Should you really build your own website? The complete easy guide
Should I build my own website? This may seem like a strange article for me to be writing.
I’m a web designer, and I love creating client-attracting websites. It gives me great pleasure to produce websites to the best of my abilities that will be viewed and appreciated by thousands of people from all over the world.
So why would I be even discussing reasons as to why you may want to build your own website, does that not go against my own interests?
Here’s my honest take on why I think building your own website is the smartest decision you can make as a small business owner.
I will talk about how you can still have control over your site even if you don’t build it because I understand that not everyone has the time, or even the desire to do it.
I hope everyone is able to create a beautiful and functional website for his or her business. With some guidance, I believe everyone is capable of doing so.
If you have a hand in the creation of your website. You’ll be empowered to keep it current and continually add functionality as your business grows.
should I really build my own website?
Building Your Own Website Has changed a lot!
Building your own website in the early 2000s was a pretty monumental task. Back then, you were required to have a lot of technical skills, a DIY attitude, and hours of reading and tinkering before you started building your site.
Thankfully, today you can make your own website with far less anguish.
However, there is definitely still a place for web designers in today’s world.
Today’s web users absolutely have a need for top designers who can design the lightning-fast, user-friendly websites they’re used to interacting with.
Designers play an important role in bringing the visions of busy or technically-resistant business owners to life.
There are many reasons why you might be interested in working with a web designer, or if you’d prefer to build a website yourself. We’ll talk about each option, then we’ll share some tips to help you decide which option would be best for you.
The "need" to have control over your own website
When you’re starting a new business, or are in the process of thinking about revising your existing website. There is always that small voice inside you asking “How hard can this really be? Could I not just do this myself?”
Building your own website is a great way to save money. Avoid relying on web designers, and have complete control over your online marketing. And you will be independent, able to evolve your website when and wherever you want.
I’m all in favour of that.
should I build my own website - Website anxiety
Then things change.
It’s often the case that former clients won’t log in as frequently as they hoped, despite having the very best intentions to hop into the site several times a month and upload new content.
You might be surprised to hear this. After all, if you had worked so hard to develop your own dream website, wouldn’t you be diligent about updating the content so that your website would continue to grow and succeed?
There can be a multitude of reasons why you resist updating your site.
You might not have enough confidence to make the necessary changes. No matter what training you have taken, you may feel anxious about ‘breaking something’. This fear may never play out but is nevertheless very real.
I was terrified of breaking websites when I first started.
The problem with being a busy business owner is that there’s a lot going on in your day. It’s inevitable that some blog posts and site updates will get sidetracked if they’re not already part of your routine.
Because you may not see them as instantly income-generating. You may be drawn to the more urgent client work that needs to be finished in order to get paid.
And because writing a blog or updating your content will not generate you instant income, you will be more inclined to do the things which do make you money if they are done.
Also as time goes by you will forget and become more unfamiliar with the website you created, so with time your confidence in your website skills will diminish and you will be even less likely to be keen to make an update or a blog.
So how do we get around that?
Well, the answer is quite simple, either commit yourself to not only building your own website but also maintaining it. Or find a different solution to making and administering your website.
Your website building options
The importance of being able to add content to your website cannot be overstated, whether as a business owner or as an individual contributor. It’s a vital part of sharing value, establishing your community, and building authority in your industry.
So the question is, how do you get a website which you are proud of and which you can keep up to date on?
In my opinion, there are 3 options available to you.
All of these are feasible options. You have to decide which is the best option for you.
So let’s break it down.
Have a professional website built
If this is the route that you are going to take, I am very proud of you. If you choose the right partner, you will end up with a valuable asset in your business. That will serve you well and bring you lots of new customers, and this is a terrific stepping stone for growth.
Here are some of the tips before you get started:
Have someone else build your website, and manage it yourself
If you want to have a hands-on role in the future with the site but you don’t currently have the time to learn to build it yourself, this is a great option.
It’s vital to make sure the handover is complete when the website is finished.
You want to be able to complete all the most common tasks, such as updating your website, posting to your blog, and uploading images.
Ask about any possible ongoing costs if you need further customization that is outside of your comfort zone.
You’ll need to create a manual or record your training sessions. That way you’ll know what to do when it comes time to update the website. You can also pass the website task onto someone else if your role changes.
Build your website yourself
My final point is my most important one because I truly believe that you should understand how your website works. With this knowledge, you can really take charge of your online marketing.
If you’ve already developed your website yourself, there are no doubts about how any of it works, and this removes any anxiety that comes along with maintaining your site.
As long as you have the time, willingness and determination. This could be a great way to getting your website.
So your next question may be, what should I use to build my own website?
What should I use to build my website?
The answer to this question is a bit more complex than it seems. It depends on what you plan to do with your website, how much functionality you want it to have, and whether you need it to grow with your business.
should i build my own website - Website Builders
Website builders such as Wix and Squarespace make it easy to create a visually appealing website.
You will need to invest time to learn the process of using the tool, but it will be less time consuming than using something like WordPress, which has a more difficult learning curve.
If you want to use a website builder only for a hobby site, or for a site where you will need the most basic features in the future, I would recommend that you use it.
While you can easily build something very attractive in a few days with these builders. They don’t provide many of the features that come to light as your business grows and your website requirements evolve.
Drag and drop is the simplest form of a website builder and you can quickly build a responsive website using the interface. It’s quick and easy and very simple to create a website without any coding skills. However, you’ll quickly see how easy it is to add extra features to a basic website which all cost extra.
Many people are frustrated by the limitations of the builder platforms and are soon looking for a more robust platform.
WordPress now powers 35% of the internet, and it’s very easy to see why.
The WordPress platform is incredibly robust and flexible. It is just as suitable for a one-person website as it is for a multi-million-pound organisation.
Personally, I use WordPress for all my website builds. It is so adaptable that you can make just about any website that you can dream of.
Which one is for me?
You can probably guess that I am slightly biased.
I am a great believer in doing things right.
Without customers and marketing your business will not survive, so you need to learn how to do it well. And the cornerstone of all your marketing is your website, so it pays to make it perfect.
For that reason, I would choose to build a website with WordPress every time.
If I were building my own site or asked someone to build it for me, WordPress would be the platform I’d choose. I’ve used other platforms, but I always come back to this one.
I’ve worked with companies who spent thousands of pounds creating a customised website that was unable to grow with their business. So they had to scrap it and start again. Next time, they chose WordPress and it only cost a fraction of the price and was infinitely more flexible for their needs.
If you decide to use someone else to build your website, I highly recommend you work with an agency that knows how to build websites with WordPress. You will be able to find many choices due to the popularity of the platform.
Whether you go the designer route or do it yourself, the cost of a website build can be viewed as an investment, not an expense. It should form an integral part of your business. Therefore you should invest a lot of time and energy into it to maximise the results it can produce for you and your business.
Don´t assume that asking a professional is too expensive, prices vary widely (as well as quality). A good freelancing company such as Muzz Web Design will make you an excellent website at a very affordable price. If you do your own website think about all the hours you will spend doing the website when you could be using that time to pursue other aspects of your business.
A designer will 99% of the time build you a better website than you will be able to do. It makes sense, this is what they do for a living after all.