Oooh, hate, that’s a bit of a strong word isn’t it? Ok well how about loathe, detest, ‘gets my blood boiling’, or all of the above. Still sounds a bit strong though doesn’t it?
The reason that I ‘hate’ rather than merely dislike DIY websites, is because I’ve spent a not inconsiderable amount of time dressing the sore, disillusioned wounds of business owners who’ve had to battle with a DIY website and have ended up a little crazy as a result.
And that’s because a DIY website is an empty promise, a false economy and a heart attack rolled into one. In other words: it’s very bad for your business.
You’re not a web designer...
And that’s not a problem. In the same way that not being a car mechanic isn’t a problem, unless you’re trying to fix a car.
That’s your problem. You’re trying to do something that you know very little about. In essence, you’re trying to fix a car when all you’ve ever done is drive one.
If you don’t have web experience then there are lots of things that you might want to do with your website but don’t have the tools or knowhow to do. You might want to put a gradient on an image, re-size something, add a border, move a form, or all manner of things that a simple template won’t allow you to do, unless you have web editing experience and knowledge of HTML.
Worse than that, you may not even know how to try and make it look good. If you don’t have experience in putting colours together, or laying out different shapes, then you’re unlikely to know where to start when it comes to choosing what you want in your website.
Creating a website without web design skills also makes it hard to stay on top of the detail, like keeping font styles and sizes consistent. Those are the bits and pieces that a designer can sort at the drop of a hat, but never quite come together in a DIY website.
But let’s be clear: none of this is your fault. You’re an accountant, a hairdresser, a chiropractor, or maybe even a car mechanic. And I bet you’re damn good at your job. So why are people trying to turn you into a web designer?
It’s a false economy
So the DIY web companies are promising that you can get a website on a tiny budget, which is something almost every small business owner wants to hear.
What they don’t tell you is that building a website when you’re not a web designer can be a very frustrating and laborious process. Chances are you’ll need to draft in your husband/neighbour/daughter to help you get things right, and even then you’ll not quite get what you want from your website.
Of course all that time that you’re sweating over your website is time that should be spent on growing your business: making contacts, setting up your business infrastructure, doing market research – all those things that are critical to the success of your business. Ignore them at your peril.
There’s no-one to talk to
No business can deliver a cheap as chips service and still provide excellent customer service. So little wonder that when you want technical support it’s either available via unintuitive help files, email support, or a premium rate telephone number.
DIY web businesses don’t offer the support you need when you’re up at night because your website has crashed and you don’t know what to do about it. Don’t let them tell you otherwise.
Get clever about your website
Your website can be a marvellous tool for growing your business, so don’t let it hold you back. Look at your website as an investment, as much as you would a piece of machinery or a new employee.
Make sure you get the design you want and make sure that someone else does the hard work for you.
And while this blog piece isn’t meant to be a plug, I can’t resist taking the opportunity to remind you that Clever Business Websites can design and build you a website for just £25 a month, with no upfront costs. Fab customer service and professional design included.
The author - Rosie Heptonstall, Marketing Manager for Clever Business Websites