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DIY website or Expensive Professional?

19 Jul 2015

DIY websites

Should you make a DIY website or use a professional web designer?

All business need a website these days - this is pretty much a given. There are very few businesses, however small, that still think they're going to be okay without a presence on the Internet, and even that number is dwindling.

However, a lot of sole traders and small businesses are still reluctant to spend money on a website, and in today's tough times, that is understandable.

People are always looking for ways to save money, and some people see the Do It Yourself website option and think it looks like an ideal way to save money.

For business owners that are very technically savvy, experienced and confident with computers, a DIY website can be a good idea, a way to get a decent web presence with the minimum of outlay (some of them are even free).

In the years that we’ve been in business, we have seen one or two websites made by sole traders for their own business which are clean, simple and an asset to their business. So, that proves that it can be done.

However, unfortunately, in the majority of cases, this is not the reality - and trying to use the DIY website products and services just leads to a world of hurt. We have seen far more DIY websites which look scrappy, unprofessional, and probably do the business more harm than good.

There are a few reasons for this:

The Easy To Use Interface - Isn't

Most of these products make a big deal about how you don't need any technical skills, and everything can be done in a few clicks, with no training. However, the reality is often different. Even experienced power-computer users can find themselves lost and confused, and when that's the case, technophobes will be tearing their hair out to achieve the simplest things.


n is Limited

As you would expect with any kind of template, there is a limit to what you can do. There is a necessary balance between creating something that can be manipulated with minimum technical knowledge, and offering a wide range of advanced features. Once the basics are in place, getting things perfect is usually extremely fiddly, if not impossible.

Lack of Understanding of what Makes a Good Website

Web design is a profession. I am a web designer, and I wouldn't presume to try to do my own plumbing or electrics, and when a plumber or electrician tries to make their own website, you're at similar risk of disaster. Of course a bad website isn't going to flood your house or electrocute someone, but if it's turning customers away, it could cripple your business.

It Takes a Lot of Time

A professional web designer has years of experience behind them, which means they've already learned the pitfalls and can avoid them first time. If someone is attempting a home-made website, chances are it's their first time, which means they have to learn everything from scratch. This means that making the website will take several times as long (at least), and on top of that, the final product won't be as good. All those hours spent fighting with a DIY web design programme only to end up with a scrappy website that may well put customers off, are hours that aren’t spent on the core activities of the business.

So, in summary, making a DIY website may seem like a cheap option, but it could end up taking longer and damaging the business in the meantime.


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