The distraught woman sat next to me at the salon looking almost ill, while her son, no more than three years old, sat perched on a booster seat in the salon chair, staring at his reflection with a look of complete puzzlement on his cherubic little face.
His hair looked as if it had been gnawed by beavers… Irate beavers.
She wailed, “I figured ‘how hard could a boy’s haircut be?’ and before I knew it he looked like this!!!”
“It seemed like such a good idea at the time!”
The hairdresser had a look on her face that told me she had seen this sort of thing many times before as she tried valiantly to undo the do-it-yourself do.
The nice thing about hair is that it grows back in a relatively short time. The same cannot necessarily be said about the loss of business that can result from a do-it-yourself website.
No doubt you’ve seen the DIY website template sites. They’re tempting. When starting a business, often we look for areas in which we can cut costs, and these DIY sites certainly try to promise that.
It seems like such a good idea at the time.
Perhaps the initial cost of one of these website templates is lower than that of hiring a professional website designer. Unfortunately for the do-it-yourselfer, that is where the savings end.
Why does the cutting of corners on a website end up cutting into profits on the bottom line?
There are several areas in which the DIY route fails the entrepreneur.
• Time: Even on an “easy to do” template, a good deal of time still must go into the creation of a website. For starters, the do-it-yourselfer must decide what information will be included, plan how the pages will be laid out, and write all content (and we know the importance of strong content). Did I mention the upkeep of the website? If time is money, then the DIY website is bleeding your account dry on that score alone.
• The Look: It isn’t hard to spot the cheap and unprofessional websites. They look… cheap and unprofessional… and probably a lot like everyone else’s that sprang from the same template. Is that the message you want your business to send to potential customers?
• Glitches & Bugs & Gremlins (Oh, my!): They happen on most websites, even professionally designed ones. The difference is that a good, professional web designer can diagnose and fix the issue. Can you afford to be away from your business to address these website annoyances that pop up?
• Limited Space: Many of these websites are limited in the amount of space and number of pages available, making it necessary to cram the available pages with information. The result is unattractive, cluttered, and off-putting to viewers.
• SEO-NO!: Self-made websites are often hard to find in search engines. Bad search engine results render your website almost worthless… and certainly worth less than you paid for the template.
It’s like the old saying goes… you get what you pay for. Ironically, a professional website designer will know how to create a website that will fit within your budget and do what your business needs your website to do. They know this because of a few things they have that no template ever will: experience, creativity, and instinct. In the business world where every dollar counts, these things are… priceless.