In the spirit of the Halloween season upon us, I thought I would describe what I often refer to as a ‘website horror story’. Unfortunately, I often hear these stories from new clients who have decided to seek out a professional when the ‘Do It Yourself’ web design route failed.
I’m sure you’ve all seen the ads on TV and Facebook. Telling us how easy it is to click together a website to use for your business. But is it really?
Gather around the fire and I’ll explain why we should all steer clear.
DIY websites just don’t work in the real world. Sure, web design themes and templates look great when you’re thinking about purchasing one—but when you actually go to customize and add your own content and information to the them, they just don’t usually work out. It can be very frustrating, you just can’t force someone else’s design to work for your content/web needs. Templates get the entire process backwards and result in very awkward websites.
DIY websites are not as simple as filling in the blanks. How many times have you seen a business website that is empty on some pages, un-balanced on others, and just appears to be an all around unfinished project? Chances are, these sites come from website creation services that sound good at the time, but very rarely end up with professional results. What they do end up with is your money, month after month, and your best intentions “to go in and make the needed improvements sometime soon.” Business professionals don’t have time to worry about this—that’s why they hire web design professionals instead.
DIY websites are not necessarily cheaper. Yes, pro quality web design does have an upfront cost. True, there is a fee to host your websites on a business-grade server (you should expect no less). But when you average out the total cost over 3 or so years—a reasonable life span for a website—you’ll most likely find that professional custom web design is every bit as affordable as paying month to month for a mediocre DIY all-in-one website/hosting service.
DIY websites don’t make the grade when it comes to SEO. SEO requires professional experience to get it right. And the code has to be super speedy and impeccably clean for best results. At least the basics of SEO are mandatory for any business that wants to be found on the web. Without it, you might as well not even exist.
DIY websites aren’t created with an ROI mindset. Many choose to think of websites as an expense. But the bottom line is that your business website should be making you money and supporting your efforts to earn a profit offline. When working with professionals and clear goals, achieving an attractive return on your investment becomes a primary objective.
Content credit: Sleepless Media
As technology improves in the future, so may these options to the point where they do in fact become what the current ads are trying to sell. However most of us may be ghosts ourselves before this is the reality.