Don't Try This At Home


POSTED ON FRIDAY, JANUARY 7, 2011 AT 4:05 PM

Whether your organization is brand new or well-established, if you don't yet have a website, it can sometimes be a real challenge finding a web design company you can trust in order to help you to create an Internet presence. There's definitely a right way and a wrong way of doing things when it comes to building websites. Doing things the right way may cost you a bit more financially than you had originally anticipated but just how much are you willing to invest in your future? How far do you want to go? If you're really serious about seeing your business succeed, you may have to spend a little bit of money in order to make money.

After talking to web designer after web designer and getting a dozen different opinions, ideas and quotes, you may become royally confused and somewhat disheartened. Perhaps even overwhelmed with "information overload" not to mention the cost factor. And some of you may just decide to forget about everything you've learned in your discussions with people like us and try to design a website on your own.

We've seen a real trend lately with the free, do-it-yourself (DIY) kits. So many people on a tight budget are going the build-your-own-website-for-free route. Last year, we spent countless hours corresponding back and forth with a number of different companies to help them get started. And after a recent check on the Internet, we noticed that some of them unfortunately did go the DIY route after all — here's what some of them now have:

  • A website which definitely wasn't designed to attract new customers
  • No search engine optimization (SEO) whatsoever
  • As a result, little to no visibility in the search engines
  • Identical, generic title tags on every page
  • Identical meta description tags on every page
  • A website which is not 100% W3C-compliant
  • Very little graphical flair, creativity and originality
  • As a result, a generic website which looks just like the "other guy's" website
  • For novice WordPress users, a website which could be vulnerable to "hackers"
  • Lots more

Six months after their DIY website was completed, a few companies called us back saying "help — what do I need to do now in order to make my website visible on the Internet and how much will it cost?" Let's face it — all of us are on a tight budget these days but just as we said above, sometimes you have to invest a bit of money in your business in order to make money. Think of it as Return On Investment (ROI).

Back in the old days, running an ad in the yellow pages and in the local newspaper was the only way to go. And even these two aspects of marketing could be costly depending on the size of your ads. Bigger ads gave you much better visibility — at a much higher cost than the smaller ones. We still love to read our morning newspaper but when was the last time you actually picked up a phone book? In this day and age, consider your website to be the best advertising medium you could possibly ask for. When done correctly, Internet Marketing is where it's at now. So think twice about "doing it yourself" and think about just how far you want to take your business. Be willing to make an investment in yourself. After all, this is your future we're talking about. Do it with pride and make a statement on the Internet. Think different and do it the right way.

The thing we try to stress at MW Web Design is that making sure people can find you on the Internet is just as important as the website itself (if not even more important). Even if you have a DIY website, if people can at least find you through an Internet search, your phone will ring and this is something which is so often overlooked in the DIY world. When we design a website for you, we include the cost of search engine optimization in the quoted price along with all of the graphic design work and page layout. There are no guarantees that you will show up on the first page of a search engine results page (SERP) but you'll still gain a far better chance of getting noticed (nobody can guarantee a top position in a search engine — it just doesn't work that way).

Just remember that first impression we've talked about so often on our website over the years. And remember how important it is for people to be able to find you on the Internet using specific keyword phrases. In other words, if you're not computer savvy, don't try this at home. Watch out for those friends who are "'kinda good with computers and can probably do a website for you". As helpful as friends can be, it's very doubtful that they will do the same kind of job for you that a web design company will do.

If you've got a great business idea, don't sell yourself short and restrict yourself to a do-it-yourself kit when it comes to building a website. For those of you considering a new website, have a look at our testimonials page to see how clients have put their trust in our web design services over the years, allowing us the opportunity to work within their budget. You can also refer to a few previous articles we've written including How Much Will My Website Cost? and Web Design Tips (both of these articles feature downloadable pdf files which you can print out and read at your own leisure).

We're here Monday through Friday from 9 AM to 5 PM. Feel free to give us a call to discuss your plans for that great business idea you have. Let us help you to take the "Y" out of "DIY" and just do it.

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