DIY Websites

Thinking of getting a website for your business?

When it comes to building a website for your business or service there are basically two options:

1. Hire a professional to custom design your website

2. Do it yourself (DIY)

Initially, DIY 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 better.

Through experience, we can tell you that the most outstanding thing that the DIY option shows people is how difficult it can be to learn about all the technologies, design tools, and options that need to be understood in order to publish a professional looking website – even if you are using a free, template based platform – and also trying to actually run your own business at the same time.

Forewarned is forearmed

A few things to be aware of regarding DIY websites

1. How much time can you commit to doing it yourself?

While the DIY path may seem a budget option to begin with, a significant amount of time, effort and commitment is needed to build a website; more so to build one that looks unique and professional. This also includes what can be a very steep learning curve into web technologies. If you are simultaneously trying to build an actual business, not only can this be very stressful, but also you are spending a lot less time on your business which, in the early days, can be critical for its success.

2. Customising a pre-built theme

Most people without graphic design or website programming skills will start by buying or using pre-built website templates. Without trying to be rude, congratulations, you now have a business website that looks just like 1,000s of others that have used the same template or theme. Worse, if you have little in the way of design experience your efforts can also not just look unremarkable, but downright amateur.

Unexplained issues can easily crop up. For example, unless you know what you are doing, even just adding differently sized images or content to pre-built templates can break the layout, or stop it from being updated in the future. This in turn can leave you vulnerable to malware and hacking exploits. The changes that are possible within pre-built template options are mostly very limited and this limitation is what turns people off them.

Another alternative is after you reach the limits of what is easily possible in a DIY template, you might learn that further modification of the template is possible. You might try a crash course in computer languages like HTML and CSS, and if you are really brave perhaps PHP or Javascript. A little bit of knowledge is always great, don’t kid yourself you will be able to compete with professionals by reading a chapter or two of a Dummies book on the subject.

Failing this, you might consider hiring a designer to modify your templates. This can be the beginning of an endless money pit. Getting a designer on board at this point will likely mean paying an hourly rate which could even wind up costing you more than if you had just got a web design company to design and build a custom website in the first place.

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% (and quickly rising) of your customers will visit your site from their smart phone or tablet. If it’s not easy for them to get the information they need, they will hit the back button and try somewhere else.

As a customer, 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. You can’t make out the text. You have to zoom in and scroll to read a sentence. Things are cut off by the small screen size. Very quickly you will give up and try somewhere else.

As a business owner, if your website is not mobile friendly you may as well offer your customer to your competition (whose website IS responsive) on a silver platter. Consumers have so much choice online. They can afford to be picky. To keep them on your site you need a simple and easy process to buy a thing or get the information they need, and this means putting more care into the systems you want them to use than your competition has.

Is your template search engine friendly?

With this kind of question, which falls way beyond the initial goal of just ‘having a website’, first timers heads can start to spin. What did that even mean?

However, regardless of how much of the question makes sense, suffice to say, if you want your website to be found by other people through an online search, this is something you WILL need to answer. Having a SEF website is crucial to a successful online business. After all, 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.

When a customer searches for your product or service on the internet, search engines like Google, Yahoo and Bing use highly complex algorithms to choose which sites appear first in the search results. A website that works nicely with these algorithms will get a higher ranking in search results. There are many different aspects to achieving a higher rank and using a few templates will never cover this complexity. You will either need to hire a developer ($$) to make your website SEF or learn how to do this yourself (requiring even more of your time).

Building your own website may seem a low budget option to begin with. But there is a big build up of possible costs, as well as a lot of time and usually stress that you need to consider if you want to get your business successfully operating online.

Professional Website Design

The big hiccup with a custom designed, professionally built website is the up front price. It can look prohibitive compared to the ‘free’ options, but having said that, considering all the short comings of the DIY approach, we can tell you that time and time again customers come to us because they have had such a poor experience trying to do it themselves, that they would prefer to just cut their losses and start again (wasting all the time and effort already spent) than keep on trying to bang their heads against that wall.

Don’t say you weren’t warned.

It needs to be pointed out that web design companies appreciate the financial hurdle that may be facing new businesses, and many have a variety of payment plans available.

When hiring a website design company, the process starts with a discussion of your business needs and creating a design that can scale and adapt for future change and growth. A good user interface design that’s engaging and simple enough to quickly get your customers to where they want to be is also very important.

Elements of a custom built professional website

A good unique design that reflects the attitude and focus of your business is a crucial point of having a proper website. It will likely be the central point for any future marketing you might do whether that is online, word of mouth, or through traditional marketing methods. Must haves to make sure are included:

Mobile responsiveness
All new websites should adapt to any screen resolution (desktops, laptops, tablets, mobiles). There are no ifs or buts about this. If you are talking to a web designer who can’t offer this, run away!

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.

A Content Management System (CMS)
If your pricing changes, you have a new service you want to advertise, or just add new photos or pages, you don’t want to have to pay for a developer to make the update for you. With a good CMS you will have the flexibility to update your content as the need arises.

CMS sites make it easy for any business to update their own websites. This is especially useful for websites that need to frequently update their blogs or articles, calendar events, or make frequent product or promotional changes.

In a good CMS, all it should take to update the text and images on the website is a few button clicks. There should be very little technical know-how needed. Many people shy away from the whole idea, thinking they are not technical enough, but if you can run Microsoft Office, using a good CMS you’ll probably be able to easily update your website without the need of a specialised support.

Search Engine Friendly
Ranking at the top of search engine results can be very competitive (depending on your industry and location). A professional web design team should ensure your site is built to be search engine friendly so you are recognised in the results of engines such as Google, Yahoo and Bing.

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 install an SSL certificate so your website will remain safe and secure no matter what.

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.

WordPress vs. Custom Built

When considering a website for a small business, there is a lot to be said for developing it on the WordPress platform. It is estimated that over a quarter of ALL websites on the internet are built on WordPress. Of the points above, WordPress is mobile responsive, it is far and away the most popular CMS available, it has pretty good SEO out of the box (and can be highly customised), and the security is also pretty good.

A fully customised website will also include some form of CMS, though this may have been custom designed from the ground up. However, you also will have to pay for that. We are talking 6 figures, rather than 4. Unless you are a major corporation or Government there is no reason to re-invent the CMS wheel when there are such great existing products already available for free.

WordPress is an open-source web design platform that runs – worldwide – nearly a quarter of all internet sites. You’ve probably used many without even knowing it. It has all the capabilities of a custom-built website, but is easier to use and can be updated 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.

From our perspective, WordPress and WooCommerce are the best combination. The same company that owns WordPress also owns WooCommerce. It is 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 spot.


Contact Quikclicks Today

Quikclicks is the premiere 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.