Ever tried to build your own DIY website? If so, chances are you’ve run into a handful of problems and potholes. Building a website on your own can be a cost effective way to quickly get your business online and for some businesses starting off, this may have to do. But for most, it becomes be daunting and overwhelming.
How do I build a DIY Website?
These days websites can be built without needing your own developer. You can build your very own website using:
- An online website builder (e.g. Wix.com, Squarespace)
- A cheap WordPress website template
- More extensive list of website builders
1. You design for you, not the end user
This is perhaps the most common one. Many small business owners who decide to build their own website using modern web builders, using as Wix an example, design their website to suit a certain style or design they like the most. By doing this, they become bias to their own personal preference and forget about the needs of their customers and what they would want to see.
Designing a website is more than just putting a few colours together. Designing anything is all about creating solutions for a problem you may have. When it comes to web design, having the right design means you need to have an engaging, user-friendly and relevant website for a particular group of people. Otherwise, you will have users coming and going without being interested or taking any action.
2. Not keeping scalability in mind
When designing your own DIY website, you may have no ability to scale up into something bigger. Keeping scalability in mind is important for when you want to start off small and build on top in the future, so you don’t have to constantly start from zero every single time you want to build a new project.
If you do things right, you should be able to go from a landing page to an eCommerce site, or from a basic brochure site into a client portal site. Ensuring you are using the right software for the specific goal is important, but it’s also important to make sure that software is flexible with future needs.
This is why we use open source software like WordPress. This allows us to create all kinds of websites – from ultra basic single page sites, marketing landing pages, too much bigger, in-depth functional websites that can include eCommerce functionality within the site.
3. Wrong Message / No Call to Action
Wrong messages and Call to Actions get overlooked when building your DIY website. Ever seen a website that you felt just didn’t encourage you to make a decision? Or a website that made you feel like you weren’t too sure what to do with the information given?
This is a big problem. While most business owners know their product/service inside and out, many don’t understand how to position their own product/service. They struggle to find a way to communicate why their service is the best and/or what makes it unique and different to other products/services on the market. Usually, they also don’t know how to best encourage a user to pick up the phone and make contact.
4. Poor User Experience
This is something that can take a lot of time to nail. Creating the right user experience and navigation is vital for your potential customer when they are viewing your site. There is nothing worse than having a beautiful site on the surface, only to have it ruined by making it way too hard for the user to find any relevant information, failing to lead them through the buying journey you had hoped to achieve. A good user experience is rich with features, graphics, imagery and content, yet is very easy to access, navigate and find exactly what you’re looking for.
5. Set and forget
When you take on a huge job such as building a website, it can be rather daunting and time-consuming. It’s one of the main reasons why getting a custom-built website from an agency costs a fair bit of money. Most of the cost is in the labour.
Once you’ve finally got something that looks great and seems to be simple to use, you end up making sure that you don’t touch it for at least another year or two before it gets outdated and left behind in the dust, because you don’t want to undo all the hard work you did.
The truth is, your DIY website starts to slow down over time. With the state of how things are in today’s age, your content will age quicker than what you would want. Making sure your site is kept up to date with its content and software is great for your business, your traffic and in the eyes of Google’s search engine. Having an up to date site will help keep your site visible in the search results. If your last blog post is from 2015 and there’s no fresh and exciting content, it’s unlikely the user will stick around.
As you can see, it can be very easy to turn everything upside down when building your own website. If you are in the process of building your own site, keep in mind the points mentioned in this post. This will help you understand the basic fundamentals of any website build. If you are yet to start, it would be worth chatting to a professional before building your own DIY website. Your website is the online face of your business. Making sure you get it right is worth the investment!
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