July 1, 2015

DIY Website Design - Consider These Points When Making Your Decision

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dyi website designEureka! Since the upsurge and continued enhancement of content management systems like Joomla! and WordPress, individuals and businesses are now more than ever in a position to create and maintain their own websites. This is great news for small and medium size business owners who can gain access to the important tools of the online marketplace to enhance their business without the need for specialized coders or programmers. But hold onto your chair for just a minute before you decide to jump in without the assistance of a web design company! Maintaining your own website is often a lot more complicated and time consuming than most people initially assume.

First off, the perceived benefits of a DIY website sound irresistible!

  • Designing and adding your own content and images exactly the way you envision;
  • Editing your content at your own pace: no more waiting for your web design company to implement your changes and updates;
  • Having complete control over the time and cost that goes into your website

These benefits can be extremely alluring, however, there are a few aspects to consider before committing to DIY website!

SEO - Do you have the time and knowledge to set up, and keep up with, your site’s SEO (search engine optimization)? Search engine optimization is key to getting your website found in organic search results on Google or other search engines. Getting the SEO right is critical to website success.

Prior experience with CMS - If you have previously worked with a content management system such as Joomla!, WordPress or Drupal, then you can certainly start building your site right away. If not, there is a lot to learn about how the back end of a CMS works. Prepare for hours of training and research!

Optimizing photos and text - You will also need to make sure all the images and text you wish to use are optimized for use on your website. For example, if an image is too large it will take too long to load and this can actually negatively impact SEO ranking. Research shows that potential customers want immediate access. If an image is slowing down the page’s loading speed, they will move to another website.

When something goes wrong - trouble shooting - If your website (or a function within your website) goes down, are you available to fix it right away? Do you know how? Consider how long can you afford to have your site or part of your site nonoperational?  

Updates and security - Can you properly secure your site and keep these security measures updated? You certainly do not want to leave holes open for those with the inclination to breach your site and make changes or harvest information.

Considering the challenges above, often you can make the most of your time and budget by hiring a professional web design company to set up your initial website and provide you some training so you can take control of the day to day management. Such a partnership ensures that your website is set up correctly and will help maximize your ROI while putting you confidently in the driver’s seat of YOUR website.

Ross McClenahan

Ross McClenahan is co-owner and Lead Developer at Tree Top Web Design, a Santa Cruz Web Design firm.

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