Websites aren’t just for leaving contact information and expecting people to contact you. Your website has to motivate, relate and convince visitors to get in touch.
Having a startup website is as essential for a successful startup as business cards used to be a few decades ago. But creating a website for your company is only half of the task. Below let’s discuss the advantages and disadvantages of doing a DIY website vs. going with a professional.
Do-it-yourself vs. hiring a professional
From 2020 and beyond, websites have grown in numbers and in demand, for the fact being, most people now days want to transact online. Businesses who were not ready for the online migration that happened in 2020 suffered big losses in revenue, especially the ones that did not have a website or startups that were not prepared.
Today! A Website for any business is a must. Let’s look at a few key areas you need to build a successful one.
Creativity is a must
Your creativity will be limited by the number of designs included in your package. While not impossible, you may struggle to achieve a close fit with your brand. This can lead to problems with brand consistency. Often times, you are only given a few options to create your websites with the provided for templates which are tend to be very generic and boring. In this case, if you are trying to stand out from your competition you will be at a disadvantage.
Search engine optimization (SEO)
SEO know-how is vital for your business to be found by search engines but can be tricky to get right initially without expert support. Achieving great rankings takes time and also means regular updates and changes if you want to achieve noticeable results. Learn more about our Advanced SEO techniques and how it makes a significant difference.
As a new business owner, you are already spread thin. If you are not an expert in web design, can you afford to commit serious chunks of your time to the creation of a website? It may save you money today but will likely cost you in the long term. If you’re taking on this project on your own, be prepared to put in the hours.
Alternatively, working with a professional or a marketing agency allows you to focus on your existing priorities. Your web design and UI/UX will be bespoke and on-brand, increasing your site’s chances of standing out from the crowd and in many cases have an amazingly built website you never thought possible within your budget.
How professionals approach the website-development process
The secret to a successful website launch is planning! Marketing agencies and professional web designers have a strategic process in place. The workflow will vary from agency to agency but often includes a discovery phase, strategy implementation, a web map and final design.
Below is a similar process the pros use that you can copy when creating your own website.
Step 1: Project Discovery
In a discovery phase, your website project starts by gathering information about your business and its competitors. One of the most important points to determine is what your website needs to do for your business and goals you’re trying to achieve.
Step 2: Find Your Strategy
Considering target audiences and trending keywords that pertain to your industry can be part of this stage as well as thinking about how users will move across the site. Keyword research is critical here. Without the right keywords, it would make it very difficult on what to talk about and how to target your customers.
Step 3: Site Structure
Time to think about content. While Google ranks websites that deliver high-quality, problem-solving content to their users, more is not always better. Consider what is important for your brand and stick to that. After you have an idea on the content you intend to provide, now’s the time to consider how many web pages you will need.
The most common ones are: Home, Contact, Services, and About
Additional tip: What problem are you trying to solve? What makes you unique and different from your competitors? These are only a few questions you should be ready to answer when working with a reputable web design agency.
Step 4: Wireframe
Also known as mock-up design, this is one of the early creative stages to help you get a feel and visual for the layout of the site. If you are using the DIY approach, this is often the first thing you notice about your template. Once you start moving drag-and-drop elements, you start adjusting the look, but there will always be limits to your creativity.
**Hint** A website needs to basically “hold your visitors hand” and easily guide the visitor to the info they are looking for (within seconds) otherwise they will leave out of frustration. Think about this when creating your navigation and how all your web pages come together.
If you are working with a web company, they have access to professional tools and technology so the ideas and possibilities of your professionally-built website are nearly endless. You won’t see these extra features in DIY templates.
Approaching the website-design process
With the website development well underway, it is time to consider the main areas of the site’s design, including:
- Brand guidelines.
- Goals and strategy.
- User Experiences (UI/UX).
- Visual appearance and content.
Below are additional key areas to think about when finalizing your website
A successful startup needs a website that is more than subjectively beautiful. Your organization’s website needs to represent your brand properly. Your logo should definitely be on there and properly using your brands color scheme. That means anyone who has visited your social-media accounts, seen your business cards or met your team in person should instantly recognize it as yours.
Be fast and available on the go
User experience may have become a bit of a buzzword, but it couldn’t be more important. Today’s attention span is around 5 minutes that means you have such a little amount of time to communicate your potential customer before they get distracted or leave. Creating a positive user experience engages your visitor and keeps the interested to explore your website and eventually make contact.
The first step is to make sure your website loads fast! I’m talking about 3 seconds or less. Statistics show that pages that load within five seconds have the highest conversion rates. Why? because again people have short attention spans and will go elsewhere if your website takes too long to load. This is usually the case with cheap web hosting services who focus on providing the cheapest hosting to attract clients instead of providing the right tools and technology such as revolutionary Speed Boosting Technology. Going with cheap host will eventually hurt your sales and online ranking.
Also having online security today is everything! Get a reputable host that offers fast load times as well as security features such as SSL Certificates, Smart Firewalls, and Backups in case anything goes wrong.
Everyone has phones, Be mobile responsive
Apart from being fast, your site needs to be optimized for mobile devices. The majority of website traffic today comes from phones, and according to Google, 60% of mobile-phone users have contacted a business directly from mobile-search results. As a new business, you cannot afford to lose on those opportunities.
Your startup website must adjust accordingly to any screen size and not look out of place or cluttered on smaller screens.
Provide the right info
Your website’s structure and content are crucial to its performance on search engines. Text continues to be the main foundation of searches, which is why SEO is more important that ever. However, remember the value other assets on your website have: Descriptive text around images and graphics will help them rank. Clear calls-to-action (CTA) such as Learn More & Contact Us have to be easily found and specific for your customers to understand what you want them to do.
The visual appearance of your site needs to match your brand image. Compromising your brand to fit in with a DIY template is not worthwhile. On the other hand, you may be able to source a template that allows you to follow brand guidelines while offering creative options.
What should not be up for debate is whether or not your business does need an outstanding website. A well-designed, well-performing website is crucial for the success of a small business or startup. It may seem like an afterthought when you are busy building all other areas of the organization, but it can make the difference between securing those critical first clients or not and convincing investors for your next round of funding.
Do you expect your business to grow? Most entrepreneurs who decide to go the DIY route eventually end up hiring a professional web designer because their DIY site can’t handle their needs anymore; costing them more money and wasted time they spent building it.
Choosing between the professional or the DIY route when creating your business’s website involves numerous considerations.
Time, cost, technological know-how, and having a web team you can count on play into the decision.
It all comes down to risk and how you want to spend your time.
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