How to create my own website.

We understand, you want to save money and getting a new website can be a big investment. But remember, it is an investment in the success of your company!

WAIT – I have lots of free time right now to do it myself. Instead of spending this time to work on my business, I would rather struggle to do something I know nothing about.

BUT – My office assistant or friend says she can do the website, whats the big deal? There’s WIX and GoDaddy so how hard can it be?

OR – My IT company says they can create a site for me. But creating a good website is NOT about technical skills. There are many IT companies out there that have awful websites!

IT skills alone won’t deliver a professional looking website, and neither will someone with no solid experience.

Drag and drop websites

It may be tempting to design your website using drag and drop software with companies like WIX, Weebly or SquareSpace.

These companies lead you to believe that you can knock together a website within a day, sit back and watch the money roll in.

It might seem easy enough to get started but you’ll quickly realize that there is a LOT more to know and a lot more to do than you’ll see in their commercials. Especially if you want to add or change anything which is outside of their restrictive templates.

Even if you do spend a few weeks or months getting it to look as best as you can within the template you chose, more likely than not the final website is not what you would get from an experienced web design firm.

A website is a complex marketing tool used to represent your business online. Your potential customers will compare it to your competitors’ sites and will make a determination as to the professionalism of your company in the first 10 seconds. So, how will your site fare?

Here are 6 reasons you should avoid those hair-pulling late nights spent wasting time and money trying to build your own website.

1. It will take you much longer and is NEVER as easy as you think.

Learning to build a website from scratch takes a long time. Even if you’re using a drag and drop tool, you will still need to do some tweaking to get it right, and if you do it wrong the whole site may blow up.

Not to mention all the image editing and resizing to make it look good and load quickly. You might need to make ongoing changes for months to make sure it looks professional enough to show to the world.

And don’t forget the necessary testing to make sure it displays properly on every device and every web browser!

You will spend countless hours working on it, and it will never look as professional as if you hired a pro.

2. You are not a designer.

Design is not something you can simply pick up in an afternoon. Designers and web developers learn and develop their craft for years to become proficient at it. You cannot create a beautiful website that satisfies the bullet points below without training and experience – even with a template!

Design is so much more than a great looking site…

  • Design is about building trust in your company
  • Design is about how the site looks
  • Design is how it makes visitors feel
  • Design is how it makes your visitors act
  • Design is about user experience
  • Design is relaying your message to the world

Without a solid understanding of design and development, you’ll almost certainly get it wrong.

Your competitors on the other hand, have hired a professional web firm and have a professional looking website that drives leads from day one.

How much business are you losing trying to do it on the cheap?

3. You don’t know the first thing about SEO.

SEO (search engine optimization) is an ever changing landscape and one that is critical to the success of your website in search rankings.

EdOutWest has been helping clients with SEO for years and we are still constantly learning and testing to see what’s changed with Google and the other search engines to make sure our clients’ sites give them the results they expect.

You will have to keep up with all of this to have a search-engine-friendly website. Not only that, if you build your own website, you’re going to have to have an understanding of:

  • 301 redirects
  • Backlinks
  • 404 error pages
  • Schema markup
  • DA and PA
  • Anchor text
  • Broken links
  • Title tags
  • Meta descriptions and much more

If you don’t understand SEO, you will make some critical mistakes on your website. Mistakes that could cost you 100’s or 1000’s of monthly visitors.

4. You don’t have the right tools for the job.

Designing and developing websites is a specialized skill that takes a long time to perfect. Like any creative skill, it requires a number of tools to ensure the job is done correctly.

Here is a list of some of the tools we use to build highly successful websites:

  • Adobe Photoshop
  • Adobe Illustrator
  • iStock
  • WordPress
  • Plugins – there are literally tens of thousands to choose from
  • Technical Audit Tools
  • Rank Tracking Software
  • Competitor Analysis Software
  • Testing and Debugging Software
  • Cross Browser Software and much more

Most of these tools are expensive but we find them necessary. Especially since we want to create a powerful online marketing tool for our clients that performs well in search engines.

If you don’t have these tools and/or know how to use them, then you won’t get the result you’re hoping for. It takes time to learn how to use them and even longer to use them effectively.

5. Your site will be compared to your competitor’s site.

Even if you do have the time to create your own website, chances are your competitor’s website will look superior because they paid a web firm to create their website. The likelihood is that their website will look more professional and work better as an online marketing tool, taking business away from you.

Most businesses understand the importance of quality, which is why they choose to invest in an experienced web design firm instead of doing it themselves.

In the long run, the money spent on hiring a pro will come back to you in more leads and sales!

6. You will need help along the way.

Like anything technical, building a website is not easy, and there will be challenges along the way. You might be able to pull something basic together with some online tutorials and a YouTube video, but what happens if something goes wrong?

Will you be able to fix it?

You could try to figure it out yourself by digging through lots of forums and using trial and error, but this could take days of down-time. You could hire someone, but depending on the issues it could cost hundreds of dollars.

And don’t forget that plugins and software need to be updated regularly. What are you going to do when there is a bug in a plugin update and your site doesn’t work anymore?

When you pay a web design firm like us, we take care of all this for you. You won’t need to fix anything or find answers to complex technical questions. Our clients sleep great a night knowing we have their backs – or should I say websites!

Summary

We know it’s tempting to try and design a website yourself, even more tempting when drag and drop software looks so easy.

Just consider the points we’ve covered above and think carefully whether or not you have the time, the skills and the patience to create a professional website – the success of your business depends on it!