Should You DIY Your Website?
We’ve already determined that having a website for your business is a very important piece to the business puzzle. It provides you with a way to reach your potential customers, market your business and position yourself as a leader in your industry – 24/7 while you sleep! When it comes to building your website, there are a number of different options for the overall design and build. A question that many people ask is whether they should build their website themselves or if they should hire a website designer. I’ll address some of the most commonly asked questions below.
“What do I need to build my website?”
First, you’ll need to decide how much time and patience you have. If you’re not in a rush to launch your website, then DIY is absolutely an option for you. But consider this: it may take you 4 months to learn and complete the website that may not be up to scratch, when a web designer will take 4-6 weeks to deliver a professional website.
If you decide to DIY, you need to choose the domain name for your website – this is the name that people will type into the browser’s address bar to go directly to your website. Then, decide which platform you would like to use. The platform you choose will depend on the functionality you need for the site, whether you’re going to be building it yourself (some are easier to use than others) and whether your business requires eCommerce options. My two favourites are WordPress and Shopify. The next step is to organise hosting for your website unless the platform you have chosen has hosting included. This is where your website is stored in the online world.
“Do I need coding experience?”
Many websites can now be built without any experience in website coding. There are tonnes of free and paid themes available across different platforms to allow you to create a website without coding knowledge. In many cases, the themes allow you to drag and drop content into different areas to create your layout by using a page builder. Coding can be, and still is, used for different aspects of websites. It allows you to be able to customise a theme outside of its standard parameters.
“How do I handle updates and errors?”
There are going to be times when your website needs updating or it will begin to show errors. This will happen whether you build your website yourself, or if you have someone build it for you. It is important to complete a backup of your website before you install any updates to your theme or plugins. This is to ensure nothing is lost if there are bugs in the update. There could be many reasons behind errors. The first thing to do is delve into the back end of your website and investigate where the error might be coming from. Most small errors can be fixed quickly and easily, and your customers will probably never know.
“Are there ongoing costs?”
Yes, there are costs involved with having a website. The domain name that you’ve purchased will usually be valid for either 12 or 24 months. Hosting and platform fees are normally upfront annual charges or monthly instalments. You might also require some paid plugins or apps to offer special features on your website. These costs will continue to be incurred for the duration of your website’s existence.
“Can a website designer do things I can’t?”
A website designer is experienced in building websites, and has probably been building them for some time. With their knowledge, they’re able to do things on the website that you may not have known you could do. It is not that they have access to features that you do not, it is that they know how to utilise them. They’ll be able to tell you the best platform to use for your business objectives, the best plugins/apps to add to the website, and how to best use your website to market your business.
An experienced web designer will ensure the website is fully responsive across multiple devices and optimised for search engines (SEO). They’ll also understand the importance of user experience, and build the website with your ideal customer in mind.
Having your site created by a professional website designer will give you peace of mind and security within your business. You’ll know that it has been created correctly and not pieced together with the help of YouTube video tutorials. Be sure to browse their portfolio of work when choosing a website designer.
Whether you decide to create the website yourself or have someone create it for you, remember that it is your site and it needs to be created in the image of your business. Take the time to ensure it is everything that you envisioned.
If you’re still not sure whether you should DIY or hire a website designer, let’s have a chat about it! Or if you’re not sure which platform you should use, I’d love to help you make the best decision for your business. Read this for more information about my website services or to get an instant quote.