When it comes to your business website, don’t DIY

The internet has sprung a cottage industry of “Do It Yourself.” You can learn to do “everything” with the help of YouTube (and other educational sites), from a homemade A/C, how to heat your room with some candles and clay pots to a “no-sew one-shoulder wrap dress”. Everyone can roll up their sleeves, be creative and handy, the only restriction being one’s own imagination. For many of us in cyberspace that means learning a content management system like WordPress or Drupal, managing our own database or touching up photos in Photoshop on our way to creating our own website.

But the sites are falling short of acceptable. The days of DIY websites were 15 years ago, when sites were relatively simple, and the tools enabled us to create sites that were visually appealing and marketable. Today’s internet site is too complex. There are many considerations that go into building a website: visual appeal, various coding challenges and standards, mobile requirements, marketing, search engine optimization, speed, security, database/ecommerce, social media, data gathering and statistical analysis. The list can get pretty deep and overwhelming for the DIY crowd. The tools, albeit good, are not able to cover the spectrum of competencies needed to put together what the business community would consider to be an acceptable website. In the end that means lost opportunity for your business.

The reasons novice entrepreneurs do it themselves are often: I’m a type A personality, bright and motivated and can get anything done, or I’m just starting in business and don’t yet have the funds to hire a professional. Now one might think that I have selfish reasons for the website DYI crowd (I build internet sites for a living,) but have you seen some of these sites? They make one scratch their heads, wondering if these people are “really” in business. Their sites are not really appealing. If they cannot afford a professionally done website, that speaks volumes of their business.

So next time you roll up your sleeves at the keyboard ready to build you own website, think twice.