If you are thinking of starting up a business website, you’ve likely been bombarded with adverts telling you how easy it is to set up a website yourself for a fraction of the cost of hiring a professional. Despite the promises of sites like Wix or GoDaddy about how easy it is to set up your own website for a handful of loose change, the reality of building your own WordPress site or using one of their building tools is quite different. Your dedicated efforts to drag and drop your ideas into place will often leave you with an unprofessional online presence that doesn’t do your brand justice or convert visitors into customers. While this option might look great on the face of it, choosing to build your website yourself using free templates or low-cost website development tools can cause you a number of problems. Here are just a few examples of the issues DIY web design could cause:
Lack of Customisation
Free web templates and online design tools are designed to be incredibly basic so that anyone can use them no matter what their skill level. Unfortunately, this means that they very rarely include interactive features and cannot be customised. If you want to add extra features, functionality or extra content, a basic template or builder tool won’t give you this option. This means your website looks the same as the thousands of other peoples who used that same template. How is your business ever going to stand out when it is designed to blend into the crowd?
It’s Built For The Wrong Person
Website building tools like Wix, GoDaddy and Squarespace let you create your website by dragging and dropping text, images and other features onto a blank page. This is a very quick solution to what is a big job and is one of the more attractive features of the model. But the sites you will design on these platforms won’t be designed to do what your users want them to. They will be designed for what you want them to do. While you may have an idea in your head about what you want your site to do, one of the secrets to successful web design is to understand your target market and their browsing habits and tailor your design to them. This way you are more likely to see results and create a site that stands out from the competition.
User Interface Is Ignored
According to Forrester, 49% of existing websites fail to comply with basic usability principles, meaning that 50% of online sales are then lost because users can’t find your content. Your website plays a major role in your sales and conversion process if done correctly, but a clunky user interface can lead to high bounce rates (people who look at one page of your site and then leave), indicating lost leads and revenue. Professional web designers are constantly researching, so we know what works and how to get results. If your website looks great but doesn’t function properly, the results you get will reflect this. For example, around 47% of browsers expect a web page to load in 2 seconds or less, and 40% of people abandon a website that takes more than 3 seconds to load. So if your website is poorly designed with long loading times, it could drastically affect your sales.
All websites are based on code, but there are hundreds of coding languages and portals out there for viewing content, so having someone who specialises the language your website uses is essential. A lot of ‘drag and drop’ websites seem on the surface to be very easy to use, but in reality a lot can go wrong under the hood, sometimes without you even noticing. A problem in the code as simple as a full stop or a colon in the wrong place can cause a lot of problems with the way your website looks and behaves, so you need to be able to understand what the problem is and how to fix it. But coding is incredibly complex, and very few people have the time to go and learn everything they would need to do this. But an experienced web design team has up to date inherent knowledge of what works, what doesn’t and how to fix simple and complex coding errors, so they can help you build a website that performs exactly like you want it to and won’t break down. Just think of it this way, if you have designed the site yourself and something goes wrong, who can you call to fix it?
In 2014, the number of users browsing the web on desktops vs mobile devices evened out quite nicely, but only because the use of mobile had skyrocketed. Mobile internet browsing is here to stay, so your website needs to be designed to be mobile friendly. Most DIY website tools will have limited (if any) tools for developing a mobile friendly site. This means your site will be slow to load and often display in odd ways or sometimes not at all on a mobile device. This is a big problem for you for 2 reasons.
Reason 1 – with 60% of internet browsing being done on mobile and 4 out of 5 consumers shopping on mobile devices with a totalled spend of £53 billion, you risk people leaving your website when they see it isn’t mobile friendly. In fact, 40% of people will choose a different search result to explore if the first is not mobile friendly.
Reason 2 is that in 2015 Google announced a new mobile-friendly addition to its algorithm (the way it ranks websites in search results) to boost where sites that are mobile friendly appear in search engine results. So not only do you risk people leaving your website if it isn’t designed for mobile, but they might not find it at all. In the 8 years since its initial rollout, mobile friendliness has only become more important to Google, and so if your site isn’t mobile friendly now, you’re basically dead in the water.
Despite all these drawbacks, DIY website services and inexperienced design agencies continue to see growth. They employ persuasive sales strategies to circulate untruth about the secrets to website success to gloss over these issues, convincing new clients that they know what is best for their business. Right now, you can find hundreds of articles online full of web design hearsay and theory, with readers accepting it as absolute truth. In fact, there is no single ‘right’ way to build a website, but instead a lot of preferred strategies and practices that create effective business websites. But the biggest issue many users have with self-proclaimed experts is that their service often doesn’t give enough consideration to their individual businesses and clients, or even give them any assets to keep for their investment. Instead, if the customer decides to go elsewhere after building their site with one of these ‘easy, DIY solutions’ like the ones named above – they can’t take their site with them, instead they have to start from scratch.
In short, DIY web design might seem like a fantastic, cost-effective option, but like all amazing offers often it’s too good to be true. By doing it yourself, your website will likely be under designed and poorly written in terms of code and functionality, all of which affect how it performs. Even if you try to find an affordable web designer, there are so many inexperienced designers out there who will create a website that is poorly thought out, will underperform and underdeliver, leading you incredibly frustrated.
When this happens websites often become stagnant, not producing any leads or sales for your business because the key elements of online marketing and targeted content delivery were never part of the initial website build. The truth is that these ‘out of the box’ style websites won’t do much to benefit a reputable business. If you want your website to generate traffic, create leads and generate profit, the only option is to hire a professional web design agency.
If you would like to find out more, just get in touch with the team at Moyralla Marketing today.