Back in the early days of web design, you needed to be an expert in coding to create even simple sites. Even then, they functioned but generally looked under-designed and navigated poorly. But a lot has changed in the last couple of decades – not least the fusion of technical capability and user experience-led design. 
These days it is easier than ever to create a professional looking website using one of the popular template sites. Cheap or even free to use, in under an hour and with only a small amount of technical knowhow almost anybody can knock up a basic site. 
However, the big question is whether this is the best option for your business. As a small enterprise, money is always at a premium. You can’t afford to spend a single penny unnecessarily. That’s why it is so tempting to go your own way and choose a DIY site. But is this a false economy? 
Yes, you will have a basic and functioning site – and that may be all you think you need. But the reality is that more and more of your business will take place online in the future (as the recent few weeks have proved), so it might be that the DIY approach is not the best option for you. Let’s look a little more in-depth at whether DIY or designer is the way to go. 

Designing the website 

DIY website template sites are fine. Most of us use them on a regular basis. They are easy to find your way around (if the site is a simple layout) and you generally know what you are going to get. But that is part of the problem. They all look the same. 
It’s true that there are lots of plugins available that allow you to create more complex designs and with advanced features, but these involve a greater degree of technical knowhow and design experience, at which point you might be better off enlisting the help of a designer in any case. 
Ask yourself, do you really want your site to look like everyone else’s? When it comes to your physical shop or premises, would you say the same thing? If you had to develop a shop or customer facing area, you probably wouldn’t just head down the hardware store and do it yourself out of chipboard and MDF. So, why make that call for your website, which is increasingly becoming as important as your physical space. 

Website cost  

As we mentioned above, many of the main template sites are free or very cheap to use. You may have to pay for some of the more desirable plugins but even these are affordable. As a small business where money is tight, it can be tempting to keep hold of your cash and do it yourself. But saving on your website might not be the best financial decision in the long run. 
Working with a designer might cost less than you think. But even then, the money that you do spend stands a very good chance of being quickly earned back through increased traffic, leads and sales. 
A generic site will function at its basic level, but will it be working as hard for your business as one designed by a skilled professional? The statistics on website use are frightening. It takes users a matter of seconds to make a value judgement about the quality of a site. If your site looks like all the others, or is light on content in the required places, then it will be a major turn off to prospective users. 
Likewise, if the user experience is bad or there are no calls to action in the right places, then users will simply make a quick decision to look elsewhere. 

Website SEO 

Search engine optimisation (SEO) is probably one of the most misunderstood elements of any website or marketing strategy. The days of stuffing your site with localised keywords that don’t scan in an effort to ‘trick’ search engines into boosting your page ranking are long gone, yet some site owners don’t seem to realise this may even be damaging their brand. 
Search engines are incredibly sophisticated these days, and scour the web in microseconds to find relevant and well-made content that is relevant to users. Web pages overflowing with keywords that don’t make sense simply won’t cut the mustard anymore. 
It’s worth working with a designer to establish what kind of content your site needs and where it will be of most use. That doesn’t just include written content but also video and multimedia too. 

Managing & updating the website 

One of the reasons people go it alone is that they want to retain total control over their website. They think that a designer will use code and design tools they don’t understand, leaving them in the hands of someone else every time they want to make an edit. But the reality is that designers create sites that are meant to be used by the owner. They are user-friendly and not beyond the technical capabilities of anyone. 
You can edit, upload, change design elements – all with a few clicks. And if something does go wrong, the designer is on hand to quickly remedy the situation. 

The right website choice for you 

Here at it’seeze Web Design Windsor, we create bespoke websites that work hard for you and your business. Our personalised service means you get your own designer working with you through every step of the process. 
We work hard to keep communication open at all times and, of course, you will have final say over every decision. In addition, we offer ongoing support so we’ll be there to help should you need us – even long after the initial design is delivered. 
To find out more about what we do and why you don’t need to do website DIY or spend a small fortune, get in touch with our team today. We build websites that aim to help small businesses grow – both locally and nationally. Find out more about what our clients say about working with us. 
We look forward to hearing from you. 
Tagged as: web design
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