by Uday Tank
I get it. You want to save money. What startup doesn’t?
But should it be at the expense of your business website? I don’t think so. I know the cost of hiring a web design company can be quite high. Sometimes, a startup may not even have the budget for it.
So, it makes sense to think about a simple DIY, especially considering the number of cheap website building platforms we have available today.
But I want you to hold off on that thought. Before you run off to Wix or WordPress to DIY your website, kindly check out why I think that might be a bad idea.
Five reasons to avoid website DIY
1. You’re not a professional web designer.
When you’re ill, why do you seek out a doctor to inject you? Why not watch a couple of YouTube videos on how to inject yourself?
Let me guess: you dread what might happen if you get it wrong.
Web design is not a skill you can hone in one tutorial video. It takes years of study, practice, and experience.
Don’t agree with me? Ok, let’s try something.
This is site A:
This is Site B:
See them clearly? Or do you need me to make them bolder?
Ok, looking at both sites, can you tell which one has the best web design?
Or better still, which one is offering the best user experience?
Anyways, it’s Site B, because it has:
- A cool and calm color scheme. No riot of color!
- A clean, stylish typeface.
- A straight-to-the-point search box, which helps users quickly find what they’re looking for.
Should I continue?
Here is what makes Site A a bad design:
- Sharp, incompatible color mix that is very unpleasant to look at. A true definition of a riot of color.
- Comic Sans
- Underlined links (a really archaic design style).
- Overloaded sidebar.
2. You don’t have a good knowledge of SEO.
Google is the biggest source of traffic for websites.
When building your startup website, you need to keep Google at the forefront of your mind.
In other words, everything you do in the design phase has to be tailored to satisfy the Google algorithm, so they can rank your startup appropriately.
However, you need strong SEO knowledge to dance in the rivers of Google. I doubt you have this.
It is your understanding of SEO that will help you tailor your site’s design elements to suit Google’s algorithm.
Important site design elements that are essential to SEO:
- Textual content
- Visual content
- SSL certificate
- Meta descriptions
- Title tags
- Alt tags
- URL optimization
- Keyword optimization
- Site speed
- Guest posting
- Off-page SEO
In contrast, a professional web designer has this SEO knowledge.
He knows how to compress a site’s files and images to hasten its load speed, how to optimize meta titles to appear in the search, and how to optimize stuff like URLs so that they’re crawled by search engines.
3. You don’t understand what’s in the back-end.
Every website has a front-end and back-end system. Just like your office has a front door and back door.
The “front–end” refers to the pages you’re seeing, while “back–end” refers to the server, applications, and database that power what you see on the front-end.
Now, when you build your website yourself with a website builder, you don’t have an idea of the kind of configurations that are running in the back-end.
Are they strong enough to withstand cyber-attacks? Are they big enough to allow for future scale-up? What kind of hosting are they running on? Will they crash if too many people access the site around the same time?
The back-end-related questions go on and on.
Only a professional designer can know the right ones to ask the website builder.
4. You may not understand how bandwidth works.
Bandwidth is the amount of data your site visitors can view at any given time.
If you have 200 visitors a day, each visiting ten pages with an average page size of 500kb, you will download 1,000,000kb or 1GB. So over a month, you would need 30GB of bandwidth.
A dark case study:
Imagine you DIY your website with Wix’s $4.50/month plan – a plan that comes with 1GB bandwidth.
Then after the first few days, the site starts receiving 100 visitors per day, thanks to your friends’ word of mouth PR.
What do you think will happen next? Pretty soon, the site will stop loading! Why? Because you will have exceeded your plan’s 1GB bandwidth.
5. You won’t have all the tools for the job.
If I want to build a minimal website for my clients, here’s a summary of the tools I’d need.
Emphasis on “minimal.”
- Adobe Photoshop
- Adobe Illustrator
- Premium plugins
- Technical audit tools
- Rank tracking software
- Competitor analysis software
- Email marketing tools
- Landing page software
- Cross-browser software
Now, imagine if I was building something as complex as a big eCommerce website.
You might consider getting all of these tools to DIY your website. But you’d be shocked by their prices.
For example, competitor analysis software like Semrush costs around $120/month (basic plan).
The prospect of building one’s website using a simple DIY approach is quite exciting, no doubt. But when you consider what’s at stake, you’ll realize it’s really not worth the risk.
So, try not to attempt a DIY with your startup website. Always find and hire the best web designer instead.
Uday Tank has been working with writing-challenged clients for over five years. His educational background in family science and journalism has given him a broad base from which to approach many topics. He especially enjoys writing content after researching and analyzing different resources whether they are books, articles or online stuff.