The answer to this question is yes, you can absolutely build a website on your own and save money. However, just because you can doesn't mean that you should.
With enhanced tools and resources, there is no question that website design has become accessible for the everyday person and throwing something up on the web has never been easier. But even if you can use those tools to make your website look pretty, do you know if it's actually working? What about why or why not?
If you consider do-it-yourself website design, even if it's just to get started, we want you to be armed with the knowledge you need to be successful. Here are a few things that you should consider before investing time, and some money, into developing your own website design:
One of the things missing from most DYI website designs is intuitive user interface design. Intuitive UI design is crucial for pushing people through the information on your website effectively, ultimately leading them through to conversion (e.g. purchase, inquiry, etc.). Without an intuitive interface, your website's visitors may find themselves lost and frustrated, leading to page abandonment and higher bounce rates.
Some of the DYI solutions offer limited support and guidance, and most will require you to pay more to enhance the user experience with add-on's and widgets. While the initial costs of designing a website yourself may be appealing, you should be prepared for any hidden costs by first evaluating the needs of your visitors, determining what you'll need to make their experience on your website pleasant, and see which solution fits you and your needs best.
Design, Layout, and Content
Almost every DYI website starts with a template, and while the template selection may be vast and attractive, these templates are shared by thousands of other individuals and businesses. Without basic website design experience, you may not be capable of customizing your template beyond a few color adjustments and background change, limiting the uniqueness of your new website to the content you add to it (text, images, etc.) and the pages you add it to.
Without hiring a professional, the best way you can customize your website is by creating and adding frequent, relevant, and unique content to a blog. This will help Google determine what your website is all about, differentiate it from the other businesses using the same template, and give you something to share on social media and in your email marketing.
Maintenance and Technical Support
It's not uncommon for a website that you build on your own to have slow load time. With today's consumer having increasingly short attention spans, you simply can't afford to have your website load slowly or fail to load altogether. And, when these issues arise, there is often little to no customer support available.
Some of the more popular DYI builders offer a limited level of support, and their built-in hosting services are fairly reliable, but when your question falls outside of their support policy, you're left to figure things out on your own. To prevent any unnecessary headaches in the future, find the solution that will offer you the level of support you need, even if it means investing a few extra dollars in a better package. Alternatively, if you choose to hire an agency for your website design, you should expect a superior level of service to be included.
Search Engine Optimization
Very often, websites that people build on their own have poor search engine optimization (SEO) because they don't really consider SEO until after the website is already built. Your website is a HUGE opportunity to drive more traffic to your business and earn more qualified leads, so you'll want to make sure that you're incorporating an SEO strategy that makes sense.
The things to pay attention to are your headings (aka "title" or "h1"), page titles (what you name each page and what displays in the title bar of every page), and page descriptions (what displays in search results with the page title). Google seeks to present searchers with the right content and in less than a millisecond and it does this by searching every website on the internet, including yours, for relevant information. This search puts a heavy emphasis on headings, page titles, and page descriptions, so it's important to do them right.
The choice is obviously yours whether to build your own website or partner with a professional website design company. If you choose to build your own, these tips will help you put the right foot forward. Bottom line, your website design shouldn't suck, it's something you can and should be proud of. Click here to read more topics on effective website design. Good luck!