Pitfalls of DIY Websites: Are You Hurting Your Business by Building Your Own Site?
At first glance, using a free web builder or learning how to use a paid CMS program like WordPress to create your own website seems like common sense. But the pitfalls of DIY sites can set brands back months and years from achieving their marketing goals.
It’s the oldest story in marketing, and it goes something like this.
You’re open for business, and you know you need a website. Domain name sellers and clickbait ads insist that learning to build your own website will help you save costs. They also insinuate that you might have fun in the process.
But as any mechanic will tell you, changing out the radiator in your car is nothing like changing the oil.
There are many tasks — like bookkeeping — that entrepreneurs on a shoestring budget can easily pick up and manage until they can afford an assistant. However, inexperienced web designers rarely do their business any favors by striking out on their own.
Here are five critical reasons why building your own site may not be a good idea.
Reason #1: That First Impression Can Mean Everything to Your Prospects.
More and more industries depend upon their digital presence to attract interested clients and consumers.
Before prospects become customers, they cyber-stalk your brand. If they do, will they feel confident or uneasy?
Bad websites make it harder for sales teams to close. Further, any hope for inbound sales (customers reaching out to your brand first) becomes dangerously low.
When visitors arrive on a website that loads too slowly, extends beyond the size of the screen, or displays an unpleasant aesthetic, they are quick to leave. Knowing how to build and maintain a website that meets bare minimum expectations is far more complicated than it looks (unless you know what you’re doing).
A company website is an important channel wherein customers get that critical first impression. If visitors like what they see, then they will explore.
Brands that partner with experts to curate a compelling digital environment achieve more lead generation, higher brand sentiment, and robust cash flow.
Reason #2: Search Engines (Google) Won’t Take Every Website Seriously.
There are millions of websites that Google (and other search engines) don’t index or share on their first 100 pages. It’s not that all (or even most) of these websites are offensive or dangerous. More often than not, they’re just poorly built.
When search engines don’t take your site seriously, visitors won’t be able to find your site unless they know the web address.
Instead, well-crafted websites are sure to include search engine optimization. Everything from SSL certificates to site maps to keyword-optimized content allow Google to understand the website and recommend that site on their results pages.
Ideally, you want your website to rank in the top five pages for keywords related to your business. But with free web builders, the likelihood of your site ranking anywhere near those top search results is extremely rare.
Professional web designers partner with SEO professionals to ensure that your site performs respectably on Google and other search engines.
Reason #3: Hackers Target Bad Websites.
When building your own website, protecting it against cyber threats is not easy. Poorly-built DIY sites make easy targets for spammers and hackers.
Even if your site stores nothing of value (like personal information), many intruders attack a website just because they can and find ways to harm your web visitors.
For example, tabnabbing (or link hijacking) can occur when you create a link that navigates a visitor to another webpage in a new tab. If you don’t have the link properly configured, hackers can intercept that link and send your visitors to another “look-a-like” page that solicits their personal information.
The example above is one of many ways that hackers can use your website for phishing. And if the security breach originated through your site (albeit unintentionally), then visitors will blame you for the results.
Expert website creators are aware of these vulnerabilities and can make sure that your site is secure in every way.
Reason #4: It Always Takes Longer Than You Think.
It’s one thing if you have a lot of time and are genuinely interested in learning to build websites for pleasure. But when you choose to create the digital face of your company with little or no experience, you’re more than likely going to spend more time than you intended.
Additionally, you’re going to encounter roadblocks that you won’t know how to solve. Many small business owners building their own websites give up out of frustration.
Reason #5: A Great Website Can Transform Your Business.
The saddest part about DIY websites is that business owners tend to lose sight of what a good website can do for their business.
ROI is more than cutting costs. When you choose to invest your resources — however big or small — you should anticipate a certain level of return.
Well-built websites don’t just put a good face on your business. Your company website should, directly and indirectly, contribute to your bottom line. If it doesn’t, then it might as well not exist at all.
When you partner with the right experts to design your website with the user in mind, interacting with your site is not just pleasant — it is highly practical. SEO specialists ensure that your site meets Google’s ranking criteria. Professional content managers fill your website with engaging written and visual content that attracts visitors.
When you sit down with a professional web developer, you should have a list of things that you want your website to do. Experienced development professionals, like the team at Exobyte, will be able to strategize with you to create a powerful website that fits within a reasonable marketing budget.
Just because it’s easy to find free web builders or online tutorials doesn’t mean that a DIY website is in your best interest. DIY-ers frequently curse the day they decided to build a company website by themselves.
A poor website can literally cause you to lose money. In contrast, a professionally-crafted web presence will generate noticeable returns on your investment. Customers will like what they see and advance through your sales funnel.
Your web presence should enhance your professional reputation, not hinder it. Because a bad website can do damage to your brand, you must think seriously before trying to create a website yourself.