DIY vs. Professional Websites

In the final article of this series the topic will be why to hire a professional, like Small Biz Media, to create and/or update your company’s website. After all, just about anybody can throw a website together. Right?

It’s true, just about anyone can throw together a website these days. And, the Internet is full of examples of what that looks like. Our company has developed a proprietary evaluation process that identifies the good, the bad, and the ugly of any given website. This process has been refined over time and incorporates industry standards as well as modern design concepts in our assessment. After using this tool hundreds of times it is usually pretty easy to tell when we are evaluating a DIY site.


“…a bad website actually hurts your message more than having no website at all.”


Allow me to make an assumption that we will work with the rest of the article. I assume the reason you have or want a website is to get out your message. That message may be that people should do business with your company, come to your church, attend your event, read your blog, take your advice, look up specific information, and on and on and on.

There are numerous reasons to have a website but for this article the focus will be on small business. However, the concepts covered in this article relate to websites in general. If I had to reduce everything I wanted to say down to one thought it would be this… a bad website actually hurts your message more than having no website at all. In an earlier article in this series I cited a study that established visitors take less than a second to form an impression of your website. By extension, that impression is of your company as well. So in effect, your website is your company which is your message which is your website. This concept can also simply be thought of as your brand. You could visualize that concept as a loop where all three terms are more or less synonymous with each other.

5_loop

“You never get a second chance to make a first impression.” “Perception is reality.” These are a couple of adages concerning how we interact with the people and objects around us. So the first reason to hire a pro like Small Biz Media is that doing so will give your company a great shot at that all-important first impression. Your big sale won’t make any difference if the visitor does not stay long enough to read the details.

The office admin may be terrific with graphics and fonts in the company newsletter she puts together in MS Word but that doesn’t necessarily qualify her for web design. I can hammer a nail, but you certainly do not want to turn me loose as the lead carpenter on your big construction project. It will end badly.

If you are responsible for day to day operations of a website then you already know that there is much more to being effective besides design. Think about your specific situation and answer the following questions.

  • Are you or someone in your office up to date on contemporary web design techniques?
  • Do you know what responsive design is and why it’s important?
  • Do you know how to storyboard the user experience so the visitor has a satisfying encounter no matter what they are doing on your site?
  • Do you know the difference between good and bad data to collect from your visitors?
  • When is the best time to run an email marketing campaign to get the most bang for the buck?
  • Can you interpret website analytics and make changes to your marketing and website design accordingly? Do you know what website analytics are?
  • What are QR codes? What are the best ways to use them to increase web traffic?
  • What are the techniques to get and keep your website ranked high with the various search engines?
  • Do you have the time to keep it all updated?
  • What do you do if your website goes down?
  • What happens when the one person who knows what is going on is no longer in the picture?
  • And…
  • If you want to move your site to another provider/host, is all your work portable?
    • The answer a large percentage of the time is, no.

There are more questions, lots more. But the point is the “Y” in DIY is yourself. If you are running a small business or pursuing any other legitimate reason to have a website, your time and talents need to be focused there, not becoming overwhelmed by website design and maintenance.

Now is the best time to realize a pro is worth the investment when deciding how to handle one of the most important pieces of your marketing strategy, your website. If you have no idea where to start, have started but are in too deep, or are just plain tired of the DIY challenge contact Small Biz Media today.

If you would like to read the other articles in this series you can check them out with the links below.

  1. Website design overview
  2. Website appearance matters
  3. Crafting good content
  4. Website functionality
  5. DIY vs professional websites
Posted in Web design