They seem to be everywhere. DIY web builders. Drag and Drop Builders. Templates and EZ Builders. Whatever the name it really is the same. Wix. Squarespace. weebly. Jimdo. Go Daddy. IM Creator. These are just a small handful and they literally have millions, yes millions of customers. So with “free”, Do It Myself, Drag and Drop how difficult can it really be?
This is not to tell you not to do it this way. It is not to try to convince you from a “Professional” opinion why it’s a bad idea. In fact, I am telling you if you research it, get good results from doing it, it might just be the best business decision you can make. So what is this post about?
This is some information that you cannot afford to leave out of your research. Consider this quick read about just a few of the many considerations before you jump in. Remember, this is not just a website, it is most likely the first connection and impression your new customer will have with your business. It is the main and most comfortable connection your customers will have with your business. So, let’s jump in….
- Do you honestly have the time? Just about half – 52% of all small businesses in America do NOT have a website. over 82% of the small businesses that DO, customers are frustrated or cannot find what they need or want on that website. As a business owner that wears so many hats you simply do not have time to get past the point of “I am working on it.” Your good intentions to do what you know you should do, ie build a website, you just simply do not have the time.
- Software learning curve. Let’s face it…When we watch someone else do something they make it look so easy. Just click here. Drop this over there. Insert this picture and boom you are finished. Welcome to the real world. It is ALWAYS more difficult than it appears.
- SEO. That is a BIG scary acronym for Search Engine Optimization. It is far more than just optimization though. Honestly, Google the largest search engine on the planet, has very strict rules about how and why your website would ever be listed much less found. Any ideas what that is? Do you care to take the time to research and find out?
- Templates. The companies that want you to sign up to design your new website are in this for one reason and one reason only, monthly revenues. They are not concerned about uniqueness, you getting found or even specific functionality to your customer base, they are interested in creating one size fits all options to accomodate the masses. Your template/website can and will look like another business.
- Website ownership. With many DIY website builders, you don’t even own the website. Read the fine print. Worked 100’s of hours to get your site just right? Want to take it with you for whatever reason? Nope. Doesn’t work that way. Read the fine print and you’ll see.
- Limitations to functionality. Would you like to add a specific feature to enhance your business website or increase customer friendliness? You are going to find out “We are sorry, you can’t do that with our software”. Most software for DIY websites are extremely limited to what they can and cannot do. Customization is a very limited option.
- Hidden and add on costs. You are about to discover that the $3.99 a month plan you signed up for does not include these additional add on options. Now your monthly bill just went to $39.99 a month and there is a constant sales pitch to add even more on.
- Hosting. Did you know that when you build your website you will need a “host”? Yes usually it is included but, did you realize that your new pride and joy of a website is on the same server as literally thousands of other websites? This can and usually does affect speed, security, down time and at the mercy of of another DIY’er did not do correctly that crashed the server and it will be a few hours before the server is back up. And did I mention that this NEVER happens at a “good” time? Like your biggest sale of the year? Or your newest exclusive product launch?
I am certainly not saying that a build it yourself website isn’t a good fit for some. I am saying that you should consider more than just the sparkle and price to make the most important decision about your business and the best marketing tool your business should be using.