We’re all seeing the advertisements. DIY website builders are popping up here and there with promises of a “great looking website with no coding required!” This admittedly sounds great at first, especially to small business owners who are taking their first steps into getting online, or perhaps those with a smaller budget.
I’ll be happy to start by admitting – some of the options on the market do offer some good features. In fact, they even look like they could do a fair job. The first benefit most clients will probably notice is the price – usually a small monthly subscription will be enough, around the area of your Netflix payments.
They also offer some very attractively designed templates, and a wide range of options various business types and industries. But what are you missing out on? Let’s find out.
It sounds cheesy – in fact it probably is – but there’s no denying that having an actual human person who can understand your requirements and respond accordingly trumps having a machine simply process data at you.
It’s essential that your vision is understood when it comes to communicating your ideas across. Having a designer and/or developer at the other end of the phone will prove invaluable to you when it comes to this part, and there will be less risk of information getting lost in translation.
With that human touch comes the benefit of professional and experienced advice from your designer or project manager. A plumber may be a great plumber, but he might not have the best eye for a well designed and useful website. In fact, some of his ideas might just be plain bad.
Part of your project manager’s job is to inform the client (as politely as possible) when their idea needs some improvement, whereas DIY website builders will simply do as instructed, regardless of how the final product will look or behave.
The same can be said for extra features or widgets – not all additional bolt-ons are always a good idea. In fact, there can certainly be such a thing as too much. A project manager will work with you to get exactly the right balance of useful features on your website. This will help to keep your visitors engaged and focused, rather than distracted by lots of unnecessary buttons and purposeless moving parts.
“Excuse me miss? This isn’t what I ordered…”
At first, most DIY website builders will look great – in the ads that led you to them. However, the final product is rarely what you thought you were signing up for. Don’t forget, those designs in the ad were great for showing you what you could have. If you were a designer yourself. Or a copy writer. Or a marketing professional.
You’ll also be sharing your design with many other businesses – quite likely in the same industry as you as well, meaning that your direct competition could be rocking up to the party wearing the exact same evening dress as you. A social faux-pas in any event.
Your content could also be at risk of letting the side down a bit. If not written correctly with the advice and assistance of an experienced professional your site could be doing a less-than-perfect job at getting customers to sign up to the wares that you’re trying to peddle. You could be missing out on essential SEO clout. Or there may be a higher amount of typographical errors or grammatical mistakes. All of these factors can lend themselves to poorly written website content.
When you take all of these factors into account that “low monthly cost” will soon start adding up. When the website fails to perform you could find yourself wondering what you’re spending your cash on.