Do it yourself websites, or DIY websites, are website companies who charge you a low monthly fee for everything and have pre-built templates available for you to pick from to build your own website off of. Sounds easy enough! And a fairly cheap option! Shouldn’t this be the route all small business owners go when looking for a new website? To put it simply, no.
8 Mistakes of DIY Websites
A growing small business does not have the time to research the standards of web design when initially building and then keep up with trends and algorithms throughout the process. Although DIY websites have had great marketing campaigns letting you know that they have taken care of all that hard work for you, there are still several mistakes to be made when choosing to use DIY websites. We have pinpointed 8 to be exact; 8 mistakes of DIY websites.
1.) Mobile Optimization / Responsive Design
One of the most important aspects of website design is being responsive so that your website is visible correctly on all devices including your desktop, smartphone, and tablet. A lot of DIY websites use this as a selling point to convince consumers that they take care of this portion for you. However, what they fail to mention is that as a user you still are responsible for making sure your images are sized and optimized correctly. If not it could bleed into other sections of the page design, not load, take too long to load, etc. The effect from just images alone can trickle down into mobile optimization, search engine optimization, and also the overall speed of your website.
2.) Forgetting User Needs
Failing to remember user needs is another huge mistake DIY websites make. DIY websites tend to fall on the look of the template instead of the need of the website. Sure, some templates may work for several business model types, but it probably isn’t going to be built around yours 100%. Using a web agency or a freelance web designer (or us at William K Web Design) will allow for the design to be built around exactly what you need for your users when they visit your website.
3.) Page Speed
Also, have you noticed how fast your website is loading? As we mentioned earlier, image size can play a big part in how fast a page loads. If you are using a DIY website and don’t optimize correctly you could see long loading times almost immediately. If images play this big of a role in page speed, imagine what a video could do if someone tries to use one on a DIY website and not optimize it correctly.
4.) Duplicate Content, Copyright Content, Images
We have done a ton of real estate websites for clients all across the United States. One thing that we’ve noticed is clients seem to think content is shared. That if you find this article it is yours to copy a line or two, or paragraph, and paste it onto your own DIY website. Same with images, videos, etc. However, that is not the case. Content is not up for grabs. More importantly than a writer’s or photographer’s ego, is your DIY website will suffer tremendously once Google’s bots find duplicate content and penalize your DIY website. As they continue to find duplicate content on your DIY website your site will get flagged and will no longer appear on any search engine result page (SERP). More on this in a bit.
Call-to-actions are the buttons and banners, or nicely designed images / infographics, with some kind of phrased sentence enticing you to make the next move. This could be something along the lines of “click here to get in touch with us” or even “buy now”. A lot of great websites have call to actions implemented in them without users even realizing it. Whether you notice them or not, they play a very important part in a website’s role of converting the user into a lead or customer. DIY websites tend to overlook these entirely because the people making them don’t really know their importance.
6.) Proofread / Testing
If you are a small business owner who is also working on your own DIY website, have you taken the time to proofread every page? Do you know if all your links work? Are your contact forms setup correctly? This is something that is often overlooked with DIY websites. Imagine having your website up for months to then realize your contact form isn’t working and for the past several months all those leads have been missed.
7.) Security Measures
Security is a big deal for everyone. No one wants their personal information floating around cyberspace waiting for someone to find it and use it, creating a big mess. Depending on your small business, you may not have an online store so you may think you do not have to worry about security. But, there are so many more things to worry about than just private credit card information. How about the information you collect in your contact forms? Names, addresses, phone numbers, etc. What about your own passwords to get into your website? One easy password and someone could easily hack into your DIY website and erase everything you’ve spent your precious time on creating.
8.) What about SEO?
Search engine optimization (SEO) is so huge and, frankly, cumbersome, that chances are you probably could not explain it beyond the fact that it relates to search engine rankings. DIY websites may tout that they are SEO ready or SEO friendly, but that still leaves the remaining work to be done by you. Going back to the duplicate content issue from before, it is one of many restrictions search engines like Google have developed in their algorithms to determine who does or doesn’t get that coveted first place spot in the SERP.
We’re not saying because we work for a web agency that you should hire only William K Web Design over a DIY website service. We’re saying that if you choose to run your small business website with a DIY website service it will likely cost you more money in the long run than paying a web designer to design your small business website now. As your small business grows you will want to implement more features into your website. Will your DIY website be able to teach you how to do that? You’ll be missing out on ways to convert users into leads and customers. You’ll be missing out on improving your search engine rankings. You’ll leave yourself and your small business vulnerable to hacks and other security measures. Feel free to get in touch with us to discuss your small business website options over DIY website services. Consultations are free!