Design Your Own Website?
Do It Yourself Web Design Versus Hiring a Professional Web Designer – Website Design in Reno Nv
Obviously I would rather you contact me to design and build your company’s website, but if you have extra time on your hands and a little tech know how experience, you should be able to setup a decent static website in a week or two.
Have you seen the commercial where the father had decided to setup his own website and save a few thousand dollars? LOL then it takes a lifetime to actually get the site working correctly.
Many website builder company’s claim that their web software makes it super simple to set up a website, even a kid could do it. The truth of the matter is that not all website builders are easy to use or worth the effort of learning a new web software.
Everything and everyone you know has at least one flaw, if not several of them lurking around the corner. We all try to put our best face forward; web builder companies are the same.
Do a quick web search in Google for the name of the website builder and add the word complaints or bad reviews after like so: Shopify.com bad reviews or Shopify.com complaints. You will see hundreds if not thousands of bad reviews. This is the same for all large hosting and /or website builder sites. Sometimes you have to dig a little deeper, say page 2 or 3 to see the real reviews of a website company.
Most of the time you will find yourself on hold with tech support (if they even have phone support) or waiting in line to chat with a tech support person who could care less about your needs. Hours and hours of time wasted when you could have been watching your favorite show or out on a hot date with the love of your life. Seriously. This stuff is a pain in the but most days to deal with. I don’t want to just pick on BlueHost.com.
All hosting and web site builder companies have bad reviews, it is part of being in a very competitive and booming industry. It is important to look through these bad reviews to see what problems you may experience by choosing that website builder. Then ask yourself if this bug, problem or concern is something you can live with.
Whether you decide to jump into designing your company website on your own or hire a professional web developer, I have put together a guiding list of items you will need on your website creating journey.
- Secure a domain name for your new website. Godaddy is great middle man to do this. They charge about $9 a year for your domain name. Make sure to register this name for 5 years or more. Never let your contact information with the domain registrar become out dated for your domain name. Always keep your email, phone and/or mailing address updated. If not, you could lose it to a competitor. Try to register a name that matches your business name. Do not use abbreviations as they are difficult for your customers to remember. Keep the domain name short, memorable and try your best to get the .com version.
- Now that you have a great domain name, you need to have hosting setup. Think of hosting like renting office space on the world wide web, much like renting office space in a busy shopping mall. Hosting plans range in price from free to thousands of dollars a month. Most small business websites can make do with an affordable web hosting plan from Hostgator or Blue Host for about $10 a month. Hosting will house your website files, your emails and other important software needed to run a website. Make sure to purchase Site Lock and Backups for your hosting account to protect your website from attackers, hackers and hi-jackers.
- Most hosting companies offer free website builders. There is usually a learning curve with any new web building software. Research the name of the web site builder online to check and see what problems are associated with this free builder. Even pay as you go web site builders have their bugs and headaches. Shopify starts at $29 a month and is super easy to use, BUT, they do not have site backups. A BIG problem for anyone in business to actually sell something. You can buy a website already designed online for about $89, but then you need to learn how to setup correctly and install all the plugins and/or features needed to make the site work. Most theme websites offer an install service for about $600+ per site. You could use a free WordPress theme as well. Your site might not look the greatest, but at least you have it up and running with the basic information needed like office hours, location, customer testimonials and pricing.
- Test your new website in multiple browsers and platforms. Open your new website in Firefox, Chrome, Safari and Internet Explorer. Are there any weird bugs? Can you live with them? Or are they breaking the website making it difficult to read? How about your mobile phone? Load your website on an Android and an iPhone and see if the site is easy to navigate and read. Mobile ready websites are extremely important feature to have.
- After you have your new domain name, hosting and website setup, you need to setup all of your online social media profiles. Protect your brand online by registering accounts with all the major social networks like Facebook.com, Instagram, Pinterest, LinkedIn, Google Plus and Yelp. Add these social icons to your new website.
- Technically that is all you need to know to have a website up and running. Building your website is the first step. Marketing is the
Building a good website takes time, effort and courage. There is always something new to learn and a bug to fix. Browsers update and change all the time. You need to regularly check in on your websites health, making sure that it is running as it should.
A professionally designed website is proven to increase sales and customer loyalty. Every business needs a website. Most new customers research a business before buying. Your website is your best chance at persuading them to choose you over your competition.
Marketing your website is a critical last step in this process. A true necessity if you are wanting to see growth in new customers. SEO (search engine optimization) is the art and science of ranking your website high in the search results for the keywords your customers use when looking for similar products and services you sell.
A good SEO company can rank a well-designed website within a month. The goal is to rank for as many keywords as you possibly can. SEO tools can give us a good idea of what popular words are being searched in Google, but it takes time to weed out the useless keywords and find the real gems that will convert a website view into a real paying customer.
2017 SEO is all about user engagement and interaction with your website properties. If you rank a website for a top keyword and the website viewers do not engage in your website, you will start to lose rankings for that keyword.
The goal is to really WOW your website viewers so much so that they either share your site onto their social media profiles, sign up with their email, watch a video or two, bookmark the site and of course buy something from your website.
This new Rank Brain algorithm makes black hat SEO more difficult. Either your website is fulfilling a need with your customers or it will lose rankings no matter how many back links you have.
Content is KING. The most important marketing expense you will ever have for your business is to hire a great copywriter. Sales copy writing can be pricey, but is worth the extra time and money. This investment will last for years to come.
Working with an SEO company, a copywriter and branding consultant can really help set the tone for a successful website. Why even build a website for your business in the first place if all you put on the site is something from your brochure?
The goal of your website is to convert views into customers. The difference between a homemade website and a professionally designed company website is simple. One of them will generate new clientele for your business and the other will hurt your reputation down the road.
A face only your mother could love
Most often, the do it your self-websites look very unprofessional, but you’ve put so much darn time and energy into it, your proud of the work you have done. This makes you blind to the fact that you now have a poorly designed, half-baked company website.
Often clients will call asking for help with these website builder sites after they have exhausted every free evening and weekend they had. Even though they know they should just hire someone already, they now want to invest more time and dollars by hiring someone like me to make the ugly go away. Even then, they LOVE the website they created with these template sites. Not because the site will win the hearts of their customers, but because they hung in there and finally got something half way decent to share. Not a good business plan if you ask me.
Sometimes the truth hurts, but I promise to make it feel better.
You have to ask yourself, can you handle the truth?
Do you want to impress your future customers? Squash your competitors? Rule the world… 😉
Most custom websites I create cost a onetime fee of $600 – $1500. I need about 2 weeks to work my magic. You can go golf, hiking, a cruise, take a long nap…whatever your heart desires. Leave the heavy lifting to me.
The goal of your business website is to boost your bottom line. You have better things to do than slave over your computer. Step back from the computer…Take a deep breath, pick up the phone and dial 775-453-6120.
Sandy Rowley – RenoWebDesigner.com 800 Haskell St. Reno, Nv 89509. View great reviews on my SEO and Web Design services here.