Regardless of the size of your business, it’s relatively impossible to compete or remain relevant if you do not have a working, user-friendly, well-designed website.
If you don’t have a website that showcases your products and services, it’s unlikely that you’ll be able to keep pace with your competitors- simply because if you’re not where your potential customers are going, it’s hard to get the business.
Lacking a website means you’ll fall behind quickly, and lose business to those that are taking full advantage of the fact that the world has gone almost completely online, amplified by the COVID-19 pandemic. Luckily, a fantastic website is easily accessible, whether you decide to design it yourself using a hosting platform and a template or hire a professional.
Designing A DIY Website Is Accessible
As the years go by, web design becomes more and more available to amateur designers everywhere. Notice, we didn’t say “good” web design.
Every company that offers a website building platform typically has a variety of templates for customers to choose from when it comes to building their sites.
However, just because you have access to building your own site, doesn’t necessarily mean that you should do it. In many cases, a professional web design agency is necessary, depending on the complexities of your site, what you intend to offer clients, and how you’d like to do so.
The Pros and Cons of Building Your Own Website
There are plenty of pros and cons to building your own website. Remember, just because you’re not a professional web designer doesn’t mean you can’t do a pretty good job. It all comes down to personal preferences, but if you’re on the fence, these perks and drawbacks might help you make a decision.
The Pros of a DIY Website
Many business owners have small internal marketing teams (or none at all) that are responsible for building their website. Due to budget restraints that are already in place, sometimes building a website without professional help makes sense. That leads us to our first DIY benefit:
Small businesses, especially start-ups, often find themselves on a pretty tight budget. DIY website templates give you the ability to build a good-looking website without supplying a ton of money upfront. This is a fantastic option for many entrepreneurs. Your website has to start somewhere, and most companies offer a low monthly payment to use their hosting services.
Evolution of Template Design
In the late ’90s, it was near impossible to build a fantastic website without knowing your way around lots and lots of code. Things have changed, and the website template has been introduced.
Not only are some DIY web design platforms easy to navigate, but they continue to evolve with user-friendliness in mind. With every new feature introduced by companies like Squarespace and Wix, it becomes easier for those that aren’t educated in web design to create an aesthetically pleasing website for their business.
Bringing Your Vision to Life
Designing your own website leaves you with all the creative power. While you may not be able to design it exactly how you’ve always envisioned it, you can often come pretty close. Most templates are formatted for easy use but there will always be a bit of trial and error as you get used to the template and how to navigate it. However, it might be worth the time if you’re not one that loves attending creative meetings, or if you have trouble expressing your visions to others.
The Cons of a DIY Website
There is so much that goes into the building of a website that templates often don’t have the capacity to cover. From intricate search engine optimization methods to practices like advanced coding and schema markup and other nerdy things, there are many things that a DIY template will be unable to accomplish.
Advanced Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
Every website needs a good search engine optimization strategy. Why? Simple. What good is a beautiful website for your business if it never gets seen?
If you’re unsure how to go about implementing SEO, a DIY website isn’t your best bet. It’s typical for them to offer SEO options to help you along the way, but few of those applications are really strong enough on their own. Some platforms are downright terrible for SEO.
Think of it this way. If all of the racers at the Daytona 500 were in their suped-up WordPress websites and you pull up in a Prius, how do you think the race is going to go for you?
If you’re building your own website, you’ll need additional SEO knowledge that you might not readily have access to. In this case, building your site will move along a lot faster if you have a team of professionals to fall back on.
Experience in Design
Because so many companies that specialize in website design offer templates that allow users to easily plug in their business information, there is often a lack of real design, making for many websites that have different services but look a lot alike. If you’re in a niche where the competition is particularly high, it’s important that your website stands out.
Real website design encompasses much more than what templates are able to offer. It’s possible to build a very good website from templates, but many business owners will find that their design isn’t exactly what they’re looking for, and choose to use a professional web design agency instead.
While your website is the subjective or artistic part of business, most professional web design companies understand more of the science behind web design as well as user experience. It’s not enough just to have a pretty website. Your business needs a site that will help convert looky-loos to actual paying customers.
An Established Plan of Action
Professionals in web design will have a plan of action laid out before they even begin to build or modify your existing website. By discussing your needs, they’ll learn what you’re looking for and what you need from your website, and lay the groundwork to get your business where you want it to go.
They’ve been around the block more than once, meaning they’ve constructed hundreds if not thousands of successful websites. A reputable web design company can be trusted to bring your website to the next level, driving traffic, increasing sales, and establishing your brand.
Your website is your digital front door. Once you have a professional website, how are you going to put it in front of your potential customers? This is where a digital marketing company can help you build your online presence.
Build Your Site with Make It Loud
While many of our clients have tried the a DIY website first, they often come into our shop with how their DIY website just isn’t “doing it” for them. When we take a look at what they have, we often see sites that look unprofessional, have massive design flaws, and are just not conversion-friendly.
It’s just a fact- bad websites chase your potential customers to the competition.
Imagine that you are your best customer. Be as objective as you can be and take a look at your site. Better yet, pull a stranger aside (gently) and ask him/her to give you honest feedback about your site. You’ll frequently get people who try to be nice but will tell you something equivalent to “Yeah, no” with a DIY website.
There’s a one-word answer to the question, “What’s the biggest problem with DIY websites these days?”
It’s hard to name a business where trust isn’t a major factor when a browser is choosing to do business with a company. Even Google emphasizes a strong need for every ranking website to have something called EAT- Expertise, Authority and TRUST.
At Make It Loud, we’ve been building successful client websites for more than 15 years- back when the Internet was described as a “fad”. We have a simple, effective design process, and we know what it takes for websites to succeed. We help your business break through all the noise.
We started as a small web development firm. From there, we added SEO, social media marketing, Google and Facebook advertising, and more. These days, it’s not just about website builders or even a web design service. It’s about creating a comprehensive digital marketing plan to help your business grow.
If you’re ready to design the perfect website that speaks to your company’s values and represents your mission, contact us today. We can’t wait to get started!