Is a DIY Website up to the challenge?

The Attraction of a DIY Website

Many small businesses need to keep their costs low in the early days of their business. So the business owners burn the candle at both ends – plying their trade during the day, and doing their own admin and marketing at night.

There are many DIY cloud-based website development and hosting platforms available to business owners. One of the platforms most frequently seen in online advertising currently, is Wix.

Wix encourages users to, “Start from scratch or choose from over 500 designer-made templates that you can fully  customize using the drag and drop website builder. Make your site come to life with video backgrounds, scroll effects and animation. With the Wix Editor, you can create your own professional website exactly the way you want it.”

Sounds easy – and it is.

Wix Website Development Tool

These platforms use attractive templates and drag-and-drop design elements, so that almost anyone can create a good looking website.

Wix Website Templates

But do these sites work? Does Google know they exist? Do they attract clicks from people looking for your products or services? Are potential customers making contact through these websites?

The answer is: it depends!

Case Study: Klinks.co.nz  

Klinks take pride in building some of the best fencing Tauranga has to offer. They build boundary fences, pool fences, gates, decks, and comeplete landscaping projects of all shapes and sizes.

When Klinks first began their journey, they decided to create their own website rather than ansorbing the cost of using a professional developer to create one for them. They chose to use Squarespace, another leading platform that allows users to, “Create a customizable website or online store with an all-in-one solution…”

And their website looks good.

Klinks fencing Tauranga - DIY homepage

But Google did not know that Klinks existed. They had zero traffic and no leads. So they engaged a digital marketing agency in Hamilton.

Here’s what the agency found:

  1. Klinks did not know they needed to submit an xml sitemap to Google, so that Google could identify their website and the pages included.
  2. Klinks didn’t use page titles, URLs, meta descriptions and headings to help Google understand what products or services they offered, and who their website was intended to help.
  3. Their homepage did not present enough relevant, helpful and authoritative information for Google to regard them as experts worth promoting.
  4. They only used one subpages to describe their services and present their expertise. 
  5. Overall their content did not match the intent of people searching for their products and services.

These results are quite typical of DIY websites, and they only scratch the surface.

Klinks fencing Tauranga - DIY subpage

This was a problem for Klinks because they wanted a website that matched the craftsmanship they apply to their fencing work in Tauranga.

Optimising Klink’s Website

The digital marketing agency fixed all of the technical errors and ommissions on Klink’s website and began to send Google all the signals it needs to trust a website.

They added content to the homepage and also added subpages for each main service. Then they updated and submitted the XML sitemap so that Google would see all of this relevant and helpful content.

The new homepage highlights each of the main services Klinks provide: Fencing, Pool Fencig, Gates and Decks. Each of these services then has a subpage.

Klinks fencing Tauranga - New homepage

Each of these services then has a subpage.

Klinks fencing Tauranga - New Fencing Page

All of this additional information helps Google to decide who to show the page to. 

Reality Check

Let’s come back to our original question: But do these sites work? Does Google know they exist? Do they attract clicks from people looking for your products or services? Are potential customers making contact through these websites?

Actually, most of the cloud-based web development platforms like Wix and Squarespace, have inbuilt SEO courses and tools. Using these tools you can ensure that the website is effective, is ranked well by Google, and leads to organic traffic and customers.

If you know they are there and if you know how to use them.

When I spoke to the owner of Klinks I described it this way: I am capable of building a fence for my home and have done so – and the results were ok. But nothing like the craftsmanship that Klinks will bring to building the same fence. The same is true with web development and SEO: just becuase you can does not mean you should.

Here’s a few more reasons why you should engage a professional web development and SEO team.

More reliable

This is perhaps the most important reason to choose a professional website over a do-it-yourself website. Professional websites are built by experienced developers who know how to code websites that are reliable and won’t crash. 

Do-it-yourself websites, on the other hand, are often built by people with little to no coding experience, which can lead to a lot of problems.

They also understand how to optimise a website for search engines so that it will rank high in search results. In contrast, most people who create do-it-yourself websites have little to no experience in web development or search engine optimization. 

As a result, their websites are often poorly designed and poorly optimised, which makes them less likely to be found by potential customers.

