Do it yourself website doesn’t deliver
I have watched MANY commercials for companies offering do it yourself websites that say “In just a few easy steps you can have your new website up and running with thousands of people visiting it.” They show a person clicking on a few buttons, typing a few words and PRESTO-you’re done! Well, I’m here to tell you it’s not that easy and even if you do manage to get a website completed, it doesn’t guarantee visitors.
DIY website is not as easy as it looks
Let’s start with the 1st misconception-the templates are easy to use. Over the years, I have gotten so many calls from people who have tried to do it themselves and it’s the same story every time, “They said it would be easy to download the template and upload some photos but it’s not as easy as they made it sound.”
I usually hear from them after they have spent 20, 30 or more hours working on their new website and all they have to show for it is a home page that looks awful (they usually use a more colorful term but I think you get the picture). They are frustrated, upset and tired by the time they call me.
What do I do next?
The next problem is that even if they get the template downloaded and something accomplished, the average person has no idea what to do next. They are not a web designer and don’t know what to put on their website. They often do not have any text written, have limited photos (if any at all) and no clue how to layout the content on the page.
Sure, the template has an area to insert the copy but it doesn’t write it for you. The template doesn’t tell you that “Calls to action” are important and should be included on the page. Let’s face it-the template doesn’t do anything. It’s entirely up to you to figure it out.
All websites are NOT created equal
The 2nd big misconception is that once your website is done, thousands of people will magically find it. They will flock to your website and your phone will be ringing off the hook. This is not the Field of Dreams (if you build it, they will come).
In fact, this is the exact opposite as there are no guarantees and most often, a DIY website brings nothing but grief. I don’t mean to sound pessimistic but if it was that easy, there wouldn’t be any web developers in business.
While anyone can build a website, it doesn’t mean that it will be a good website that get results. Just like anyone can paint a room or install a faucet, it doesn’t mean it will look good or that it will work. There’s a difference between doing a job well and just doing a job.
It doesn’t matter what your profession, there’s always people who think it looks easy but that’s just because they don’t know what they don’t know. I realize the companies selling DIY website solutions want to make it sound ‘easy as pie’ while reaping huge rewards BUT consumers should also use a little common sense and know that if something sounds to good to be true. . .
Professionals build effective websites that get results
When you visit a website that functions properly and is easy to navigate, you likely have no idea how much time and effort was put into building that website. You don’t just throw a few photos and a little text on a page and call it a website.
There’s many hours that go into researching who will be using the site (male, female, age groups, etc.) and then, there’s the content. What type of information do people want to see and how should it be organized so it’s easy to read? What do you want the visitor to do (call, email, buy)?
Content is the real star of the show and as you might have guessed, this is the one area where most people get it wrong. They think content isn’t important and that’s the biggest mistake of all.
Functionality is key to great website
On every website they create, professional web designers make hundreds of decisions that affect the performance of the finished site, from the color scheme to the placement of the photos to the Contact Us button. If they have done their job well, visitors to the website will not have any problems navigating the site and will find everything they’re looking for and more.
This makes a web designer’s work very under appreciated as it gets taken for granted. People expect things to work and it’s only when they visit a poorly built website that they appreciate a well-made website.
In conclusion, I want to dedicate this post to professional web designers here at Sleepy Dog and everywhere as their work is often not appreciated and that’s a shame because they work so hard so everyone can enjoy a wonderful website experience.