It is the marketing of easy website building and the myth of a drag and drop page builder that creates an unrealistic assumption.
Should I do it myself?
In my opinion, marketing your site is time better spent than learning how to build a website. You will have little time for anything else if you try to know enough of the essential aspects that go into a good website. What will make you money is focusing on getting your professionally designed website in front of as many people as possible?
I recommend coming up with a plan on what makes sense for you. Such as, I will:
- Update pictures and text to the existing site with a little training
- Update and backup the theme – which is most of what is needed for Maintenance
- Write two blog posts a month
- Use Social media effectivly
We can help you come up with a plan that makes the most sense.
Making a great site comes from being submerged in the web, such as current design trends, SEO, Conversion research, and UX/UX research best practices. Most people we run into that take on this DIY challenge end up doing the easy stuff for their website and then ask us to fix what they did.
It is proven that when comparing two services online, a well-designed site is chosen over the same product or service with an ok website. content is king myth
Some of what you need to know
Lots of factors need to be considered when designing a website; here are just a few.
Are you following the best practices for making a visitor do what you want them to? Placing certain common elements of a site in the right place will increase the number of calls or emails you receive (conversion research).
Are you structuring your content to appeal to the different kinds of website readers? Most website visitors want a quick answer to what they are looking for while some want all the information you have relevant to their search
Are you resizing your images correctly to load fast enough that a visitor will not wait around? This includes resizing and compressing photos. You have to find the sweet spot where they are large enough to look great but are not slow to appear.
Do your photos match your color scheme? If not, they can be adjusted in photoshop to work. This is simple just adjust the hue saturation sliders in photoshop so the cyan, magenta, yellow and black values shift in the highlights middle range and shadow area to match your desired output. Simple was a joke.
Do you know how to increase your chances of showing up in search results or use competitive research and SEO tools to increase the amount of time you will show up in search results?
Do you know how to structure your pages for increased visibility in search?
Do you know the factors Google uses to determine if a page is worthy of moving up in a search result?
Are you naming pages and images correctly? This requires research to find the correct wording. The standard tools used to find the wording can cost $100.00 per month.
Do you know how to test and make sense of a performance report?
If your site is performing poorly, do you know how to speed it up without breaking it? When starting out I completely broke a website trying to add performance plugins. They will commonly conflict with your theme and other plugins.
Do you know CSS?
This is not a complete list. Items in this list have a complexity you would be surprised by and forced into submission. I have seen good people fold under the pressure of sizing an image for the web. I worked with a nuclear submarine engineer who assumed he could do anything. He hired me to train him on how to build websites. It took a couple of hours, but he humbly admitted defeat.
Anyone can learn it, but to do it well, you will need to commit to learning enough about web design, marketing, coding, image processing, conversion research, and UI/UX. For example, leaving out one of these, UX and your visitors will leave quickly because they can’t find what they are looking for.
I am interested in how much you need to know to pull off a Professional version of a product. I am an optimist and confident enough that I assume I can do anything I am willing to spend enough time with. With this attitude, I have learned new complicated software, built an impressive deck, and have tackled other home improvement skills such as light, electrical, and plumbing work.
You have to look at building a website in this context with one caveat. A professional website is going to outperform a DIY. And when the difference could mean a couple of calls per month from a paying customer, you can see how having a professional do it would be an investment.