Posted by Kristine Jacobson

Don't Go it Alone ...

You’ve finally jumped in headfirst into the entrepreneurial pool, and now you need a website. It’s natural to think that you can do it yourself (DIY). But ... here are four things you should consider before starting a DIY website: Cost, Features, User Experience, and Support.

There are a lot of companies online offering completely free website builders. The problem is, you don’t own your site, you merely "rent" it. If they shut down, you’ll have nothing. If you pay for an inexpensive website builder, those monthly costs will eventually add up. The payments never end, unlike a one-time payment for a website you actually own and that can grow and morph with your business strategy and consumer demands. Just remember: no company is letting you take that free (or cheap) rental site with you. If you move away from companies like these, you’ll be starting over from scratch.

The Internet is full of studies on how long a user will engage with your website. Most experts agree that an average user will stay on a website for somewhere between ten and fifteen seconds before getting bored. That doesn’t leave you with a lot of time to get the user engaged. Not only does your website need to convey your brand visually, but it needs to do what you need it to do. Do you need chat rooms? How about a shopping cart? Website builders aren’t going to get you very far when it comes to customization. You get to choose from the same templates everyone else gets to choose from, with the same bland features as everyone else. If you are trying to separate your business from the crowd, then a website builder isn’t for you.

User Experience
User Experience (UX) is a hot topic these days. As I mentioned above, you only have a short amount of time to get users engaged in your site. One thing that free site builders give you, in a bad way, is ads. They plaster ads all over your site, sometimes on your home page. You have no control over their placement or content. If that doesn’t scare you, then perhaps flash will. Website builders love to incorporate a lot of flash. Google hates it and Macs hate it too. Google has said publicly that the slow and buggy nature of flash-laden websites slows their search engine down. Their solution ... Flash sites get bumped down in searches, destroying their Search Engine Optimization (SEO). If no one can find you, I guess you won’t have to worry about your UX.

When you are just one of the thousands, your voice isn’t going to be heard. Hiring a professional website designer gives you a dedicated support line; there’s no wait times or jumping through hoops, or being pointed to the online tutorials. A professional website can also give you site analytics that are accurate and reliable. Website builders are notorious for providing faulty analytics.

There’s no doubt that there is a major market for DIY websites. Just keep in mind that they have significant limitations, and they aren’t always cheaper - especially when you factor your time into the cost. Choose wisely; your brand depends on it.

Conveyance Marketing Group is a marketing and web development company with a passion for delivering strategic, sustainable and affordable marketing and web solutions to start-ups and small businesses. Our service offerings include video, Search Engine Optimization (SEO), inbound marketing, graphic design, logo design, advertising and web design. Our creativity is limitless, let us help accelerate the growth of your company! Contact us today for more information on how we can help you.

Conveyance Marketing Group is a team of bright, innovative and talented veteran marketers dedicated to big ideas, fresh insights and measurable results. We pride ourselves on taking challenging marketing issues and turning them into opportunities for our clients, on pointing brands in the right direction, and on getting our customers noticed both online and off. From branding to websites to digital marketing, and public relations, we handle all your marketing communication needs! Web Design and Development | Brand Strategy | Inbound Marketing | Social Media | SEO | PR

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Kristine Jacobson

Kristine Jacobson

Kristine Jacobson has more than 25 years of marketing and communications experience with notable corporate leaders as well as emerging market contenders. She offers expert marketing strategy with a touch of creative flair. Her extensive knowledge of strategic marketing, marketing plan execution, and branding illuminate the big picture without losing sight of the details.