Why DIY’ing your own business website is bad for business
In this article we look at the problem with the use of DIY Web Builders to build your business website.
Yes it’s a long article but well worth a read if you’re considering doing it yourself…
Don’t believe the hype
We sometimes hear ‘I don’t need a web developer, I do it all myself using [insert DIY Builder name here]’. This is fine for some – we are not going to stop you, but do you want to know a secret?
Your ‘website’ isn’t that thing you are building using the DIY Web Page Builder. It isn’t the pages or the pretty pictures and layouts and text. It’s more than that. It is in fact so much more than what you see when you open the URL of your site.
As they say, the devil is in the detail and I have to say that after 20 years of doing this day in day out, I am still no expert as things change so fast. So how any business owner can keep up with their industry plus the web design / internet marketing one is beyond me.
They might seem to be doing OK and getting results, but really they are doing their business a disservice as their website really could be doing so much better. It’s kind of like thinking that logo you designed yourself is good enough. It’s not until a pro designer does one that you realise your time is best used giving feedback on design options, than do it yourself. I hope this article gives you reason to pause and reconsider building your site yourself.
What history tells me
Back in 1999 I actually got into Web Development selling a DIY Web Builder package called SkyBiz and I sold about 20 packages. It was a most basic builder therefore very easy to pick up. But you know what happened? Later I had 20 people asking me to build their site for them, because, and here’s the kicker, they tried and failed to build anything that worked, it looked… amateurish. They just didn’t have the skills they thought they did.
And that’s just the look and feel.
Imagine kidding yourself that you could also DIY all the ‘actual’ things that make a successful site in the modern competitive space for your market’s attention? And it’s OK when the layout is working as intended, but when things go bad, as they always do, they are completely lost. And so they called me. And my business was born. And that SkyBiz editor was so much simpler than the modern DIY builders. We still regularly see this happen, way too much in my opinion.
And guess what? Every time the website is way under-performing our benchmarks.
I am starting to think that people are being sold the same old lie which has motivated me to post about it.
I got this
It is natural for us to want to be in the driver’s seat, especially when we’re told it’s as easy as get in and drive, as the WIX ads suggest. But really? If you really understood the detail required to create a website that actually does what you really need it to do (bring you more business) you would run for the hills. I sometimes want to! It’s hard. I mean all the real work with a website comes after you launch it based on how well you designed it to do its job (not just look pretty).
So it doesn’t matter how good a DIY Website Builder is, it can’t make the real work easy for you. In fact, it is just making things harder as by getting it look nice you’re missing designing it to work nice (convert visitors into customers!). Nothing except experience can make that bit easy.
That’s one of the reasons why we offer a website essentially for free, it helps to make sure that when we do the actual work (which we get paid for via your subscription), the website/marketing tool built is fit for task. Many sites, even ones built by web design agencies miss this point.
Unfortunately many web design agencies’ entire business model is based on turning over websites for a few grand a pop. Then they train you on the CMS (Content Management System), move on and give your site token attention.
We turn this problem on its head and focus on everything post launch of Version 1.0, where the real work is…
Where the real work lies
A website is just one of your marketing tools. But unlike a magazine ad it can actually do the sales transaction as well, say buy a product or service, book an appointment etc. So it is probably your most critical thing to get right, apart from actually delivering your product or service. And the bit to get right isn’t the actual site.
What you launch first is just a version, your first. You will need to be constantly iterating new versions based on the results of previous versions.
This constant process is where the real work lies, and it’s where Wix et al fail miserably. This on-going process is essentially a creative process on a per site basis. There is no one-size-fits-all approach to internet marketing.
This is why we give you a website for free!
It is only the first version and what you really need is someone like BottledCode to come along for the entire ride. This is why we focus on a subscription jam packed full of everything you will need. And we do it all for you but let you drive just enough to utilise the expertise you have in your business and market.
I am impressed by their builders, from a website building perspective, and they have come a long way in the last few years. However building it isn’t the end, it’s the beginning so getting you, the business owner, to build it without understanding the full life cycle and the level of work required will result in very poor results. So the real focus needs to be on everything else required to drive traffic and make sales.
Do you agree?
Please leave comments below…
spend more time delivering value to your customers not A/B Testing your inbound marketing
About the Author: Brad Jeffery
Chief Bottler - BottledCode
Brad is the Founder of BottledCode. He is also the Founder of IdeasKicker.com and is the inventor of the term Crowd Vetting. In 2005 he co-founded RealXstream.com, a video streaming service for the extreme sports industry and in 2014 was a senior tech lead on the largest FinTech project in the Southern Hemisphere. He also spends his time running multiple e-commerce sites as well as the owner of Made in the Gong, a makerspace. Over the last 20 years he has built hundreds of websites, apps, middleware, plugins and services and has a passion for marketing & developing automated business processes through software.
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