It might sound appealing to have a crack at building your own website. It might sound very attractive to your hip pocket when you think it might only cost you a couple of hundred dollars to get yourself a site with one of the many popular website builders, but is it really a good idea?
Building a website for yourself from scratch might sound like fun, but if you are not particularly computer savvy, it can quickly become frustrating. Worse still, if you don't have an eye for design you might ultimately do your business a dis-service by not giving your business a professional, customised appearance.
I am a website developer, so naturally I think you should employ a professional to build your website. Think of it this way... I could build a brick retaining wall at my house. I could dig a trench, lay some foundations, mix together some mud and slap a few bricks together. Sounds easy enough right? But no doubt this process would take me three times as long as a professional brick layer, I might not get the foundation right and it may fall over at a later date. I can almost certainly guarantee that the process will annoy me, make my back ache and generally make me a cranky person you don't want to be around. It will cost me money in the time that I am not doing what I am good at (building websites), it will cost me money to go get a massage or see a physio, and it will cost me money when I get a professional in to fix up my mess. So should I lay a brick wall when I am not a brick layer? No.
So why shouldn't you build your own website?
Firstly, as easy as it may sound, if you do not have an eye for design you run the risk of making your business look amateur. Your website might be your potential customer's first impression of your business. If you don't look professional and trustworthy they might head for the hills (or your competitor's business). Although when you look at the polished theme that might come with Squarespace or Wix it might look fantastic, once you start adding your own photos and changing the colours to the ones you like, it may lose some of its original polish.
Secondly, your website will not be unique. It will be a run of the mill site that looks suspiciously like many other websites that have used the same theme. When you get a custom designed site you can rest assured that it is one of a kind, specifically tailored to your business, with your business objectives in mind.
Thirdly, it takes time to build a website. The time you spend on building a website yourself is time you could have spent doing whatever it is that you do best. A professional website designer would be able to complete the exact same task in a fraction of the time, because building websites is what we do best.
Finally, if something does not go to plan or you can't figure out what on earth you are meant to be doing in a particular section of your website builder site, you might find yourself employing a professional web designer after all. By this point in time you will have lost valuable time in getting your digital presence online, and you will likely have to start from scratch.
If you really must build your own website...
If you really must build your own website then I recommend that you look into using Wordpress with a purchased theme. Wordpress is the most widely used CMS (Content Management System) on the planet and you will find many designers and developers who are skilled in this platform if you need them.
The community support for Wordpress is huge and documentation is plentiful, so you are only a quick Google away from finding your answers. By purchasing a theme you will get customer support from the theme developer to help you with whatever you need to do. There are free Wordpress themes, but using one of these you can not guarantee you will get any kind of support from the original developer.
Using Wordpress will also allow you to transition your site over to a web designer or developer at a later date should you wish to, as there are a huge number of Wordpress developers around. It will also give you much more flexibility to add in non-standard functionality should you have this requirement.
If you would like to find out more about how I can design and build you a website, please get in touch.