“Do It Yourself” Websites

Every business needs a website, but how each business should start the website design process can be different. Depending on the learning curve, some business owners prefer to set up and design their company website, whereas others prefer to work with a professional design company. 

Let’s discuss the DIY approach.

When to design your own website

There are SO many resources online to help a “non-techie” launch a basic website in no time! 

If you’re a solo entrepreneur just starting out and searching for an affordable, yet simple website that will provide you with the minimum essentials, I’d recommend WIX or Squarespace. Both companies include a domain, SSL Certificate (security), website hosting and free business website themes for a reasonable price. 

In my opinion, WIX and Squarespace is best suited for photographers, DJ’s, small online businesses, graphic designs and local restaurants. For these industries, WIX and Squarespace offer a nice selection of websites. 

Kate Creative Media has used WIX and Squarespace to build a handful of our clients websites, and I will say that they do have a easy to use online shopping integration, which doesn’t require a lot of maintenance. 

It’s important to note that these themes are “drag and drop” style, ultimately leading to less flexibility in the design process. To add specific features, you will have to hire a Javascript professional to add custom code to the site, which starts to take the control out of your hands and begins adding costs. 

If there’s a theme that works for you, perfect, if not, consult with a website professional. 

Common DIY Mistakes

1. Poor site design and navigation

It’s easy to quickly pick a theme and start adding content, however, when pre-planning is overlooked, you can easily become frustrated with the design. Pre-planning your content is key to an effective website. 

You may be tempted to  start with a DIY website after seeing a competitors new amazing website. It’s important to note which platform they used to build the website, such as WIX, Squarespace, WordPress, etc. 

If you’re looking to design a similar website, but you’re using a theme with a drag and drop function on WIX, chances are you’re not going to be satisfied with the results. Most websites are built using WordPress due to the flexibility and vast resources included within the platform. 

2. Failing to weigh the importance of the user and business needs

Far too often, a website theme is selected based of the aesthetic appeal, rather than the visitors needs. Visitors on average will click on 3 pages to gather the information they need to make a decision. If they cannot quickly understand how your business can solve their needs, they will leave your site and most likely go to your competitors website. 

3. Decreased customer experience

Using a theme is great for a quick fix, however, there are millions of businesses using the exact theme. You can change the colors, fonts, content and images, but is that enough for your business to grow long term? 

4. Forgetting about mobile users

Mobile website users are on the rise. Although your free website theme might look nice on a desktop screen, it’s critical to review your website on mobile. A site that lacks a customized mobile experience will convert much less than websites that do. 

Did you know: Google predominantly uses the mobile version of the content for indexing and ranking.

5. Slow loading speed

On average, websites have seconds to make a great first impression on new visitors. If those few seconds are monopolized by a slow loading time, visitors will bounce. Here are a few features that will slow down the speed of your website. 

  • Too many different fonts
  • Slideshows and special effects
  • Third-party apps and iFrames

Recommended Solutions

Research your options and your competition

A professional website for a business is the equivalent to a stamp of online authenticity. Before you purchase your hosting plan and start designing, review your competition on Google. If you’re a local plumber, type into Google “Plumber Canton, MA” or “Highly rated Plumber near me” and see which companies rank. Take a pen and paper and write down 10 things you like about the website and 10 things you don’t like about the website. 

If you decide to work with a professional, having that list will provide your designer with a strong web strategy for your business as compared to your competitors. 

Speak with design company first

Out of all the things on your checklist when starting your business, envisioning your professional website is exciting! Kate Creative Media can bring your ideas to life with a full business strategy and marketing plan. Before you start, call 781-755-8088 to discuss your business goals! 

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Are you a business owner looking to work with a local highly-rated company on your website and marketing needs? Get $100 off your first professional with Kate Creative Media LLC.

Written by Kate Stallings