We have nothing against website builders. But we also believe that you get what you pay for. If you pay peanuts, you get monkeys. Here are some things to consider before attempting to build your own website.
- It’s Time Consuming
While most of these website builders offer drag and drop functionality, it’s a new tool that you will have to learn, and master if you want to use it effectively. If you don’t invest the relevant amount of time into mastering the tool and building a beautiful website, than your project will go incomplete and you will be back here looking for a professional solution in 6 months. Also don’t forget opportunity cost – the more time you spend trying to perfect your website, the more money your lose by not working on your business.
- You need to be Graphic and Brand Designer
A great user interface is one of the most important features of your website. It is important that you have a crisp, high quality, high resolution logo. You need to have a good understanding of typography, which fonts work well and which fonts don’t! You must understand the impact and the emotion created by different colours. And most importantly, your website needs to appeal to your target marketing, not what you like.
- You need to be a Front End Developer
You may be able to put together a stock standard solution, but its not going to stand out from the crowd. As soon as you start trying to optimize the flow of your website or add interactive features you are going to need spend a copious amount of time learning how, or you are going to have to hire a freelance developer who is going to end up charging you as much as you would have paid for a full solution in the first place. Don’t forget things like mobile optimization, is your website responsive to mobile? 91% of internet users in South Africa have a smart phone, if you are not catering to them, you are missing out on a huge opportunity.
- You need to be a Digital Marketer
In order for a website to be successful you need to generate organic traffic, this is website views coming from search engines. You need to practice good SEO techniques in order to achieve a high ranking on the search engines. The rules of SEO are rapidly changing and you will need to commit time to keep up with the latest trends and techniques for keeping your website ranking. Other ways that you can boost traffic is with link swops, online advertising through paid channels such as PPC. If you are not comfortable using these channels than you won’t get the full benefit out of having a website.
- You need to be a Software Engineer
You need to make sure that your website is listed with with Google Webmaster Tools and Bing Webmasters tools. In order to do this you need to have a auto updating XML index page which shows the search engines what pages are contained in your website. These tools provide you with reports as to how well your website is ranking. You need to commit time to understanding and analysing these tools in order to get the full value out of your website. You also need to analyse your hosting report data such as load times, uptime and traffic stats. You also need to set up Google Analytics, this allows you to view reports about how much traffic your website is getting, where it is coming from how long people are staying for, which pages they are visiting, etc. Analysing this data accurately and in depth, and making adjustments accordingly, can be pivotal to the success of failure of your website.
- You pay more in the long run
- Monthly Premiums
Remember that the price you pay is not always the first price you see. Most of the website builders are free until your website gets big enough, then they start charging you a bloated monthly premium and the only way to get out, is to shut your website down.
- They own the website
With almost all of these website builders you are renting a service, so you will never be able to transfer your website. They technically own your website. Which means you are locked down to their service fees, until you get a website developed.
- Cant upgrade the website
Even if you are just starting off, you will inevitably want to upgrade your website, but if you have built your website on a website builder there is a limited opportunity for upgrades. If you decide to upgrade, you will need to pay to have your website developed from scratch anyway, and your valuable time and effort will go to waste
- Monthly Premiums
Remember that if your website is not of the best quality you will actually drive away potential customers. A professionally designed website will quickly pay off its investment cost and will be worth while in the long term.