The 21st century is the age of creativity and technology. Everyone has a chance at the next big idea or breakthrough and everyone is looking to make the most of their chance… but, how to do that? How do you make the most of your shot at self-made millions? How do you forge the path to your dream? In this age of creativity and technology one avenue seems to be constant for entrepreneurs and upstarts looking to make their way; they need a website. They need somewhere to direct clients and customers, somewhere that their talents and abilities can be put on display. A good website allows for the storage and transfer of information, facilitates purchases, allows for media sharing, acts as advertisement, houses your portfolio, and provides an avenue for customer feedback among many other useful features. It’s an entrepreneurs’ best friend, but it can also be their worst nightmare.
Have you ever had a bad website experience? I know I have. You’re surfing along, perhaps doing some internet shopping as I often like to do. You find the product you want and when you click you’re directed to the sellers webpage… then the trouble starts. The homepage is poorly designed and the images are blurry. You quickly lose track of the item you wanted to purchase because the site is unorganized and unpleasant. Aesthetically the site is displeasing, you find the site difficult to navigate, and like most buyers you are immediately turned off. After all, if I’m buying from YOU, then YOU had darn well better make it easy for me to do. The frustration of attempting to navigate a poorly designed site hits millions of Americans every day. The source of this frustration is often poorly designed do it yourself (DIY) websites. Often business owners and entrepreneurs opt to ‘save money’ and design their website themselves. This seems well intentioned, perhaps even wise, after all they just want to save money and maybe they know a thing or two about websites and web tech. They get started with a cheap template and domain thinking it will be easy to organize their webpage and manage media and content. What often ensues is chaos. They quickly realize they’re in over their heads and regret not spending the money to have a professional take care of it for them. Web technology requires expertise and to get a site to full functionality almost always requires some measure of professional help. We can’t all be IT specialists, can we? Certainly opting to design your own website will save you some money in the immediate future, but what is the long term cost? Are you losing more money than you’re saving? I honestly can’t even count how many times I’ve been frustrated with a DIY site and gone from ‘ready to spend’ to ‘not a chance’ in a few seconds flat. But honestly, you don’t have to take it from me. Think about your own experience and then read along with these five reasons to go private rather than DIY.
- Time Management– If you’ve ever tried to make a website, or run a blog you know one thing… it takes time, lots of it! I’ve done both and the commitment each day is in the range of three to four hours, and that’s often just to post new content, not manage existing content. The site design itself is a much more extensive and involved process. According to development group Iceberg, “It takes the average business owner 60-80 hours to complete a website development project”. I’d guess that’s on the conservative end, and doesn’t factor in ongoing content management requirements. Most business owners don’t have 60 to 80 hours to spare. Using a web design professional will eliminate extensive time commitments and allow business owners to do what they do best, manage their business.
- Impulse– It’s a well-documented fact that people make purchases on impulse, especially online. The Oxford Dictionaries describe impulse buying as, “The buying of goods without planning to do so in advance, as a result of a sudden whim or impulse.” Why do we do this? Aren’t we disciplined enough to ignore our whims and impulses? Psychology Today explains it’s not you, rather, “your unconscious mind is often driving your behavior as a consumer.” All sellers know this and do what they can to take advantage. If your site is messy and your eCommerce is slow or has hiccups, or your site is not optimized for mobile web platforms, that delay and those hiccups will act as warning signs to shock the buyers conscious mind into an awareness of what they are doing. They will no longer be impulsed to buy your product or use your services. Using the services of a pro means you won’t have to worry about a messy site or sloppy eCommerce and your buyers and clients will find their online purchases seamless and worry-free.
- Search Engine Optimization (SEO)- Why do certain websites appear higher in the search results on Google, or Ask.com? The answer is Search Engine Optimization or SEO. SEO allows designers to put a precedent on your site and boost it up the results page meaning people searching ‘landscaping’ will find your site before they find other competing landscaping sites. A good web design company will offer SEO services as part of their bundle. SEO can be the critical difference between the customer choosing you or your competition. It is quite difficult to implement SEO strategies effectively without proper training and is a process best left to professionals.
- Be Unique– If you’re using a DIY web service chances are you’re selecting from a set of templates, templates which millions of people around the world are already using. You didn’t start your business to do the same thing as everybody else, did you? You want to stand out, to be unique. Consulting a private designer can give you that edge, both in the structure of your site and its’ aesthetic appeal. You want your site to capture the eye and the imagination and to demand a greater level of attention than the competition. A quality web designer will give you that edge.
- It’s their niche!- You wouldn’t hire a professional basketball player to do your interior design, and you wouldn’t call a doctor whenever you have a plumbing problem. We live in a highly specialized world, a world where professionals earn their title and must have expert level skills to compete in their respective fields. Web design professionals are just that, professionals. Most people genuinely don’t have the kind of skills that they have, and thus can benefit from their services. If you’re on the fence about going DIY for your website just remember this; if you do you risk sacrificing quality, quality that will go a long way for you and/ or your business. Building a website takes time and skill that the vast majority of us don’t have or can’t spare, and that’s the most important reason to seek out a web professional and let them do what they do best.