Is it raining or is it just me?
If you have a Do-It-Yourself (DIY) website platform, have you often felt that it’s difficult to figure out and update, inflexible to your needs, and constrained in a boxed template? It is raining. You’re not alone. DIY website platforms are often built like toaster ovens — a consumable to be replaced in a year — with offers to upgrade to the latest and greatest thing while continually costing you more in fees, frustration, and lost prospects.
Beans Scattered Everywhere…
As a small business or start-up it’s a given that your business presence on the internet should be the best it can be from the start. Through many years of developing business websites, I can tell you that a large majority of clients have needed rescue from DIY website platforms. Often appearing visually unprofessional, broken links may be scattered everywhere. Worse yet, many desirable topic pages are left unfinished due to platform constraints or zero assistance. The odds of your website being found in the search engines are low as there is no easy access to the SEO tools you need.
Little Boxes: Problems with DIY Websites
- Your website will look pretty much like other businesses’ websites, so your business doesn’t stand out from the pack.
- Frustration. Functionality is very limited and there is nothing you can do — but you keep trying. Think advanced forms, social sharing streams, registration forms, bookings, appointments, and more.
- A great number of businesses find they do not own their domain name, as it was registered during the “build your own website” wizard process.
- Your domain can be masked, forwarded, or become part of a sub-domain such as mysite.vendor.com, which diminishes your ranking in the search engines.
- Surprises such as rising costs and hidden fees.
- Website updates and maintenance are very time consuming — not at all enjoyable.
- Most DIY platforms are not optimized for mobile devices. Having a responsive website is a must in 2014.
- You are restricted to editing inside specific little “boxes” and become more frustrated because you don’t have the freedom to really do what you want.
How Break Out of the Grind
Your website is the first impression potential new customers have about your business and needs to be the best it can be. If you’re looking for a great way to launch your new website, and be in control of the design and functionality while avoiding possible surprise fees, I strongly recommend using the WordPress open source platform.
Be sure to partner with a web design professional to get you started on the right path with graphic design, search engine optimization (SEO), hardened security, and a user-friendly website structure. With a solid foundation, including seo-friendly website architecture and strong security, you’re ready to manage and update it yourself — becoming your own webmaster. Working on a WordPress site comes with its own set of security vulnerabilities, and the more you know, the safer your site will be.
Time to Brew a Fresh Pot O’ Gold!
Unless you already have the skills and time (and patience!) to build your own website, consider hiring a trusted professional website developer and search engine optimization expert. You’ll be delighted with your return on investment while learning new things and steadily gaining new customers and prospects.