Why Your Website Shouldn’t be a DIY Project
Getting your first website, as for many people, is often a very confusing and time-consuming matter. You’re not sure what the costs are, what the process is and, from a technical point of view, you’re not sure how it all works and what the limitations are. So maybe in an effort to reduce costs and time, you considered using a quick web building application like Wix, Weebly or Squarespace? What’s there to lose? It looks simple enough to use and you could probably get it all built within an hour.
As someone who has personally freelanced in website design in the past and dealt with many different clients, a common trend I had noticed was that many often went with a DIY website solution first before realising they were not getting the results they wanted and their website was pretty much invisible and useless. Businesses that don’t understand websites, quite often mistakenly believe that if you just ‘create’ it, then people will come and it will just all work out fine. Here are some reasons why serious businesses should not build a website themselves.
Lack of Design Knowledge
Many people who don’t understand the value of a professionally made website either do it themselves or let a family member do it. As a result, the websites I was quite often tasked to redesign, had poor information architecture, poorly thought out design decisions and lacked call to actions. They were very visually unappealing and generated very little interest. It’s important to remember users visiting your site, have been on many other sites and, with a sea of many options, it only takes a glance for a user to know whether they want to stay or leave. A professionally designed site gives your business a sense of trust and credibility that you can’t get without a few good years in design.
Image Editing Skills
Photos and graphics are a big part of a website. For people without knowledge of image editing like basic Photoshop, this can be a real disadvantage. Knowing how to resize, crop and optimise images is vitally important to get your website looking and performing at it’s best. All too often I see images not being resized and optimised. The result? When a user loads up a page, it takes a long time to load because the user was often downloading a large file size image on the page without knowing. Something like this can severely affect rankings in search engines like Google too, which brings me to my last point.
Search Engine Rankings
Many businesses using a DIY solution are not fully aware of search engine rankings and how it can disadvantage them. Site builders often come with a ton of bloated code, which affects load time. They also have little room for SEO optimisation and tweaking. As a result, it is extremely rare that a website built with a generic site builder can outclimb that of a competitor’s site at the top of the search rankings, someone who had their website professionally developed and search engine optimised.
In the end, the benefits of time and costs are not enough to outweigh the negatives in using a DIY site builder like WIX, Weebly or Squarespace. There is just too much at stake for a serious business owner to be using a drag and drop site builder. A site builder is like what a microwave is to cooking: quick, cheap and ultimately low on quality and appeal. As they often say, you get back what you put in, and this could not be any truer with websites.