Is DIY worth it or is it simply false economy?
These days there are quite a few so-called do-it-yourself website design products out there. It can be tempting to go for this option, thinking to yourself….aha this will save me money. But think about it…how many well-meaning DIY jobs – in all areas of life – end up being ridiculously time consuming (and time is money right?), only (let’s be frank) to end up looking like a rather amateur job?
In my years of professional website design, some of the site builder jobs I’ve been asked to step in and rescue from self-destruct could have been something my kids brought home from a project at school. The rest simply looked mediocre, or the client had made a real mess of the back end.
Most people want to impress and draw in potential customers. And possibly the single most important reason for having a website is to represent yourself, your business or project, in a way that makes people feel confident in your abilities in your area or profession. How many websites have you ever been on, and left pretty much straight away, because the look and feel just didn’t make you feel comfortable and at ease?
Running into a lack of expertiseHow often have you seen online products boasting they are ‘easy to use’, ‘no expertise needed’, ‘easily customise your design’ – only to find that after a short time you’re sitting there scratching your head, calling customer support, or googling frantically in forums for the answer to yet another thing that has gone wrong, or won’t do what it’s supposed to?
80% of people who begin their own website design call a professional to finish the job, and it usually ends up taking the professional longer than it would if they’d started from scratch.
Part of being a design expert is having a professional eye. Understanding the psychology of visual design and what makes a good layout, a look and feel that makes visitors want to read more, and stay on your page. An amateur built site will always look amateur, and will convey to the public (unconsciously) the idea that the services you are offering are also amateur.
A good professional site, on the other hand, looks professional, and gives the impression your service will be also professional. This inspires confidence in your customers.
Some limitations of DIY site buildersWith web development, it is important to think and plan long term, and to make decisions that leave you with choices and avenues for growth as far as possible.
One major obstacle to using most site builders, is that they are incredibly limited. Most are not even housed on a proper web hosting package. This seriously curtails your potential for expansion and computability with other services. Because they don't come with the ability to download your files. you won't be able to take your website to another provider.
In other words, you are tied to the company's site builder. If you need to add elements the site builder doesn't feature, if there comes a time when you want your website redesigned by an expert, or you want to incorporate advanced and effective SEO, then it will need to be rebuilt from scratch anyway.
The truth is that website design is not easy, beyond something very basic and simplistic. If that is adequate for your needs, then great. But if you want flexibility, advanced functionality, a professional look and feel. and are serious about ranking in Google, then forget it.
I rest my case!