The Truth about DIY Websites
Let’s just cut to the chase – DIY websites are not the way to properly represent a company.
You may have seen ads about creating your own website (sometimes for free), and it seems like a great idea, but we don’t recommend it. What’s happening is that developers are creating free or inexpensive templates, selling them to different “Create your own website” platforms and now they’re available for your use. You may be asking “Where is the bad in this?” and although it seems like a great – “Wow, I can create my own websites without shelling out so much money” – idea, truth is it’s a terrible move to make for your business.
Today, it’s essential for companies to have their own website because current and potential clients will visit your site at some point – guaranteed. But many of these same companies don’t want to bother with the hassle of reaching out to a third party to create and manage the site for them, so they take matters into their own hands, literally, and create their own website. The thought here is that they’ll bring in customers (leading to more money coming in) without having to pay a dime. Here are some of the major flaws that come with creating your own site.
Poor Design Choices
How many of you think that websites are easy to construct? (Hint: They’re not.)
The reality of web designing is, unless you’re trained in the art of design, you should not attempt to Do It Yourself. What will result is a poorly constructed, “cookie-cutter” website that looks pretty much like the other DIY sites. Yes, you can pick your own colors and add your own widgets, but even creating a proper color palette is a skill trained designers have an eye for.
With professional design companies, they can pretty much bring your imagination to life since they are designing from scratch. Whether you knew this, or not, people can tell if your site was made using a DIY platform because well, it’ll look like you did it yourself. If you’re serious about making your company a success, throwing together a quick site just to obtain an internet presence can do more harm than good.
You Don’t Really Own The Site
Essentially, this website is not yours. Think of it as renting – You own the content, but you don’t actually own the site. If (for whatever reason) you want to switch platforms, you can’t take your entire existing site with you, just the content. Say you are using a template you chose (not created), and now you want to take it and bring it onto a different platform – Guess what? You can’t because that template is for that specific platform.
If your company’s branding is instilled in this template, you’re going to have to pay someone to redesign it on the platform you’re moving to, or settle with picking something else. There is no true freedom to do what you please here, and you’re limited to what’s available. Some services even charge a monthly fee to “keep your site online”. Business owners would pay that fee for years, but once they stop, the site comes down and there is nothing to show for that money spent. With a professional company, you OWN your website.
A URL is a great way to place keywords for your company when optimizing your website for SEO. However, unless you buy your own domain, you can’t possibly hope to rank. If your company is hosted under “business.freesite.com” it will rank under that free site first, which pushes you down in rankings. Let’s face it, proper SEO is how your company’s site will reach better rankings on search engines and it starts with a well designed website.
If you aren’t paying anything, chances are you have a “yourwebsite.subdomain.com” web address. Now ask yourself, does that look professional?
Many of these sites don’t keep up with current design trends. If you want to stay competitive, your site must always be up-to-date. But if you’re still on the fence about consulting a professional designer, just think about the many tasks you trust only professionals to perform. You consult with doctors when you’re sick, you consult with a mechanic when your car breaks down, so why wouldn’t you consult with a designer for your website?
Professionals are trained in what they do, so let real designers do their job and save yourself from creating monstrosity on the web. Represent your company the right way with a well-designed website.
Source: MSM DesignZ, Inc. is a Westchester based NY web design firm specializing in SEO, social media, web and graphic design and much more.