“I built my own website, no problem. It was so easy!”
“I don’t know that much about html, but I just went for it.”
“Don’t waste your money on a contractor. You can build your own site.”
“It’s so easy these days to just make your own site! Just use WordPress.”
Anyone who’s been in the market for a website for their business, services, brand, or product has most definitely heard their friends say these things. Why pay a web developer when you can simply choose a template, throw a little content up, and add a few images? That’s a good website, right?
Do-it-yourself programs like Squarespace, WordPress, Wix, and Weebly, love to promote the fact that anyone can build their own site. And the truth is: they can. With these easy-to-use tools, even people who are pretty clueless about website development can create a good-looking site.
However. The problem with this simple-sounding solution is, the long-term benefits are non-existent. Sure, the moment you check out your newly-built site might feel awesome. You’ll probably sit back, look it over, and feel a nice sense of accomplishment.
But wait. Did you have bigger plans for your business? Did you want to get users to actually visit this website? Are you hoping to generate traffic to it? Do you want to earn revenue? If so, building your website through one of these quick DIY programs just won’t cut it. And here’s why.
Where are You?
Probably the biggest issue with trying to build and manage a website yourself is being found by the users you want. The entire purpose of having a website for your business is to show people what you can offer them. But how will they be able to see what you can do if they can’t find you?
Let’s say you have an organic skin care company in Tulsa. Just because you have now perhaps built yourself a website, that doesn’t mean you’ll be able to go to Google, type “skin care Tulsa”, and see the site appear. There’s a very specific path that specialists take in order to get those results in search engines like Google, Yahoo, and Bing, and the rules of search engine algorithms are always changing. The special skill of navigating search engine results is not included in build-your-own-website programs—you have to have a professional’s help.
So You Think You Can Code
Would you feel comfortable directing a big Hollywood film? Cooking a meal for the President? Driving an 18-wheeler across a few states? Probably not—and probably not because you most likely haven’t been trained for those things.
If you haven’t been trained in coding, there are more than plenty of mistakes to be made, and your website is not something that you should feel comfortable making mistakes with.
Essentially, the DIY programs are fast, cheap, and easy—but if you can, always go with professionals who can build you custom code.
I’ll Have the Non-Flimsy Platform, Please
The Internet is a complex and intricate mass of coding languages and portals. Its landscape is constantly changing and shifting. Because of this, it’s crucial that your website is built on a reliable, secure, and stable platform. This is why using a team of individuals who specialize in sturdy, long-standing software is the best route to go.
There’s no guessing involved when you utilize professionals; you can depend on them to know the ins and outs of coding and to do a great job. Professionals keep up to date on the latest coding issues and trends, and they know what will work and what will cause problems down the road. They can find solutions to fit the specific needs of your business or product.
Stats, Stats, Stats
Even if you have a beautiful-looking website that’s getting good traffic, do you understand the best way to analyze your statistics, your load times, and other important data?
This type of information is critical because it tells you when and why people are visiting your site the most. It tells you what is attracting them, and what’s working. Basically, it tells you where you need improvement, so it’s very important to know how to view, track, and decipher your statistics. Again, this is something that isn’t usually included in the DIY website programs, but is available when you bring a professional on board.
Having Tech Support on Hand
Even if you consider yourself pretty handy and tech-savvy, issues with websites can still throw you for a loop. Hackers, viruses, formatting issues, and dead pages are things that rear up and will ruin your day (or week!) unless you have immediate answers and fixes.
Again, while some of the DIY programs may include tech support, there is a huge peace of mind in knowing that help is just a quick phone call away, as opposed to having to send an email to a massive, faceless support department or try and troubleshoot the problem yourself. This is yet another area in which it’s better to have a team on hand, or at the very least, a personal technician who knows your website inside and out.
The Bottom Line
It’s too important of an event to leave it in the hands of an amateur. Professionalism is worth a thousand words. Your website is far too important to the success of your business to not invest in a professional.
More often than not, what happens when non-developers try to code their own website is this: they do it, are unsatisfied with it, and then end up hiring a professional anyway.
Why not just do it right the first time? It will save you money, time, and mental frustration. Even if you can code your own site—that doesn’t mean that you should. Most people decide to do it in order to save money, but what ends up happening is shoddy programming, less-than-impressive design, a serious lack of strong content, and a loss when it comes to driving traffic.
If you’re on a tight budget, platforms like WordPress and Wix are worth looking into. But if you stand to gain a lot from your investment, and you have true goals for your business, it’s best to hire a company of professionals who have a real understanding of how coding works.
If this is something that you need help with, we at Marqana are on top of the latest trending tech and marketing topics, and we would love to talk to you.