Is Building Your Own Business Website A Good Idea?
A loaded question if every there was one hey?! We actually build websites as part of our service – so you could argue that we wouldn’t exactly be keen to advocate the use of DIY Website Builders. And you’d be wrong. It can be a good idea. But there is a “but”. There is a huge amount to consider – and getting it wrong could work out quite costly…
What Are DIY Website Builders?
Ok, DIY website builders are frameworks which make it easy to put websites together. The common terms bandied about are “drag-and-drop” (where features are “dragged and dropped” into position on a page to create the web page.
In essence they have cut out a lot of the painstaking coding work that goes on behind the scenes. If you go back to when websites first arrived on the scene – it required a heck of a lot of technical knowledge to build a website.
This knowledge often came at a huge premium – and quite rightly so – with many early websites costing thousands of pounds. If you looked back on these websites now you would probably be horrified – but the sheer technical ability and time that went into creating them was incredible.
With the introduction of DIY Website Builders, the technical know-how of putting a decent-looking website together isn’t what it was (depending on which website builder you use).
Of course, there is still the need for highly technical web development knowledge – someone has to build the website builders. And of course, some websites are completely bespoke and need building from the ground up.
But for small-medium sized businesses, the fact is that pretty much anyone can put a decent-looking website together – and won’t cost anything like what it would even just a decade ago.
How Much Does It Cost?
The actual monetary cost (what you pay out) isn’t too bad to be honest. You need a website address (which can be as little as a few quid) – decent hosting, which is often provided by the website builders and again this is usually a few quid a month.
Then there is potentially the “package” you choose to build your website. The more features you want, the more it tends to be – but even then, with most companies you could build your own website for under £200 a year and in some cases a lot less.
So on the face of it, building your own website has a relatively low monetary risk. A lot of these website builders also come with options to include things like Search Engine Optimisation tools, tutorials on how to build a website, eCommerce and a whole host of on-trend website functions.
Which Are The Best Ones?
A lot of people seem to like Wix. Personally I hate it. The main reason is that I am a Manchester City fan (sorry), and the club recently signed a sponsorship with Wix. As a result they have moved their website onto Wix and it is bloody awful. It’s terrible on a mobile, full of bugs and it’s pretty shocking.
But for simpler websites, I’ve seen a few Wix websites that look decent. I can see why people would use it.
We use a website builder. We use WordPress – and in particular the Divi theme. This website even uses a Divi template. Most more traditional web companies would recoil in shock and horror at this – but the simple fact is there really isn’t any point in building our website from the ground up when we don’t need to.
If you were going to build your own website, we would say that to use WordPress – and the Divi Theme – it does help if you know about coding. It is available for anyone to use, but it is a bit more technical than many of the ones on the market.
There is SquareSpace, 1&1 (or Ionos as they’re now called) and Web.com. There’s literally hundreds. They all have various pros and cons – and we could go through those with you, but we won’t. Because here’s the rub. If you consider building your own website for your business you must be absolutely crackers.
Yeah, But You Said It Was A Good Idea?
It is. Using a DIY Website Builder is a very good idea. We’ve already said as much as we do it ourselves. The point is that we know what we are doing. We have created hundreds of websites between us and these websites help generate millions of pounds worth of revenue for our clients.
Let me clarify it as well. If you are a business considering building your own website, we aren’t saying DON’T build it yourself. What we are saying is make sure you – for the love of God – are doing it for the right reasons, and not just because it is cheap.
Building your own website requires an understanding of strategy, analysis, content and willingness to change.It literally is a full time job!
If you haven’t built a website before and you are doing it because it’s the cheapest option then don’t bother – the chances are that you will struggle to get much from it.
Even worse than that though is if you build your own website and you do actually get something from it. Because you have had some business through you will convince yourself it works – not realising how much business you are actually missing out on!
The other thing to consider is that whilst the physical cost outlay may be quite small, the actual time to create an effective website can be reasonably substantive – like I say, it is a full-time job. And you don’t need us to tell you that in business, time is money.
Not only this, but the business you miss out on that you could’ve had will be going to competitors instead.
What Is The Best Solution?
These DIY web builders that advertise on TV are very clever. They have focussed on a message of “how easy it is to create a website” and then “how cheap it is to create a website”.
What it doesn’t mention is how difficult it is to create an effective website. And if you don’t have an effective website, you have a more expensive website than one that works for you.
The reality is that using a DIY Website Builder is a no-brainer. But it is absolutely imperative that you are working with people who know how to use them, and who have a track record of creating successful websites.
When we work with clients, we are happy to show clients how to use the website builders, we are happy to put together workshops, or we are happy to completely take the reigns – it is your website and if you want to be completely hands-on, that’s fine.
However, the undeniable fact is that unless you have a track record of building successful websites, you are going to be effectively competing against companies like us who do – not your competitors!
We do offer a FREE Consultation to talk through web design options and discuss any of our other services. If you would like to find out more, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.