Why you should avoid building your own website
Have you ever received spam email or seen an advert selling a cheap/free website that you can build yourself?
Have you ever stepped in to recover a project that either the client had tried to do themselves, or where a less skilled, cheaper business has had a go and you needed to take over and save the day? Or like the do-it-yourself shows on TV where they make the process of renovating a whole house look easy and fun when the reality is far from it?
Apply this thought to building your own website and you’ll quickly see that this isn’t your field of expertise. You’re great at what you do and you aren’t a technical, web developer.
Here are 8 reasons why DIY website templates and services are not as good as calling in the professionals. I’ll also explain how they can end up setting you back more than enlisting the help of professional website developers:
1: You need a LOT of time to DIY
Do you have the time to build your own website? I’m guessing the answer is no. Time is your biggest commodity, time enables you to run your business or your department. Time is something you can’t get back and needs to be spent wisely.
These DIY websites look appealing, easy and quick. However, you will need to spend time adding the content of your website into the template, then it may not fit the space allowed, what do you do then?
You then have problems with your images. Some great shots on your phone are around 4mb in size and portrait. On the site you need images that are landscape and around 200kb. If you use the large images your site will take an age to load and customers will loose interest.
2: Same but different
DIY website templates are being used by thousands of other businesses across the globe. These templates have to appeal to many different businesses. You’ll find it hard to truly express your brand identity with a template that’s the same as everyone else’s.
3: DIY websites lack the features you need
When it comes to your website you need a number of features to grab the attention of the visitor and instil your brand identity. These items include brand colours, info graphics, animation and industry required features. When you require features like; videos, galleries, Ecommerce, a news section, CV uploads etc., these will all be an addition to your template. You’ll need someone to look after these add-on features for you to make sure they’re working correctly and updated when needed.
Ultimately, you’ll have a website with limited functionality so trying to get it to do exactly what you want will be tricky and costly.
With a professional website developer, you’ll have greater control over the design and features needed to run your business online.
4: Planning, do you know what you need?
With a DIY website ensure you have a list of features you want from the offset, otherwise you’ll be stung later with a large invoice. What about your email? Do you need a shop section on your website? SEO, how are you going to get your website seen? Is it easy to share your website on social media and link it to your social media channels? With a professional website designer/developer you’ll gain a wealth of knowledge at your initial consultation. Together you’ll work through the aim of the website, goals you want to achieve, what content you have and you’ll receive guidance to benefit your business.
5: Unnecessary content
DIY templates will typically come with lots of pre-loaded items. Having extra content slows loading speeds, which is a trait Google does not like and you can find your website ranking far lower because of this.
6: Do you own the content?
Check T&Cs. You could be spending all your valuable time creating your own website and then find out you don’t own the content because of the DIY company’s T&Cs. Make sure you keep full ownership of anything you post online before using DIY platforms.
7: Savings vs. quality and results
Your website is the window into your business, a critical means to winning new customers, increasing your brand awareness and also an informational tool for those wanting answers to questions when they can’t get hold of you at 11pm at night.
A website is something that every business should have and take pride in. When you direct people to your website you want to be confident that it represents your brand, business offerings and team to the highest level. It needs to be user friendly, have all the industry features you need to interest potential customers and it needs it to be safe and speedy.
When using templates, you will be limited, have less support, less custom features and what may start off as a cheaper option may lack many features that you need to convert your website visitors into clients.
Who is looking after your website? Who is going to update the backend of the website and carry out the maintenance needed to keep your website secure? What if you need updates for a tender meeting the next day? Or you have a news story you want to promote and you’ve only just thought that you need that on the website by tomorrow morning? A professional, trusted and reliable team is what you need to ensure you get the best, personalised service.
8: Search Engine Optimisation
You’ve built your website, now you want people to visit it, check out your business offerings and phone or contact you via the website at any time of the day or night. You can build a website but without SEO where is it? It’s like you putting a poster up on the garage around the back of your house, who’s going to see it? No-one aside from your neighbour and their cat.
This means that your website needs to be optimised. It needs to be appealing to search engines like Google and Bing. Major search engines do not crawl flash-based sites which many DIY site builds are based on. Search engines also prioritise SEO optimised sites and rank them higher. What is the point of building your own beautiful site if it languishes on.
You are a professional, working with fellow professionals in an industry that respects the high level of knowledge and application you can bring to it. People come to you because you are an expert in your field – so, why on earth would you consider building your own website? Your skills would be better applied to generating the content and knowledge required for your website. You should work with a reputable firm that has knowledge and understanding of your industry.
Creating a professional website is not as expensive as you may think. There are agencies which will spread the cost of your website over 6 months, helping you build your new website without being out of pocket.
Ultimately, you’re about to embark on one of your most important marketing tools for your business, it’s important you find someone who gets it right.
UK Construction Marketing, a marketing agency that delivers inspiring marketing campaigns and innovative brand design for construction businesses.