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If you own a small business, chances are you’ve found pretty crafty ways to reduce costs in the name of growing your business. For example, here at Blue Corona, we don’t use an office cleaning service. Instead, you’ll often see our very own President taking out our trash or vacuuming our floors.
When it comes to building a website for your small business, there are plenty of free or otherwise inexpensive services out there that allow you to do it yourself. Let me give you an example from real life.
Long before I started blogging for Blue Corona, I created a personal blog called Lex and the City. Rather than fork over the $300 a professional designer quoted me, I paid $80 for a program called Thesis. This program—the “ultimate design and template manager for WordPress”—is supposed to allow you to have total drag ‘n’ drop control over your WP template: no coding knowledge required.
So how’d that work out for me? My DIY website design job comes off as just that—a DIY website design job.
Your Small Business Website Is Not the Place to Pinch Pennies
Your small business website might not necessarily be the place to pinch pennies. Here’s why: Your website can and should be your #1 source of new business. At Blue Corona, we urge our clients to think of their websites not as online brochures, but instead as virtual sales reps.
Many of our clients are small-to-medium-sized home service businesses who generate around 5 figures worth of revenue from their website alone every month. While the price of professional website design and development might initially give you some sticker shock, you need to keep in mind the revenue that your website is likely to generate for you down the road.
Another Case Against DIY Small Business Website Design
Sure—DIY websites aren’t going to look as good as professionally designed ones. But what about how they perform? And by perform I mean, how will they rank in search results and will they be successful at turning visits into customers? I’m going to out on a very short limb here and say, “no” (or as my dear Australian friend Alister would say, “nerrrr.” If you think that’s funny, you should hear the way he says “banana.” Or should I say “bernonner”?)
If you want to be found on Google, you need to start with your site code and structure. Unfortunately (and from what I’ve seen), I highly doubt most business owners understand what it takes to build a side structure that is easily crawlable by search engines. In fact, most business owners fail to even properly install analytics tracking software on their websites (giving them a terribly skewed view of how well or how poorly their websites perform).
And then there’s the website content aspect. Even if you manage to build yourself a decent looking website with a search-engine-friendly site code and structure, you still have to write pages upon pages of keyword-rich content. That’s why Blue Corona includes professional website copywriting services with almost every website we design and build.
Still Thinking About Building Your Own Small Business Website?
As a small business owner, you likely wear many hats. If you’re anything like our President, you have to carefully divide your time between sales, marketing, operations, recruiting, and maybe even occasionally taking out the trash. So ask yourself this—is your time going to be best spent attempting to design and build your own website?
While writing this post, I grew curious about what others in the industry had to say about this topic. I stumbled upon a blog by Beth Browning, who ended up building her own website for her business. Here’s what she had to say about it:
As it turns out, I’ve spent more hours than I care to admit troubleshooting issues and solving problems. On the one hand I’m glad that I made the decision to build my own website because it’s given me a much better understanding of how things work “under the hood.” It’s taught me about things to look out for on other people’s websites that otherwise I wouldn’t have known about.
On the other hand, those hours spent troubleshooting technical issues would have been much better spent networking, marketing, and promoting my brand and my business.
If you decide to do it yourself, I recommend you check out some pro website design tips on our blog. If you want to go the professional route, read more about our website design packages and make sure to check out our portfolio.
About The Author: Blue Corona is a data-driven online marketing company with offices in Gaithersburg, MD and Charlotte, N.C.
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