Web Design: Don’t Do It Yourself
We are part of the DIY generation. If we can google it, we can do it, so why spend money on ‘unnecessary’ services when we have a vast abyss of knowledge right at our feet? However, even though this may be true in some cases, when it comes to building a fruitful and effective website, it needs to be left up to the professionals. The following five points are going to dispel some myths that are often associated with web design and online website builders.
1. It says it is free, so it is free
Unfortunately nothing in this world is free. Except for hugs, hugs are free. The reason that most people go with a do it yourself website builder is because they are under the impression that generating it is free of charge. Although the cost might not surface in terms of an online fee (at least not straight away), it does surface in the form of time and bad quality.
Everyone likes freebies, but when we receive things for free, we do not necessarily want the world to know that they were free. Hence why it is rather difficult to ignore the big banner that is spread across the bottom of your website advertising the company you used. Free online website builders make money through advertising, therefore when you create a website with them, they use your site as a platform to advertise not only themselves, but the rest of the commercial world as well. This is where quality control comes into play. If your customers somehow manage to identify your product after playing a game of Where’s Wally on your website, they will not just brush over the large banner that reads: ‘CREATE YOUR OWN WEBSITE FOR FREE!’ at the bottom of your page. First impressions are vital and if your customers feel that you have not invested money, effort or time into your website, why should they?
Speaking of time, before you undertake the task of setting up a website yourself you should determine the cost of your time. If the time you will be spending on your website could be spent managing and growing your business instead, DIY will cost your company. If you, for example, sell products online or implement a customer management system, designing and maintaining a website will be time-consuming. For online products, you need to ensure that each product has an original title and description. This means that you will have to create a new page entry for each individual product. Furthermore, if you want to optimise your website for search engines (which is pivotal in attracting customers), you will need a constant influx of fresh content. In other words, creating a website is not a once off thing. Websites need updates and maintenance, which take time.
2. It is low maintenance
As mentioned before, once your website is live, it will require continuous maintenance and updating to ensure that potential customers keep coming back. Although it is relatively easy to create a website with an online website builder, it is not very useful if your site does not feature on Google’s hot pages or if it starts giving problems. These are all things to consider when designing a website. Maintenance is necessary for more than just search engine optimisation. It is also required for running a smooth and operative website.
3. People will stumble across my site
The reason why people will not stumble upon your site if you make use of an online website builder is because of something called Flash. Most online website builders are created on this platform and it is not search engine friendly. Online website builders like WIX, for instance, limit you to just one page per website. Flash is what causes the illusion of multiple pages even though there is only a singular. One page, means that there is a decrease in content and a decrease in content results in having fewer keywords. Less keywords means that your website has less of a chance of popping up in search results (which is essentially what generates traffic for your website).
Online website builders produce basic sites that are more suitable for personal use rather than business. This is especially true if you plan on selling products online. You may be able to produce an attractive, functional site with some of the tools at hand, but you have to have at least some experience in coding and programming to add advanced features such as customer management solutions, a shopping cart application or membership management.
4. My site is original
Unfortunately it is nearly impossible to have an original website if you use an online website builder as a platform. The supply does not meet the demand in terms of templates versus active sites. Take WIX for example, they have 351 different templates listed and 14,184,264 websites up and running. It thus, goes without saying that your website will have thousands of competitors with the same design.
5. Web designers overcharge
This is one of the most common misconceptions regarding web development and design. People have the tendency to look no further once they have spotted the letters ‘F-R-E-E’. Thus, the comparison between standard web designing fees to ‘the lack of cost’ with WIX gives birth to the concept that web designers overcharge. The previous four points speak for themselves. In short, creating and maintaining a properly functioning site, is not as easy as it may seem. It has many different layers that need to be attended to in order to generate and continue generating traffic. Online website builders lack severely in these departments and thus, although advertised as free, they end up costing you more than what any decent web designer would charge you. As much as we love DIY, some things should just be left to the professionals. In this case, don’t do it yourself.