If you have your own business, or you are working towards launching one, chances are you’ve thought about building your own website. A strong, professional website is essential for businesses of all kinds, and a critical element to promote your business and build relationships with potential and established customers.
However, as anyone who has looking into this will know, it is not cheap to hire a professional web developer, and a new website can be a significant expense. The question then turns to whether you can save some money and make your website yourself. It’s true that you don’t need to learn Java in order to build your own website. You can build a website with very little technical experience, by using one of the many website builders which are around these days.
However, it is also true that creating a professional, engaging website is not as simple as just throwing some content into a template. Here is the truth you should know about building your own website.
Building a Website is Easier Than You Think
The first thing you should know is that it is easier than you think to build your own website. Technical processes can often be shrouded in mystery and may seem completely out of reach to those who have never attempted them. However, it really is possible to make your own website even if you have never done this before, have zero coding skills, and even if you are not particularly techy or digitally competent.
This is largely thanks to website builders which have become extremely popular in recent years. There are now a large number of website builders around, which take care of all of the coding and technical elements, allowing users to create their own site with easy to user interfaces such as drag and drop functions. With a large number of templates, customization options, and extra features, just about anyone can build their own website these days.
Building a Website is Cheaper Than You Think
As mentioned above, hiring a web developer to build your site can be a costly exercise. However, you can save significantly by building your own website in-house and eliminating or greatly reducing developer costs. There are still costs involved in setting up a site, and these should be considered, but they are generally very reasonable. You will need to pay for domain hosting, and depending on the website builder you choose to use, you may also need to pay a subscription to the website builder. Some builders have free options, and many offer a package which includes hosting.
Building a Website is More Complicated Than You Think
Having said all that, it should also be acknowledged that building websites is also a complicated business. Sure, anyone can build their own site, but will it look professional, and serve your key purposes of promoting your business? Maybe not. There are many things which go into having a great website, from visual elements and marketing tactics, to great copy, SEO and technical features.
This complex picture means making sure that you have all of these elements covered in order for your website to be successful. You don’t want to have just any website as a place holder. Your website is usually the first point of contact for your visitors, and it represents you as a business. This means that it is essential that your site presents the image you want for your company, is engaging, attracts traffic through SEO, and converts that traffic into customers.
This, in the end, will come down to either skills or time. If you have some level of technical skills and experience, you will be able to create your own website in a relatively short amount of time. On the other hand, if you have limited skills, you will still be able to do this
Templates Doesn’t Mean a Stock-Standard Website
Website builders generally work by using templates, which you can easily populate with images, text and other content to create your content. However, just because you are basing your site on a template, this doesn’t have to mean that you end up with a cookie-cutter website. Most website builders allow you to customize the templates, which is important to do if you are to truly be unique and represent your brand. Some website builders are better at doing this than others: Wix, for example, has good customization functionality, whereas Weebly is limited in this respect. Although, of course if you want to be able to create completely customized sites and design patterns, you are going to have to learn how to code!
Strategy is crucial when it comes to customizing and generally in building your site. It is essential to have a clearly defined strategy before you start building your site, which lays out what you are trying to achieve through your site and how you will get there. This should include elements such as branding, visual themes, tone, and your target audience.