October 22, 2017

DIY Websites - Pros & Cons

Recently, we've had a few clients come to us looking for help with websites they've created themselves. From build-it-yourself sites to turnkey templates, the story is nearly always the same. They've taken advantage of online tools that promise to help build a website with "no coding knowledge needed".

There's no doubt that we've all wanted to accomplish something by ourselves, and there's definitely nothing wrong with wanting to save a few bucks. I found myself in this same situation a few months ago when I decided to tackle my own plumbing repair. Needless to say, it didn't go as expected and I ended up at Home Depot begging a plumber to follow me home and fix my mess.

In the case of DIY websites, many come to realize their websites are just not performing as they'd hoped. Rather, they're proving to be time consuming, inflexible and lacking results. But, that doesn't necessarily mean that they may not be adequate for some. So, in this post we're going to take an open-minded look at pros and cons of DIY websites.

Pros

Inexpensive

Many online tools cost a few dollars a month and some are even free, so your expense here is essentially your time. Calculate your "hourly rate" and multiply it by the estimated number of yours you'll spend to determine your cost.

Fun Project

Yes, that's right. Some of us actually enjoy this kind of work. If you're looking for a hobby project to fill your free time, you might just enjoy building your own website.

Sense of Accomplishment

When it's all said and done, if you're happy with what you've created, then you'll surely be glowing and might even deserve a trophy!

Customization

Given that you're not limited by your skills, you have complete control of your site. Your color scheme can be lime green, purple and orange with hot pink headings. It's all YOU!

Cons

Expensive

Given the amount of time required to make your site acceptable, the end cost of your DIY website may be more than that of a professional website. Add to that lost opportunity costs, and a it may be an expensive learning experience.

Time Consuming

A simple task that might take a professional 10 minutes may very well take you an hour. And without adequate skills, you're likely to become frustrated in the process.

Unprofessional

If your site doesn't look professional, your visitors may not have confidence in your business, and they probably won't be back again soon.

Poor Rankings

Many DIY'ers fail to realize that without properly marked up and optimized code, search engines may pass over their site. Businesses and income producing websites simply cannot afford to risk not being found online.

Our Conclusion

So what's our verdict? Overall, we tend to think DIY websites are great if you're looking to create a simple website for a relative's birthday party or a photo gallery of your latest vacation to share with friends. But, if you're a business, a professional individual or looking to make money from your website, we believe it's well worth the investment to hire a professional for the job.

What's your opinion? Leave us your thoughts in the comments below.

Comments

  1. I absolutely agree. A friend of mine (also a a merchandiser) built a website for her pet dog, featuring his photos and a weekly blog. It was fun for her to learn HTML and take the time to learn how to get it "just right."

    It just makes sense for small business owners to outsource their design to a designer or a firm. Also, I would recommend outsourcing the copywriting for the website as well. Many small business owners are in *love* with their product or brand, but many fall short of communicating it with ease.

    Cheers!
    - Brent

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