Building your own website is made to sound easier than it looks thanks to the wealth of information available online. However, the cost of web design for some small businesses may mean this is their only option when it comes to finding customers online. Going through the processes of building your own website is also a profitable experience in itself for small business operators as it means they have a better understanding of how web design, content production and online marketing really work.
A great deal of clients I have worked with can get the dreaded “blank face” when I go through different design options, content options and other aspects of operating online. However, there are the ones who never become clients because they suffer from “I can do that” syndrome because they have read a few online tutorials. I always try to keep my car in mind when talking about websites to clients – I mean when most things go wrong with a car we don’t pull out the tools and tinker with it – instead we take it to the mechanic.
Time is Money!
The big con about DIY websites is that they can save you money. This may be true in terms of cold hard cash but you also need to add up the cost of your own time. Hours and hours need to be spent on getting a website up and running and there will never be a time (even for most experienced designers) when you run into problems you don’t know the solution for. Designing and building your own website is an extremely steep learning curve and if your computer skills aren’t up to scratch then forget it.
That being said I am still considering offering a “DIY” service through my own business. This is probably the ideal way to save money and build a good website. Instead of just going it alone with a website build you need to have someone you can at least touch base with for specific problems.
Keep in mind that you need this balanced approach when approaching anything in your business that you don’t have direct experience with. If you provide a specific service in your business (like a trade) then just imagine your customers deciding to do a DIY job! I know a lot of plumbers, builders and electricians see a lot of this so be kind to website designers and content producers 🙂