DIY Business Website Design
Posted on: November 18, 2016 | Author: Jon Raubenheimer
Thinking of getting a website for your business?
When it comes to building a business website there are generally two options:
- Hire a professional to custom design your business website
- Do it yourself (DIY)
Let’s start with the DIY approach.
Initially, this is going to be the most appealing option because at first glance it’s cheaper and whether you are a large company or a small startup, cheaper is great.
A few questions to ask yourself though at this early stage
1. How much time can you commit to doing it yourself?
Whilst it’s a low budget option to begin, a significant amount of time, effort and commitment is needed to finish it.
The time you allocate to your website is time away from your business. And time is money.
2. Customising a pre-built theme
Most people without graphic design skills or Website programming knowledge will start by buying a pre-built website template that they like the look of.
Congratulations, you now have a small business website that looks generic, as 1,000s of others have downloaded the same template theme.
Adding your own graphics or extensive content to pre-built templates often break the template and stop it from being updated in the future, leaving it vulnerable to malware and hacking exploits. The changes that are possible within the pre-built template options are mostly very limited.
What’s next? You’ll need to customise the template to reflect your business. Either, you turn to Google for a crash course in computer languages like HTML, CSS, PHP, and possibly Java or you hire a designer to do it for you. Getting a programmer on board at this point, who is working on an hourly fee arrangement can wind up costing you more than just getting a web design company to design and build your new website from the outset.
Other important things to consider with pre-built website templates/themes:
Is the template you bought mobile friendly (responsive)?
A mobile friendly website will automatically resize to fit whatever screen your customer is viewing from. It is crucial your website does this because more than 50% of your customers will visit your site from their smart phone and tablet. If it’s not easy for them to quickly get the information they need they will hit the back button and move on to the next website.
Let’s say you are trying to buy a pair of running shoes online: the website you click on does not fit your screen size at all. You can’t make out the text. You have to zoom in and scroll to read a sentence. Very quickly (around 3 seconds) you will become irritated and leave.
Look at this scenario as a business owner – if your website is not mobile friendly you may as well offer your customer on a golden platter to your competitor (whose site will be responsive). As a buyer you have so much choice online. You can afford to be picky. You just want a simple and easy process. As a business owner you have competition online. Give your customer a simple, easy process.
Is your template search engine friendly?
First of all most pre-built templates are not search engine friendly (SEF). You will either need to hire a developer to make it SEF or learn how to do this yourself (requiring more of your time). When a customer searches for your product or service on the internet, Google chooses which sites to show first in the search results based on certain rules and regulations. A website that has these rules built into the code will be search engine friendly. Google likes this and will preference the website.
Having a SEF website is crucial to a successful online business because what’s the point in investing in a website for your business if no one can find it. If they can’t find your business you won’t get any additional sales or enquiries.
Will your template work in all browsers?
A ton of other people will have bought the template too. Do you really want a website that looks like thousands of others? The simple answer is no. Your business is unique and so should your website be.
Would you build your own house from the foundations up? If you are a tradesperson this might be achievable. With no experience in the industry, there are so many crucial steps involved to build a safe, secure house. There are many risks involved that could result in wasted time and money.
Building your own website may be a low budget option to begin with. But you need to consider all the necessary steps involved if you want to get your business successfully operating online.
Professional Website Design
Opting for a professional to custom design your website ensures you get an upfront price. This may startle you at first. However, spending a little more on a custom design is going to save you a lot of time. Time you could invest in your business.
A unique website for your business is crucial to the success of the website. The website will be the central point for any future marketing you might do, whether that is online, word of mouth, or traditional marketing methods. If the website is not as good as it could be, you won’t get the returns that you should – Put simply you will be wasting money over the long term.
When hiring a small business website design company, the process starts with your business needs in mind in order to build a website that is scaleable and adaptable for future changes. A good user interface design that’s engaging and simple enough to quickly get your customers to where they want to be.
Ensuring the user experience is good and easy so that visitors stay on your site.
A Content Management System (CMS)
If your pricing changes or you have a new service you want to advertise you don’t need to pay for a developer to make the update for you. With a CMS you have the flexibility to instantly update your content when the need arises.
Search Engine Friendly
The internet is an incredibly competitive place, a professional web design team will ensure your site is built to be search engine friendly so you are recognised in Googles search results.
If your visitors are submitting personal details through your website, you are responsible for their security. A professional team will be aware of this and provide an SSL certificate so your website will remain safe and secure no matter what.
WordPress vs. Custom Built
When considering a small business’ web design approach, there is something to be said for developing it on the WordPress platform instead of having custom-built website. Sure, custom websites are great for multinational corporations and massive organisations, but for a small business it’s a safer, and cheaper, bet to go with WordPress.
WordPress is an open-source web design platform that runs nearly a quarter of all internet sites. You’ve probably perused one yourself without even knowing it. It has all the capabilities of a custom-built website, but is easier to use and updates without a dedicated team of webmasters at your back.
If you’re in the business of selling goods or services, you may want to consider an e-commerce website.
Finding the best fit e-commerce platform for you is easy when you’re using the power of WordPress. The same company that runs WordPress runs WooCommerce, an all-in-one e-commerce tool that will meet any business’ needs. Whether you’re selling one service or hundreds of products, you’ll find all the features and analytics that you might ever need in one handy spot.
Security is an integral part of your business’ website design if your visitors are transmitting personal information or if you’re holding onto sensitive customer information, such as login credentials.
When you’re talking to your website design team, have them procure an SSL Certificate for your website. Your customer will see a green address bar and a padlock, which lets them know that your site is safe and secure, no matter what happens.
CMS: Content Management System
Having a CMS site is one way that you can do a bit of DIY, if you so desire.
CMS sites make it easy for any business to update their site in a flash. This is especially useful for sites that feature continually updated blogs or articles, calendar events, or frequent product or promotional changes.
All it takes to update the text and images on the site is a few button clicks. There’s very little technical know-how needed. If you can run Microsoft Office, you’ll be able to easily update your website without the need of a Webmaster.
Mobile design is becoming ubiquitous. It’s no longer an option for your business.
With more and more regularity, people are searching on Google through their tablets and smartphones. When Google searches for results, it takes into account whether you have a responsive or mobile site. Ensuring that you do means that Google will raise your ranking and your customers will be happy browsing your site, no matter how they choose to do it.
Contact Quikclicks Today
Quikclicks is the première professional website design team. We specialise in all manner of small business web design, have worked with innumerable companies and start ups, and have made their lives much easier.
For a quote or if you have questions, contact us today.
Posted in: Blog
About the Author: Jon is an online marketing specialist and has helped countless businesses increase sales over the years.