updates to your business. Hiring a professional designer lets them focus on the maintenance and make the changes you want for you, saving you the time of doing it yourself.
DIY websites give you a lot of individual control, but control has its downsides – having too much control over the design can be damaging to your site and, in turn, your business. You might know your business better than anyone – it is your business after all – but you don’t know web design better than a professional web designer. Working with a designer lets you create the best site possible as you can bounce your expertise off each other to get the best results. DIY websites don’t offer you this luxury, leaving you to figure everything out by yourself. That could be by trial and error, trawling internet forums, or scouring hours of videos online, which all take up valuable time.
You realise that your website isn’t just for you, right?
When making a DIY website or using a DIY website builder, optimisation is a crucial element. Whether it’s mobile optimisation, SEO or load speed, it’s often missed by people who don’t understand how to optimise their site.
So just how important are these aspects of website building?
Smartphones make up over half of all web traffic, one in two will leave a site if it takes too long to load, and over 70% of people don’t reach page two of a Google search.
What does that mean?
It means that a good website is fast, ranks high on Google, and works well on mobile devices. Unless you have some serious coding knowledge and understand optimisation and SEO very well, a DIY website won’t come close to a professionally built site.
The design of your website is just as important, and without knowing design principles or having experience with design it can be a real struggle. You might want your website to look a certain way, but you might put off potential customers if it doesn’t appeal to them first and foremost.
DIY website builders like Wix use templates so people can make prettier sites faster. This may seem like a good option at first, but when everyone using Wix is using the same few templates, it makes it significantly harder to stand out. Worse than that, those templates are easily recognisable once you’ve seen the same ones a few times. This makes your template-based website not only fail to stand out, but also look like every other site with that template at a quick glance.
Potential customers see this as you not putting any effort into your own company website. Why would a customer trust you to put effort into the work they might have wanted from you if you won’t even do it for yourself?
The answer, quite simply, is that they wouldn’t. Having a poorly made website actively loses you customers, and that includes messy DIY sites and websites with generic templates.
Destroy your competition, not your own website
If your competition has a professionally made website, your DIY attempt is going to look amateur by comparison. Why is that a problem? Because your reluctance to invest in your own business is going to drive potential customers directly to your competitors.
Your business will fall further behind the longer their professional website outshines your DIY attempt. If your competition has a DIY website, a professional website could be what you need to surpass them.
Supporting your DIY website is hard work to do alone. You might have problems that are causing major problems that you can’t see because of a lack of knowledge in website troubleshooting. If you’re not actively paying close attention to your website traffic, for example, you could be only getting a 10th of the views you should be getting because of a problem you haven’t noticed. A 10th of the views means you’re missing a ton of potential customers. Using a professional web designer helps spot these kinds of problems as soon as they arise, as they know what to look for if something seems off.
While your own DIY website only has yourself for support, most DIY website builders don’t offer any kind of substantial support service at all – often outsourcing your problems to call centres on the other side of the world. The problem with this is that the support team have never seen your website before, so they’ll be learning about your website while they try to fix your issue. This can take a very long, frustrating amount of time, or even end up causing more issues for you.
Time is money, but what’s more valuable to you?
Having a professional web design studio build your website isn’t the cheapest thing in the world, and for good reason – years of study and experience, a plethora of tools and skills and security and design knowledge (as well as the raw cost of the site) are all considered.
The time needed to study web design tools, design principles, coding and the psychology of customers to a good level can take years, and even longer to understand how to apply it together effectively in a website. That’s a lot of time. That’s a lot of money.