Pros and Cons of Do-It-Yourself (DIY) Small Business Websites
Your website is your business’s virtual storefront, so it should look as good as possible. Often times your online presence will be the first interaction potential customers and clients will have with your business so, you want to make sure it’s not the last.
Ideally, you’d get a professionally designed web presence that is tailored to suit your business’s needs and expresses your unique selling proposition. But professional designers and developers can be expensive. The cost of building a bespoke website for your small business could be way out of your budget, especially, if you’re just starting out. Luckily, there are plenty of website builders out there you can use to create a website for your small business. Although, a DIY website will not be perfect, it could get you up and running without breaking the bank. Here’s how to decide if a DIY website is for you.
You don’t need anything too complex
DIY website builders don’t have the same flexibility you’d get from a professional web designer and developer. Most website builders are based on closed source software, so they’ll have restrictions on the extent to which they can be customized. This is bad news if you need anything out of the ordinary, or if you want lots of bells and whistles. If you don’t need special functionality or too much customization, however, a website builder could be right for you.
You’re not after a unique look
Website builders work with a system of pre-built templates. You simply choose one that tickles your fancy and drag and drop pictures and text in the order you want them to go. Of course, there’s only a limited number of templates and formats to choose from. It’s very likely there will be several other websites which will look exactly like yours. If you’re looking to stand out from the crowd, that’s no good. But if you’re just after something that’ll get the job done, a website builder could work. After all, looks only get you so far. You can always upgrade later, right?
You can live with the limitations
A DIY website will inevitably have some limitations. It might not be possible to fully back up your website, so you’ll need to do this manually. This could turn into a headache should you decide to change your hosting, as not all the data will be on the server. Your website will also be sharing bandwidth and server resources with thousands of other websites, so it’ll take longer to load. These limitations will be a problem if your website is heavy on content. If your website’s basic, however, backing it up shouldn’t be too difficult and the slower loading speed won’t be that noticeable.
You don’t mind putting in some work
If you’re not the web savvy type, using a website builder might take some getting used to. You’ll need patience and some help from good old Google. That said, many website builders are aimed at complete beginners and are fairly easy to use once you get the hang of them. If you don’t mind putting in some time and brainpower, a DIY website could be the way to go.
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