I hear that at least twice a week. I can build my own website. Why yes, you can. Sometimes they do, then they call me to “fix” it. Trust me it is much less expensive to get it right the first time. Fixing it often means starting over.
Many web design tools are simple to use, especially if you’re pretty comfortable with computer software. It will be time consuming and you will probably want to throw your PC out the window at least once during the process, but you can probably get your site up and running. However, it takes experience and training to do it right. From choosing your domain name to visual effects, colors, content, keyword research, right on down to SEO.
You can probably set up a really pretty site with gorgeous pictures and some spiffy content, but can you market it? Online copy writing, keyword research, search engine optimization, competition analysis, site design and architecture. Are those pretty pictures someone else’s, do you know how to find out? Do you know what SEO is? So many questions…
But you will save so much money if you do it yourself, right? Wrong. A successful website needs fantastic graphic design, branding, engaging content, and a Search Engine Optimization (SEO) plan. If you don’t have all these your website is going to look like you built it and had no idea what you were doing. You want to convert visitors into customers, your website will either do this or it won’t, if it doesn’t will you know how to fix it?
Your website will scream, I am a professional or I am not. Do you really want your first impression on a potential new customer to be “Another free website from whoever.com”? If you want someone to spend their money on your product or service you better look like you know what you are doing. Your website is not the place to cut corners. Most designers can work within your budget, be clear what you want from the start.
I had a potential customer call me the other day and say, I am not sure why I am not showing up on Google. I try to be kind, really I do. You are not being found on the search engines because there is nothing to find. On the other hand I have a customer who has a very simple business website design, I monitor it regularly and work with her on keeping her content fresh. She tracks every inquiry and sale she has and where it came from. She called me this week to tell me she is getting 6-9 inquiries a DAY off her website and she is consistently in the top 3 for her business on Google. She is selling quite an expensive product in a small community and is thrilled with the response she is getting. That is the difference between a well thought out and designed, maintained website and one that is not.
I would never try and rewire my house, fix my dishwasher or cut my own hair. You shouldn’t build your own business website either!