Why you should NOT build your own website

Contrary to popular belief, every business needs a website. Social media sites such as Facebook, Instagram and Twitter are marketing tools to be used to drive people to your site – they should not be used in place of a website.

A website is your permanent home for everything you want the public to know about your business – it is a showcase for your business. Social media sites are very dynamic and oftentimes posts you make to promote your business get lost in the feeds (that is why you need to post often). Social Media is equivalent to an advertising medium and we all know what happens if you do not advertise frequently – the public might forget about you.

So now, why should you not build your own website? You are a business person and your primary purpose is to run and grow your business, a business you know and love. You expect others to come to you because you are the one offering products or services you are well versed in, so why would you not do the same? Why would you not use an experienced web designer to build your site? I can guess your first response: “Oh, I can do that, plus it will save me money.” Is your time not valuable?  If it isn’t you might as well stop reading here.

There is another big reason to not build your own website and it goes under the heading of “a little knowledge is dangerous”. You might think that it is easy to build your own free site using something like Wix, Webs, or SquareSpace and then once you start building it, you find out you need more and more add-ons that they will charge you for. Remember that free site you said you would build and have up and running in a week or so? That site now costs you $200 USD per year and you spent over $1,000 of your time building and tweaking it and you still have more to do. Plus, since both of these platforms are proprietary, if you ever want to move your website to your own hosted site, it will likely need to be rebuilt from scratch.

So what do you do? Well, I am hoping you have heard of WordPress – it is the most popular content management system (CMS) used today with over 33% of websites using it (https://kinsta.com/wordpress-market-share/). Now, there are 2 flavours of WordPress, one is used primarily by bloggers to get themselves online (WordPress.com) and the other is the self-hosted version provided by WordPress.org. Now even though they are both WordPress there are some incompatibilities between them and it is not necessarily easy to build a site at WordPress.com and then later move it to a self-hosted site.

So now you say, “Well, why can’t I just buy a domain, sign up for hosting with some company like GoDaddy (UGH!) and build my site?” Well, you can, but, remember what I said about your time being valuable? Sure it would be fun to learn how to create your site in WordPress but how much time and effort can you allot to it and is that really the best use of your time?

Hopefully, by now I have convinced you that building your own site (and managing it, did I forget to tell you about that? Oops!) is not the best choice. Yes, you have a vision for it but do you really want to spend 2 hours to figure out how to place that image on the page just where you want it? Sorry, I am veering back into telling the “whys” again. So figure out what your site should look like by looking at other sites and determining what the general look of it should be and what add-on functionalities you need (online store, event calendar, blog, etc.) and then find a web designer (oh, by the way, I can host, design, and manage your site for you so please keep me in mind).

I hope this post gives you food for thought and that you highly consider staying away from designing (and managing) your own site. But if you do decide to build your own, please use WordPress, at least then, when you run into issues, I can help you out <smile>.

Be careful out there! Surfing can be dangerous!

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