Your website is the first impression your business gets to make on potential clients. Users decide within 5 seconds if they are going to interact with your brand based on how your website looks, how it makes them feel and how easy it is to use.
I understand the initial appeal of choosing to use a free or low-cost website builder. They advertise themselves to you as quick, affordable and easy to use. Honestly, if it seems too good to be true, it’s because it is.
Before you attempt a website DIY, consider the following:
- Do you have the time to build your own site?
- Do you have the expertise and resources to do a good job?
- Do you know best practices for mobile-ready design?
- Do you have the necessary skills to maintain your website after you build it?
Be honest with yourself about your design skills and what your business needs from a website. Your business, like mine, is important to you and deserves to represent your vision clearly, professionally and in a voice that matches your brand.
Reasons You Shouldn’t Design Your Own Website
Building a website is an art form and not something that you can learn in an afternoon. Good website designers are experienced, educated and current with their professional development as the web is a constantly changing platform.
Good design is not just how a website looks. It includes:
- How it makes people feel
- How it gets the user to engage
- How it portrays your business’s character
- How evidently your brand’s message is displayed
Most importantly, good design builds trust!
Free website templates and DIY web builders are limited in the customizations they offer. This means that many businesses before yours have used the exact same template with the same limited customizations, resulting in thousands of websites that all look and feel similar.
Using drag-and-drop software might seem easy but you quickly realize its limitations as you try and tweak the elements to reflect your branding. It is extremely time consuming to make any kind of change to the one-size-fits-all template and you often end up with an amateur looking design.
If nothing else, consider this: your competitors might not be taking any chances in getting their website design wrong – meaning they’ve hired a professional to create a beautiful and fully functional website.
It Will Cost You Time
Even if you are using drag-and-drop tools, it will still take you a long time to build a website. Tweaking a ready-made template is time consuming and can be very frustrating.
What is your time worth? How much are you paying yourself an hour to design and develop your own website?
I have had many clients who were website DIYers – frustrated with the result of their efforts and with the amount of time they had invested in the project. I can tell you from their experience that by the time you are finished learning, deciding on a web builder tool, choosing a template, customizing the template, adding your content, optimizing your images, adding links, adding basic SEO and security, and then launching, you are working for FREE my friend! AND you probably won’t end up with the website you had initially envisioned for your business.
Time is money and while you’re spending enormous amounts of time trying to learn how to build a website, it’s time away from running your business.
A Fresh Perspective
When you are busy running your business, sometimes it’s not easy to find the time to put yourself in your clients’ shoes. It can be difficult to imagine how your website looks to a new user and, if they decide to stay, how they will interact with it.
Partnering with a web designer brings another set of eyes to your project. Often I will catch things that might otherwise have been missed during the planning, designing and developing phases that will enhance the user’s experience.
A few common errors that I come across when analyzing business websites:
- No prominent contact details – a potential client not having immediate access to your contact information may be the deciding factor in them going to your competitor
- No statement clearly defining what it is you do – be clear and to-the-point about how your business can help potential clients
- No clear call to action – let users know what action you want them to take once they are on your site
Having a website designer’s is valuable and will save you time and money while also growing your business.
While you might be able to pull something basic together by watching tutorials on YouTube, what happens when something goes wrong? How will you be able to fix it?
You can dig deep into the abyss of the world wide web and sift through forums, hoping to come across a possible solution to your specific problem. You can pay a techie to jump in and trouble shoot but you will be paying a premium per hour for their service.
Hiring a website designer means I design and build the site, and if I run into a problem, I can fix it myself without ever having to trouble you with it in the first place!
If You’re Still Not Convinced…
If you have read my reasons why you should save time and money, don’t DIY and you’re still not convinced hiring a professional website designer is the way to go, consider the following advice:
- Learn to do basic SEO so that your newly created website can be found by Google and other search engines (are there still others out there?)
- Make your design look as professional as possible and remember that when in doubt, less is more. Don’t clutter your site with unnecessary design elements or colors that don’t match your brand’s message.
- Plan ahead and make sure your site is easy to navigate, has well written content and a strong call to action that keeps your user engaged.
- Choose wisely and opt for a web building platform that allows you to quickly and easily add pages and content, and makes updating plugins quick and seamless.
- Join a few forms and DIY groups so when you run into problems, you have somewhere to turn for help and advice.
Hiring a professional website designer (like me) means you are getting a customized design, expert guidance, one-on-one support, full control of your content and a high quality website that grows your business.
Your Creative Graphic Design Partner
My mission is to help you be clear about who you are and communicate your abilities in a way that is authentic and trustworthy. You will feel comfortable and proud of your online presence, attracting the exact clients that you want to work with.