It’s official: Computers can drive you round the bend. That may not be news to you, but academic studies have now given the condition a name – Computer Stress Syndrome.
So if you are thinking of building your own website, you will not only need to factor in the number of hours it will take to learn the necessary skills, build the site, establish your presence on the web and deal with ongoing maintenance, but also the cost in terms of aggravation and grey hairs. For anyone deciding to go-it-alone, here’s a top tip: Snap a couple of ‘before’ and ‘after’ selfies to document the toll it has taken.
DIY website builders
But aren’t there all those website builder sites available that do practically all the work for you? Type ‘build a website’ into a search engine and you will uncover a bounty of DIY web design tools. With zappy names like Wix, GoDaddy and Moonfruit, they promise to be free, fast and foolproof, with claims such as ‘create your website in minutes’ and ‘no tech skills required’. For some projects these design tools might be just the ticket. Sites such as WordPress and Weebly are a godsend for bloggers with a tale to tell or an idea to sell, but if your website is an essential component of your business plan, going down the DIY route could turn out to be a costly mistake.
Getting down to Basics
What do you want from your website? This is the crucial question you need to ask yourself before taking a single step. Look around at different websites on the internet to get an idea of the kind of designs available. What works for you? Do you need your site to provide creative content and visual appeal? Or perhaps you are more concerned about basic functionality such as ease of navigation or smooth and secure financial transactions. Make a list of the elements you need to design into your website – building them into the foundations will be a lot easier than unravelling the whole thing to make changes along the line.
Ultimately this will be YOUR website, so whether you build the site yourself or invest in a designer, you will need to consider the branding, functionality and aesthetics of your site – right from the start.
How a professional can help
A professional designer will work alongside you to incorporate your vision and ideas whilst providing expertise and knowledge to make your website the workhorse of your business. The multitude of technical issues such as flexible layout and automatic scalability will be taken care of. This will ensure that your website will look good on any screen and your customers will find it easy to use whether they are on a mobile phone or a king-size monitor. Your website will stand out from the crowd with your own unique branding to put you ahead of the competition, and your designer will make sure your site is search engine friendly so that you are easy to find. And that is just for starters.
But whether you decide to go pro or DIY, please don’t end up like this poor guy – it simply isn’t worth it.