By: skylinegridadmin - Published: 4th March, 2015
Three reasons you really want to build your own website, but probably shouldn't
If you are a plumber, chances are that the plumbing in your home is in perfect condition.
If you are a baker, you'll hardly need to order a cake or pastry on special occasions or for yourself.
If you are a dog trainer, your nights are probably a lot quieter and restful than those of most dog owners.
No matter what your trade is, you excel at what you do, and it empowers you with skills that most people wish they had. As far as i am concerned, I don't know much about plumbing, i can cook to barely keep myself alive, and, while i will pet the heck out of a German Shepherd, the best i can do is the "paw" trick. What i do know, is how to code and design websites.
Creating a website has a cost that is proportionate to one's knowledge of the following:
- user experience
- content optimization
- search optimization
Trying to build your own website, without knowing all of the above as your basic skill set, is equal to trying and rebuild your own car's transmission. Unless you are a mechanic by trade. In which case your car is in good hands.
Why would you build your own website, without prior knowledge?
There is a number of theories, but the ones i have narrowed down as the most frequent reasons, are as follows:
Some perceive web design as "easy", due to the fact that hosting companies try to deter their customers from seeking professional web developers, in an effort to promote their own automated services, bundled with what is often defined as "starter" hosting packages.
These are low-cost publishing services, and have nothing to do with actual hosting. The primary purpose is to offer a "free" option to create a website, using a restrictive visual editor, which is in essence a glorified word processor, allowing customers to create up to a fixed number of total pages, beyond which, they will be asked to upgrade to a more expensive tier of services.
The end result is most likely a hit-and-miss scenario, in which, either the service provides just what the customer needs, or it doesn't, resulting in a waste of time, and loss of customers.
The choice is almost endless, from Wordpress to Joomla, to Drupal, and so forth, the web is cluttered with free products, ready to install and play with. E-commerce integration in Wordpress can be implemented through third-party plugins like Woocommerce, as well as other common options.
While these products are free, and well supported among the open source community, the knowledge required to install and configure them includes steps that most regular users, with limited knowledge of server-side functionality, are simply not comfortable with.
For instance, installing Wordpress on a hosting server requires a MySQL database to be created, where all data and content is stored.
While this problem can be partially overcome by subscribing to a hosting package that offers Wordpress "out of the box", other considerations remain, such as how to properly configure Wordpress, understanding how themes work, and how to navigate through the hefty leaf-level administration tabs, to get Wordpress to look and behave as desired.
When you run a business, it's hard to find the time to learn something from the ground up, especially when it's radically far away from your trade, and since time is money, just how much are you willing to spend?
Bad past experiences
This is a popular one: "The last guy who did my website was a crook. Never again!", perhaps not in so many words, but yes, there are scumbags out there who will take advantage, and prey on the less tech savvy.
If i were to monetize the time i invest in explaining the ins and outs of what i do to my clients, i could say i am working at a 70% loss, most of the time. Do i feel bad about it? Not really. Educating clients is important, and knowledge should not be a secret. You'd wish the IRS would take the time to keep you in the loop! But... no.
The true cost of DIY
The cost of engaging in DIY web design, without some kind of knowledge base, is most often Time. Every hour you spend trying to solve a problem that would take a professional a minute to fix, is one hour you don't spend taking care of your actual business.
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