Building Your Own Website?

Online Communications & Media Relations

Building your own website might seem like a great idea for the cash strapped start-up. Afterall, there's a multitude of 'free' web-building platforms out there - what could be simplier?

Right?

Ok.  So, most of the better known and more successful of these sites work off a WYSIWYG platforms. There's no doubt they can look pretty and in small, bootstrapped startups they're a 'feelgood' option for your business. They offer peace of mind that you're at least on the game board. 

But remember, your business is just another fish in the Atlantic and there's a lot of fisherman out there hunting for that one 'special' catch.

So, if you're using a colour in by numbers platform, it's probably a good idea to get a designer to at least properly customize it to your branding. You may even end up with a pretty good product.

Now, we're not going to slam the cut and past brigade, the guys who developed these are offering a great service, an easy to use solution which thousands (if not tens of thousands) of businesses just like yours have turned to.

But for all the promotion about how 'you can produce a professional looking website using  . . . . ' there are several points you need to consider when deciding whether these are right for your business.

Firstly, most are relatively Google Unfriendly and offer poor analytics.

Secondly, most offer no data, can't create multiple kinds of keywords, page titles or meta data to be indexed for search terms - its a bit like have a phone book with only names and no numbers.

Many are not mobile friendly and slow loading - which in today's business world is an immediate turn off.

If you opt for the 'free domain name option' = GREAT - just don't expect someone to find you believing they're actually going to search for a URL like www.mynewbusiness.net/freedomainnamegoeshere/etc. It's just not going to happen folks . . .

You run the risk of having a very similar look to a competitor if you're using one of the ready=made templates. You also invariable have to suffer the indiginity of having a watermark brand of the provider somewhere if you go with the zero-cost option.

And unless you put your hand in your pocket (and isn't that the reason you didn't go with a designer in the first place?) you'll likely get very little on-going support. Sure, there's be forums, Q & A and frequently asked questions - but if you need an answer right away - think again.

Yes, website builders and ready-made templates are a way for everybody to create a site - even if they have no knowledge of HTML, coding or design. Yes, they're relatively simple and relatively cheap - and relatively fast to build. They a get down and dirty solution when you don't have the time or money (or both) to get on the playing field.

Let's face it - some of us are comfortable with a $5 tee-shirt and don't need a $500 suit.

But just remember those fisherman searching the Atlantic for that one BIG elusive catch. Armed with GPS navigation and with their eye on the game. Don't be the burley they never find - be the catch they're hunting for.


20-Dec-2015

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