Not Optimized - Meaning Not Using Web Design Best Practices
When most people try to build their own website, they aren’t aware of web design/development best practices. A common issue I see in websites built DIY are an improper use of h (header) tags. This is important for website structure and for SEO. Another common issue is that people aren’t aware you need to resize your images after uploading from your camera or after downloading from stock image websites. You need to optimize the images you put on your website. If you upload oversized images, this can greatly impact your load times and overall website performance.
Little or no Support with DIY Platforms
By not having technical knowledge of web development, you are dependant on the builder’s support team to fix any ‘oops!’ moments or functionality issues. Most of these big name DIY website builders take 1-3 days to respond (going off of what my clients have told me). That means if your website is down, you might not be able to have someone fix it or tell you how to fix it for up to 3 days! That’s a long time to have your website not working properly and does not look good from a customer service standpoint.
Builders Aren't Optimized for SEO
Having your website Search Engine Optimized improves your visibility in Google and other search engines. Most of these DIY website platforms are not built in a way that manages your SEO in the way you intend. They also don’t give you much control over how to adjust this. You really only have (some) control of the design and not the code behind it that. If search engine visibility is important to you, DIY web design would NOT be a good option!
Although using pre-made templates can potentially make getting a website up and running faster, they aren’t likely representing you accurately. If your website doesn’t match your brands unique messaging or demonstrate what makes you different than your competitors, then you probably aren’t convincing that customer to choose you.
Appearing Messy or Unprofessional
Most DIY website design doesn’t take into account all the factors of what makes a great website. A professional web designer considers MANY factors when designing a website. Consistency, message, usability, structure, and optimization are just a few things that we consider when designing a website. If it’s not implemented correctly, you can end up losing great potential customers.
DIY Builders Aren’t Always Mobile Friendly
I’ve had many clients come to me because their DIY website wasn’t responsive. When you viewed their website on a phone or resized the browser window, things seemed to disappear off the screen. This means that the website isn’t responsive and is a crucial feature in modern web design.
Not Owning Your Own Domain - Why it’s a Problem
Sure, it’s free to have your URL as a subdomain. But if you are trying to build a brand for the long haul, no one is going to take you seriously. Your domain is what sets you apart and distinguishes you. Having your own domain makes you look more professional, trustworthy, and invested in your own business’s success. It’s also an important factor in improving your SEO and building credibility.
Example non-original domain:
vs. original domain:
I’m not going to lie, I built my first website with Squarespace 7 years ago before I had any knowledge of website design. It wasn’t representing me very well, looked a bit generic, and the design was a little dated. When I learned how to build websites using the content management system I use now, I was blown away in what I was able to do. There are so many more customizable features available to me. In the time since then, I’ve gained valuable knowledge in implementing web design best practices and communicating my message in an impactful way. If you are a business or professional, make sure your website is designed and built to work for you. An experienced web designer should know how to use tools to help accomplish this. Your website should support your main goal resulting in more leads, traffic, and customers.