Should you build your own website?

If you’re anything like me, I always want to find the most cost effective way to do things.  Sometimes that means handing things over to specialists to get the job done, because we can’t be experts in everything.  Building a web site is often seen as something you should get an expert to do for you, because it’s highly technical or requires skills you simply don’t have, or don’t have time to develop.

Sometimes, however, if we want to retain control over a key aspect of our business then we just have to learn a new skill, but – and it’s a big but-  that shouldn’t detract from running our business.  I don’t advocate business owners becoming wed designers/developers, but I do advocate becoming at least aware of what’s involved in building a website and how you could, if push came to shove,  do it yourself.

One thing I’ve discovered is that having control over every aspect of your website is absolutely vital to avoid being in hock to your web developer and potentially being ripped off.  I know that most web developers are good people but there are some out there who are not, and I have personal experience of this.

Here’s another issue for you – the web is a vital channel to market for every business, big or small.  Your website needs to attract visitors and convert them into customers one way or another.  You need to be able to do this yourself, otherwise you’ll end up paying an agency lots and lots of money to do it for you, usually badly.

So you have three options:

Hand over the design and build to a web agency.  You’ll have to go through a bidding process to find the company you want.  Then they’ll come to you to understand your business (£/$).  Then they’ll produce wire-frames (££/$$), you have to sign these off even though you won’t understand what you’re looking at.  From the wire-frames the designer will produce web site designs. (££/$$).  Once you’ve worked out what you’re looking at you will sign these off.  Now they have to develop the website.

It’s at this point frankly, you’re screwed.  You have lost even more control. (SEO will be extra, by the way).

You won’t at this point know what  Content Management System they’re using to develop the site.  It could be that much of the site, in order to achieve the design brief, has been hard coded (no chance of changing anything in other words).  I could go on, but you could read my blog on why all this is completely old hat

Option No 2 is to build it totally on your own.  Set up your domain and website using something like WordPress, choose a theme and a Page Builder and some plugins.  Spend a couple of hours watching Youtube videos (there are some great ones out there) on how to build a website with WordPress.  Then get down to work.  I can guarantee you’ll end up with something you’re proud of, in a couple of weeks, but you have a steep learning curve, and you will make lots of mistakes, face great frustration (sizing images) and end up a few technological cul-de-sacs.  But you might have fun and you’ll certainly feel a great sense of achievement when you see the web coming together.

There is another route and it’s based on why we set up Organik Marketing.  You’ll find our methodology on other pages here, but essentially we set up your website, design and build it online and then show you how to use it.  That way you don’t need to become a WordPress expert, you just need to learn a few techniques – changing wording, adding pages and writing blogs.

As always, get in touch if you need some advice or a little help.

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