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DIY Websites: Just Because You Can Build It, Should You?

DIY Websites should you create one?

On YouTube I’m constantly being bombarded with ads for Wix. In their videos they make creating a website look so simple. It’s not just Wix either, there are plenty of other website builders who crow about how easy it is to create DIY websites. But is it? Really?

It depends on your expectations.

Is a unique website important to you?

All of the DIY websites that I’m talking about rely heavily on pre-made templates. In most cases, unless you know CSS and HTML, getting a high level of customization isn’t going to happen. You may be able to add a logo, choose from several color schemes and add your own images and content, but that’s about it.Have a certain color blue that is unique to your brand?  A template driven website may not allow you to use it, causing you to rely on a color scheme that clashes with your logo. If you’re expecting something unique and totally yours, chances are a website builder isn’t going to give you that.

Are you expecting your website to look as good as the examples?

Another thing about templates, when you add your content to a template or theme it often doesn’t end up looking as good as the examples.  Template designers are just that, designers. They have a talent for combining the right images and fonts styling to make the template look it’s best. Many times when plugging in your own images and content the result falls short of the examples. A DIY website could end up leaving you wondering why your website doesn’t look as professional and polished as the template examples.

Do you have plenty of time?

No matter how fast and easy those commercials and ads make it look, building a website is a time-consuming process.  From choosing the correct images in the correct sizes to styling content, it takes time to get it right. Not to mention making sure the user experience on your website is a good one.

Do you understand UX (user experience)?

There is a big difference between what you may like and what may work for your users. For example, you may love fancy, swirly fonts but using them on your website could make it impossible for visitors to your website to read.  Using pictures from your phone may look great on your iPhone or iPad, but visitors on a desktop may see a pixelated mess.You might think you need all of that information on your About page but your visitors will find it too long and wordy a click away without reading any of it. Your website is less about you and more about giving your visitors the information they need and the experience they’ve come to expect online.

DIY Websites: The takeaway

Sure, it’s possible to create DIY websites, but it’s not always possible to create DIY websites quickly, easily or with great results.  Most people with no experience will not end up with the expected results, even when the advertised service swears anyone can do it.  The truth is, there is a lot that goes into building a website. It takes time and knowledge of things like graphics, typography, user experience and SEO.  Many, many people find themselves overwhelmed and disappointed. When it comes to DIY websites, it’s definitely a ‘just because you can, doesn’t mean you should’ situation.

I frequently get calls from people who have tried to create a DIY website only to realize they’ve gotten in over their heads. If you feel you’re treading water in the deep end when it comes to your website, be it building a new site or refreshing an old one, contact me about my WordPress Website Services. You can check out some of my most recent projects here.

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Are you a traditional location-based business? You should be thinking about Winterizing.

My previously in-person only presentation on creating a Plan B for running your business in the event of bad weather, sick kids and other mishaps is now available on demand.

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