Second, professional websites are typically hosted on reliable servers that are designed to handle high traffic volumes. In contrast, most do-it-yourself websites are hosted on less reliable servers, which can result in the website being inaccessible during times of high traffic. This can be a major problem for businesses that rely on their website to generate sales.

Third, professional websites typically have better security features than do-it-yourself websites. This is important because a website that is not secure is more likely to be hacked and have sensitive information stolen. 

Professional websites typically have features such as SSL encryption and password protection, which make it much more difficult for hackers to access the website.

Websites created by developers are more reliable than do-it-yourself websites for a number of reasons. They are designed and built by experienced web developers, they are hosted on reliable servers, and they have better security features. businesses that rely on their website to generate sales should consider investing in a professional website instead of a do-it-yourself website.

More user-friendly

Another important reason to choose a professional website is that they are generally much more user-friendly than do-it-yourself websites. Professional websites are designed with the user in mind. They take into account things like navigation, usability, and overall appearance. DIY websites, on the other hand, are often designed with the creator in mind, which can make them more difficult to use.

Another reason professional websites are more user-friendly is that they are typically updated more regularly. This means that users can always be sure they are seeing the most up-to-date information. DIY websites, on the other hand, may not be updated as often, which can make them outdated and less useful.

Finally, professional websites usually have more features and functionality than DIY websites. This can make them more helpful and informative for users. DIY websites may be limited in terms of what they can offer, which can make them less useful.

More visually appealing

In addition to being more user-friendly, professional websites are also generally more visually appealing than do-it-yourself websites. This is because professional web designers know how to create websites that look good. Web developers who understand how to create a visually appealing and user-friendly website. They know how to choose the right colors, fonts, and images to create a cohesive website that accurately reflects your brand.

Do-it-yourself websites, on the other hand, are often created by people who have no experience with web design, which can lead to some pretty ugly websites.

Professional websites are also built on a robust content management system (CMS) that allows you to easily add, edit, and delete content. This is important because it allows you to keep your website up-to-date with the latest information about your products, services, and company.

More likely to be found by search engines

Search engines are designed to help users find the information they need quickly and easily. When a user types a query into a search engine, the search engine looks through all of the websites in its index and returns a list of results that are relevant to the user’s query.

Professional websites are more likely to be found by search engines than DIY websites for a number of reasons. First, professional websites are typically designed with search engine optimization (SEO) in mind, which means that they are built using techniques that help them rank higher in search engine results pages (SERPs). 

Second, professional websites are more likely to be well-linked, which also helps them rank higher in search results. Finally, professional websites are more likely to be regularly updated with fresh content, which search engines also take into account when determining rankings.

In contrast, DIY websites are often not designed with SEO in mind and may not be as well-linked or regularly updated as professional websites. As a result, they are less likely to rank high in search results and may be harder for users to find.

More expensive than do-it-yourself websites

There are a number of reasons why professional websites are more expensive than do-it-yourself websites. The most obvious reason is that professional websites are designed and built by experienced web developers who have the skills and knowledge to create a high-quality, functional website. Much like professional fence and deck builders.

Professional websites also usually include more features and functionality than do-it-yourself websites, and they are often designed to be more user-friendly and engaging.

Another reason why professional websites cost more is that they often require more ongoing maintenance and support than do-it-yourself websites. This is because professional websites are typically more complex and require more frequent updates and security patches. Additionally, professional websites often come with SLAs (service level agreements) that guarantee uptime and performance, which can add to the overall cost.

Ultimately, the decision of whether to use a professional website design and development company or go the do-it-yourself route depends on a number of factors, including budget, timeline, and the level of complexity and functionality required. However, in general, professional websites will cost more upfront but will offer a higher level of quality, functionality, and support than do-it-yourself websites.

 

Andrew Roughton

Andrew is an online marketing specialist, based in Hamilton, New Zealand, with personal experience in ecommerce startups. He originally trained as a computer programmer, and then accidentally drifted into adult/tertiary education where he held both teaching and executive roles. In that time he managed a multi-million dollar budget and around 90 staff in Auckland, Hamilton and Christchurch. His role included both domestic and international marketing. Andrew completed an MBA in 2012 which helped with the leadership and management of the business, as well as his ongoing personal involvement in developing and delivering online business education.