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Episode 35 - Reasons not to DIY with Websites

Reasons why you should not “do it yourself” when it comes to your website


Reasons why you should not “do it yourself” when it comes to your website

Many small businesses think it’s OK to take a DIY approach when it comes to their website.  They get free technology from WordPress or inexpensive site building programs, set out to build their website or engage an inexpensive intern to do the job for them.  But much like those home DIY projects, the results are often not what the business needed or wanted and the results can be a website that is not interesting and engaging, too hard to keep up to date and  doesn’t reflect how that business wanted to be viewed in the marketplace.

Here are some reasons that having a DIY website may not be your best business decision.

When it comes to projects around the home, many people have adopted a do it yourself mindset.  Go to sites like Pinterest and you’ll see videos and instructions on how to install a tile backsplash, build under the staircase storage, or refinish your kitchen cabinets.  But people that engage in DIY projects have likely had an experience that catches them off guard when they go beyond their skill set. Those do it yourself projects can turn into disasters that cost them money, require them to bring in a professional to fix what they broke, and just don’t live up to the promise that looked so easy in the video.

Many small businesses think it’s OK to take the same DIY approach when it comes to their website.  They get free technology from WordPress or inexpensive site building programs, set out to build their website or engage an inexpensive intern to do the job for them.  But much like those home DIY projects, the results are often not what the business needed or wanted and the results can be a website that is not interesting and engaging, too hard to keep up to date and  doesn’t reflect how that business wanted to be viewed in the marketplace.

So much like the homeowner that shouldn’t have tackled that kitchen makeover, here are some of the traps that business owners often fall into when they attempt to do it yourself when it comes to their websites.  Here are some considerations for when a DIY website may not be your best business decision.

Most people build their own website to save money over hiring a professional.  But something to consider is that DIY websites still come with hidden costs.   35% of the market uses free WordPress software to build a site, but you are definitely going to encounter hidden fees. For example many of plug-ins to give you the features you want or added apps all come at a price.   Beyond that, many businesses become dissatisfied with is what they did in-house, hire someone to fix it and escalate their cost.

Building your own website takes valuable time away from running your business.  Creating a website is hard work and takes longer than you think.  To do it right, you have to design it, create its content and make sure that search engines can find it, a skill set that most people don’t have. If you’re not a professional web developer, the hours upon hours you spend trying to create a website could be more efficiently spent generating business and growing your client base.

Websites need to be found, particularly in Google searches. You can have the greatest website in the world, but if nobody can find it, what’s the point?  You’ve likely heard the term, “Search Engine Optimization or SEO” which means making your website appealing to search engines like Google so that potential customers can find it and when someone looks for the type of services you offer, you come up near or at the top of the list. Search engines not only have to find you but when they do find you, they need to like what they see. This is a more complex science than most DIY website builders understand.

DIY websites often have poor analytics. Most programs used by DIY site builders have inaccurate site analytics. Why are analytics important?  Analytics give you a picture of how your website is performing, what traffic you are getting and what those individuals are looking at.  Knowing that information gives you the chance to adjust your information giving more weight to content that is most popular.

DIY sites are often not mobile friendlyViewers of website may do so on their desktop computer, but are just as likely to view sites on a mobile device such as a tablet or smart phone.  Your site needs to display just as well on a wide screen monitor as it does on the smaller screen of an iPhone.  Do it yourselfers often ignore this requirement because it takes more expertise than they typically have.

If you build your own site, who is going to support it when something goes wrong? What happens if your site goes down, formats are broken, or if a new version of a plug in comes along that breaks your site.  And what about protecting that site from hackers that SPAM forms, try to steal data, or overload your site.  Most DIY website builders don’t have the skill set to learn how to protect from these risks.

Once a DIY website is built, how does someone keep it currentYou start with a toolkit or service to build your site, but technology is constantly changing.  So, the version you are using may not be up to date and the process of getting current may be difficult.  Not to mention, that websites need to have the option to have new content added on a regular basis without engaging in another development effort.

And the final reason, but not certainly the last one, is that you risk your businesses credibility if you don’t do it right or build it poorly.  Your website is often the first and most lasting impressions you can make on a potential client. An unprofessional website is hurting you and most people make up their mind about your business in the first seconds of viewing what you’ve built online.  If you’ve done a bad job, your prospect or customer has moved on to your competitor’s website.

Takeaways

You wouldn’t own a business if you weren’t talented in many ways.  You’ve built customer relationships, generated revenue, managed the customer experience and handled operations.  However, most of you are not in the business of building websites so taking the risks of spending more money than you wanted to, investing time in a website project vs. your business, not getting found on Google, not being able to resolve issues and just looking bad  is  way too much of a risk for the small business.

So, if you’ve built your own website and it was a DIY mistake, help is on the way.  Convey is getting ready to launch a new program to give you that high-quality business website you deserve, keep it updated with fresh information automatically, and give you other valuable marketing tools in the same technology to drive demand.  Our technology is constantly using the most updated tools, is mobile optimized, helps you get found on Google, is constantly refreshed and managed by Convey and makes sure you are impressive when customers and prospects find you in their online buying journey.

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