The DIY website builder – yay or nay?

Around my house, I am a DIYer.   Give me a couple HGTV episodes, a little JoAnna Gaines inspiration, or an hour alone with Pinterest and I’m ready to go.   There is no doubt, my husband wears the gun belt at work and I wear the tool belt at home.   I’ll never forget my first home project as a newlywed. We had a half-wall in our kitchen that I wanted gone… but it didn’t bother him.   So I waited until he was at work and I took a hammer to it.   Within 15 minutes I got us to the point of no return.   He came home at 11pm to a cloud of dust and an open-concept kitchen project in the making.   He was less than thrilled.   But, it was a simple project and we/I got it done.   Now, 14 years later, we’ve made it through countless remodeling projects.   I’ve learned a lot in the process, and he’s learned to moderate my Home Depot access.

I may be a DIYer, but I know my limits.   Plumbing – not even gonna try it.   Electric – a hard no. Sure, there are things that I can learn by trial and error, but I’m definitely no expert.   The same thing holds true with building a website.   Remember Erin’s blog a few weeks ago about investing in your website?   Let’s dive into one aspect of that investment, hiring a professional developer.   There are countless learning opportunities and DIY website builders that you can use to create your own site; Wix, Squarespace, GoDaddy.   They’re advertised on the radio, social media, and even the Super Bowl.   They can look great on the front end, but is a drag-and-drop approach really the best strategy for your business, or the best use of your time for that matter?

I imagine there are some trained and professional contractors cringing at the idea of me knocking down anything on a whim.   Not having a strategy and a plan can definitely bite me in the butt, let alone having the training and expertise to do it correctly.   Trust me, I get it.   The same thing rings true for a DIY web builder.   There are plenty of things to consider before going that route and picking a template.

  1. You’re right, you can build an entire website without knowing one line of code.   It’s all drag-and-drop, color pickers, and visual editors.   But just like that, you’ve lost the ability to customize outside of the lines.   It’s fantastic for quick and dirty sites.   But is your brand really quick and dirty?
  2. Sure, a template can be relatively inexpensive.   Typically, everything that you need is nicely packaged together with a pretty bow.   Lower upfront costs are a factor, but think about the cost of one missed lead because you don’t stand out in the crowd.   Is it worth it?
  3. Generally, builders have limited SEO features.   Your new site without an SEO strategy can get buried on page 25 of Google, never to be seen.   Remember that money you saved on #2, it’s already long gone with all of the leads that your competitors are now getting.

We’re talking about your website.   The first thing prospective customers likely look at, and the basis for your whole online presence.   While we certainly appreciate learning new things, this is a major project and not worth the trial and error of a DIY builder.   And it’s definitely not worth the time that you could be spending on your customers or your products.

There are countless learning opportunities and DIY site builders that you can use to create your own site.   But is a DIY website best for your business?   In the long run, the answer is likely “no.”   But not all is lost. While the allure of a website builder may be the control that you gain by doing it yourself, here at KolbeCo we want you to be a HUGE part of the process.   We don’t want you to go it alone, this is a partnership.   Just like the electricians and plumbers that I rely on, we’re here to work with you to give you the website you want and the ongoing strategy that you need in order to succeed so that you can focus on your business.