On DIY website building

DIY is BIG! Whether it’s building your own website or getting stuck in around the home, people love doing stuff for themselves. And that’s great.

A couple of years ago I installed my own kitchen and bathroom. And really, I’m no plumber. But the end result is not at all bad – even the pros were a bit impressed.

But here’s the thing. I did a LOT of research and reading and YouTube watching and even got tips from a ‘real’ kitchen fitter. I wanted to know what I was doing and not be in some viral fail video.

And here’s another thing. You know whether a kitchen is ok or not. You know if the tap is working the way it should; you know if the cooker is up to the job and the cupboards are going to stay on the wall. You’ve seen a lot of kitchens and you know what to expect.

Is that true for your small business website? Can you honestly say that the website you built for yourself is doing its job properly? How do you know?

How are you measuring results? Have you set any SMART goals? Did you really think about the myriad ways in which a good website can help your business?

It’s become so easy, popular and cheap to set up a website nowadays, that many people rush online and never really consider all the things they ought to if they have any hope of being successful.

I’ll even bet that a lot of the time people don’t even know what that success looks like. How on earth can you build a website to achieve something that you aren’t clear about? At least my wife and I knew what we wanted from our kitchen.

Don’t get me wrong, bringing website building to anyone with a computer is a good thing. Mostly. It levels the playing field, it’s democratising publishing, it’s giving everyone a chance to compete.

But to really take advantage of that chance you need to plan and, crucially, do the right kind of planning and it is that which is often lacking.

The problem is summed up by the maxim ‘You don’t know what you don’t know’. In order to get to a place where you do know what you don’t know you need to ask the right questions.

Most people start by asking questions and thinking about colours, fonts, animations and what they want to say (contrast that to asking instead ‘what would people like to hear?’).

The questions they should be starting with revolve around audience and purpose, not eye candy.

Once you know who your site is for and what you want your website to achieve then you’re far more likely to build a winner.

So build your own website if you want to,  or pay a developer if you want to. It’s up to you but either way, you should be starting with the right questions.

At Very Simple Sites we can build it all for you and we’ll ask you all the right questions to make sure your web project gets going in a way that suits you and your budget.