As 2020 continues to roll on, the increasing amount of DIY website builders seems to grow.
These platforms offer a range of benefits from attractive designs and easy to choose templates to intuitive platforms and 'affordable fees'.
When navigating which path to take when developing a website for your business however - we feel it's important to consider as much information as possible.
DIY websites can look good and make the process of getting your business online relatively easy.
However one of the main drawbacks with these type of website builders is that they are often template-based. Often you’re choosing (or unexpectedly paying for) a design from a gallery of pre-made templates which can lead to a few unanticipated issues.
Firstly, consider that your nearest competitor can also purchase and develop their website using the same, similar or even better template. This makes it hard for your customers and clients to distinguish what’s unique about you and in turn, why they should choose you over that competitor.
Secondly, the design elements in these templates are often fixed in place. This limits where and how content can be placed on your website and may also restrict custom requirements (such as booking forms, calendars, third-party apps) that you may require either initially or in the future.
Your website needs to be a positive reflection of your business, as well as something you are proud to show to your customers - so while DIY websites seem to make things easy, it’s important to think about the design aspects of using these platforms.
Think about how much is your time worth not only to you, but also your business.
One of the most overlooked elements in the DIY website process is how time intensive getting started and maintaining your website can be.
While nearly anyone can create and launch a website at the moment - developing a professional and successful online presence is incredibly difficult.
The initial stages can come together quite rapidly, but there's a lot more behind a good website design including:
When having to perform all these tasks, time can very easily get away, which can leave many Tasmanian businesses dejected at the overall process and perhaps without a website at all.
DIY website builders continue to grow in enabling better search engine optimisation (SEO), however much like the design of the website, SEO can often be overlooked or hard to keep track.
SEO is helps your business get found online. A recent study by BrightEdge found that 68% of online searches begin with a search engine, suggesting it's incredibly important that your website ranks as close to that number one spot as possible.
While easier to configure SEO using a DIY website builder, if you don't know what to optimise for this time and effort can often be in vain or negatively impact your rankings.
The coding and plugins of DIY websites can also sometimes be hidden or unnecessarily bloated. This can result in a great looking website; but also one that confuses Google and makes it difficult for your business to get found online.
Compared to a website designer or agency, DIY websites appear to save you costs.
However, as with the value of your time, there can be hidden costs associated with these platforms.
Free templates often lack necessary features of a professional template, which in turn is an additional cost. Have a special requirement? Cost. Need a plugin? Cost. Want increased SEO options? Cost. Need to link your own domain name? Cost.
These are all aspects that may not be apparent when you first begin your DIY website journey, so it is important to do your research and read reviews before beginning - otherwise you may bet weeks or months into the development of your own website only to realise that the ongoing cost may skyrocket past other options.
What we really enjoy about our work is that there's a website solution out there for every range of business in Tasmania.
The aim of this post isn't to detract from DIY website builders, as there are plenty of smaller Tasmanian businesses out there who can really benefit from the easy and simplicity that DIY website builders bring to the market.
In short: if time and budget are significant factors, a DIY website builder may be a good option for you.
With this in mind however, a common task we undertake is redeveloping broken or unfinished website that were started through the DIY experience. This process end up costing clients so much more than a straightforward web design process; and that is something that we hate.
All the same, if you're interested in exploring your options further or discussing a website solution for your business, organisation, sports club or start up - then feel free to get in touch through our "Discuss A Project" page.
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