Should I Design My Own Website?


I meet new business people and look at their websites nearly every day. I see business owners who have spent £50,000 on their site, I meet business owners who have paid a small local web designer £500 to design a site, and I meet business people who have got a mate to do it or had a bash at it themselves for next to nothing.

If you are thinking of designing your own site, perhaps this article can help you clarify your thoughts and make the right decision for your business.

The main (and obvious) advantage to doing your own site is that you don’t have to pay anyone to do it. There are ‘templates’ widely available across the internet where you can pretty much choose a design and then fill in your details – pictures, logo, copy, phone number etc.

After all, a website is just a logo, a collection of pictures, a menu and some writing about the business, make sure you have the links to your social media profiles and you’re bang up to date, right?

Time to ask yourself why you want a website for your business

Often when I speak to people who have invested very little on their website, they say ‘Well, I just need a presence on the net’, ‘I just want a point of reference’, ‘people don’t search for my products in Google’. In other words ‘I don’t know why I am doing this, I don’t expect a return on investment, there is no value so my aim is to spend as little as possible’. Is this how you are thinking? If so - stop for a second, what is the point of doing this if you are not planning to get any return?

My feeling is that in reality, it is reasonable to expect a ROI, even if nobody is searching for your products or services in Google. If your website is there as a ‘point of reference’ for your prospects or existing clients, it is there for people to see at all times. They are judging your company by the quality of the website. Companies in the UK spend incredible sums of money on swanky business premises and PR, to create a good impression. why? Because creating a good impression leads to a return on investment – prospects with a good impression are more likely to make an enquiry, and are more likely to work with you after the enquiry. Existing customers with a good impression are more likely to spend more, refer you to others and less likely to be swayed by the competition.

Would you service your own vans?

When I first started with JDR several years ago, I considered myself reasonably tech savvy. I worked for a company which had a website that produced leads. I looked at lots of different websites in my daily life, like most people the internet was a part of my life.

However, if I had been asked to design a website on my first day of working for JDR I dread to think what the outcome would have been. I would say it took me about 2 years of very hard work, studying and experience until I got to a point where I understood what aspects of a website are most important, and really, every project is different.

If designing an effective website really was as easy as some think, then the industry just wouldn’t exist. Yes the pictures, logo and layout are very important but they are a relatively small part of the equation.

As a business owner, you probably would not spend your time servicing the fleet of vans yourself, they are an obviously vital part of the business, having them up and running and doing their job leads to a ROI, if they are not working it is easy to see and you know you are losing money. Doing the servicing as a layman would be incredibly time consuming and the result would probably be catastrophic. There is no reason to think of the designing of your website any differently.

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Article by Andrew Leamon