Saturday, November 26, 2011

8 Reasons why "Do-it-Yourself" websites fail

If you are like many small business owners and are thinking about how to cut costs while bringing in new business, you may be considering a "do-it-yourself" website. You can save hundreds, even thousands right? The truth is that you may end up hurting your business more than helping it if you don't hire a professional.

Editor's note - we don't want to imply that you should NEVER build your own website...but just consider the risks! There are some people who are patient and skilled enough to make a do-it-yourself website a success. More power to them!

Here's our top 8 reasons why homemade, do-it-yourself websites don't work:

1. You don't have the time

You may be surprised to find out that a lot of people don't even have the time to get a website developed by a professional. There is a lot of work that goes into a website, even if you're not the one physically creating the design or working with the code. You have to decide what should go on the website, what's important, and usually you have to write the content or provide pictures for the designer.

2. Do-it-yourself websites can look generic

Do-it-yourself websites are often called "cookie cutter" websites. There is only so much you can do with the available templates, and your website probably looks like someone else's.

3. There will be bugs

There are so many little details that go into a website that even professionally designed websites can sometimes have bugs that need fixing. Many do-it-yourself sites do not display correctly in every browser because a novice may not do proper testing. And even if a novice was aware of errors, they probably don't have the time or knowledge to troubleshoot them.

4. Your website should look professional

Many people I talk to are proud of their homemade website - and rightfully so! It's very hard and tedious to use any do-it-yourself website software, whether you are a professional or not.

The problem is that the goal of a novice is to make a working website, not a beautiful, interactive, professional looking website. A website should impress your potential customers, and convince them to hire or purchase from you.

5. Do-it-yourself websites are slow to load

Let's ignore the fact that a do-it-yourself website is probably on a slow server. The bigger concern here is that when novices post pictures, they often use the raw file straight from the camera. Then the website software resizes how it looks - but the file itself is still huge. So when someone tries to open the website it takes a long time to open that huge file.

6. You need room for growth

Most do-it-yourself websites have a limit on the number of pages or links you can have, and it's usually very few. So what often happens is that each page becomes really long with way too much verbiage, which is not a good web design practice.

7. Google is crucial

A do-it-yourself website isn't as easy to find on search engines like Google and Yahoo as a professional one is. There are many reasons for this - bad, inefficient coding, title and meta tags, errors in HTML, etc. Probably the biggest one however is that a professional just has the know-how to make a website more successful on the search engines.

8. A website professional has experience

A good web designer brings more to the table than just technical know-how. They should have good ideas of how to make your business a success on the web. At Fresh Look Web Design, we consider ourselves internet marketing consultants as well as web designers. Not only do we create a website for our clients, but we help them USE it effectively.

We do have starter packages for very low cost for anyone looking to get a basic informational website. Get a free price quote or contact us at 757-646-7908 if you are interested.

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