At some point, any business owner is going to need to think about getting a website for their business - or about having their old website updated...
At this point a business owner might be tempted to go the "DIY" route after seeing so many adverts for Website Builders that can "build your website in minutes" and tell you "no experience necessary"...
Is this a good idea for you or your company?
Possibly - if your budget is so tight you can only spare a few pounds to create a website that will represent your company and/or brand all over the globe - then yes, go for it. Just don't expect the site to be unique, as many other businesses will also be using the identical template that you chose when creating your DIY website at one of the online website builders, where you choose a template then add your own text etc.
Absolutely not! - not if you care about your company and/or brand image - not if you care about what prospective clients might think of your DIY website. They may well get the impression that if you are willing to skimp on something as vital as your global online presence, then maybe you also skimp on your products and services and are therefore best avoided...
As your website is basically your online store-front to the world, it needs to look great and it needs to be unique, just as your business is unique. If you were opening a real-life shop in a major high street you would have professional shop-fitters, sign writers, decorators, electricians etc., brought in to get the store ready for the public to entice them in to buy your products. You would not simply slap a couple of coats of emulsion paint on the walls and knock together a home-made shop counter out of scraps of wood, and expect to compete with the professionally fitted shops in the same street...
This is the main reason any business should always consider having a unique website purpose built for the business. So it is clean, smart, easy to use, but more importantly, unique!
So what are the major advantages of a professionally designed website?
1. Your time is valuable!
Even with online DIY website builders, learning how to build a website using the interface is very time consuming. Unless you have a natural flair for designing page layouts it is highly likely that you will be wasting your valuable time and you will be unhappy with the end result.
Time is a big factor...
If you spend a month of your time (basically losing 4 weeks pay, as you have been too busy to work at your business) building a DIY website, yet a professional website designer could have done the job for you in less time and would have charged you less than your loss of earnings for the month, then it really does not make any sense to try and DIY a website. A Professional designer gives you the benefit of their experience and professional knowledge, so your website would be completed professionally and quickly, with much less stress for you or your company.
2. A unique professional website will stand out!
With hundreds of millions of people browsing the Internet daily, your business needs a unique website in order to stand out from the crowd. Professional website designers know how to highlight the best features of your busines in order to get you noticed, and to optimise each page they create in order to maximise your company's exposure on the Internet.
3. Your website will be much easier for your visitors to use!
What you cannot learn from DIY website building is how to optimise the navigation system of your website. If you get this crucial part of the design wrong you will end up sending your visitors, and therefore potential clients, to your competitors. But a professional website designer, with years of experience in the creation of effective website navigation, will be able to use his/her experience when building the new website in order to make the experience for your visitors, when navigating your website, quick, easy and enjoyable.
4. SEO Compliance built-in from day one!
For any website to do well in search engines such as Google, it must comply with SEO standards in order to avoid being penalised in the search results. SEO is a whole new skill you will need to learn if you are going to build a website yourself using DIY tools (yet another drain on your time). The application of SEO principles to all the content in your website, during the design and build stage, will ensure it will then be easy for your potential clients to find your business products and services in the search engines. A professional designer will ensure this vital work is done as he/she builds all of your website pages.
5. Browser compatibility - you need to test it in ALL web browsers!
Professional designers are constantly honing their creative skills and always learning about, and keeping up with, the latest features included in new versions of web browsers. They do this so they can ensure all new websites they design are fully optimised in order to display perfectly on various web browsers such as Safari, Firefox, Internet Explorer and Chrome. Different browsers have different methods of displaying websites, so not paying attention to developments in browser technology could result in a broken website or an ugly error message. Therefore professional website designers will test your website across various browsers during the design stage in order to ensure that every page in your site is displaying correctly. Therefore by having a website professionally designed you can be sure that is compatible with every web browser and so will display at its best across the widest demographic area.
6. First impressions can make or break deals!
At some point every one of us will have visited a website and then left again within few seconds because we were really disappointed with either its functionality or its very poor look and feel. If this happens to your DIY website then you have completely wasted your time and effort, something that an expert website designer could have prevented. Every time you get a visitor to your website, the visitor will instantly form an opinion about your products and/or services. You might have the best products or services in the world, but if your site is not of professional quality your visitors will not want your products or services. Professional web designers, especially those that have been in the business for many years, have an eye for colour schemes and page layouts and so they know exactly how to make your visitor's first impression of your company a positive one, and so make your website a success.
7. DIY looks cheap!
Ask yourself, before trying to DIY a website, what other aspects of your business would you be happy to DIY?
- Your product brochures or business cards - why not do them yourself with some bits of card and some crayons?
- The sign on the front of your premises - why not make your own with some metal and some paint brushes?
- The signwriting on your company vehicles - why not do it yourself with some paintbrushes?
If you would not consider the above, which are only seen locally, why would you even consider doing it to your website, which is seen globally?