You’ve heard the advertisement at the beginning of a YouTube video, or while scrolling through your news feed. It tells the story of a popular website creator (of which will remain nameless, but we all know which one it is), begging the small business owner to take the power of their online presence in their own hands by building and designing their own website.
The tool looks easy enough – well, the video shows how simple it is to drag and drop elements such as videos, images, shapes and text to the way you’ve always wanted it – all without the need to hire a room of web developers to perform every small change on your behalf.
Youtube is relentless with their ads, especially if you have initiated your research with DIY websites. Great way to catch the watcher’s attention though…
You’ve found a way to beat the system!
The ease of use of web-builders does have its advantages – it allows anyone to pick a look, place in some content, and be ready on the web in no time.
But is it worth it?
Well, it depends on how ready you are.
Before you commit yourself to an ongoing cost, you have have to ask yourself a few questions that will determine whether diving into a web builder is right for you.
First and foremost – do you know what you want your website to do?
The modern website really only has two purposes: to tell people stuff, and to sell stuff. It’s as simple as that. The answer to this question will determine how your site looks, how it will act when someone visits, how it will be structured and what content you will need to create.
Do you have an idea about what it will look like?
Is there a website design that you love? Is there a design you hate? And if you like a particular design, are you confident that you can make yours look the same?
Do you have the time?
Most business owners barely have the time to balance life and work, let alone overcoming the challenges to get your site up and running. While it is true that the setup can be completed in about half an hour, it is the customisation that turn what should be an easy job into the trials of Hercules. Without a plan, you will spend hours and hours choosing the right template, colour combinations, finding and paying for stock images, writing and rewriting text… not to mention the time it will take to learn how to navigate the web building tool, hosting, domains and the list goes on.
What is your time worth?
Think about this – can you afford to spend around 10-20 hours doing your website yourself? What opportunities will you lose during that time?
Are you going to maintain it regularly?
These days, websites are more than a ‘set-it-and-forget-it’ exercise. Visitors will expect to see new content every time they look at your site. People are less likely to keep returning to your website if they are not learning anything new about you.
What other tools will you need to make this site work for you?
These web-builders will need other add-ons and third-party apps to get them to really work.
You need to set up a web store, payment processing, invoicing and order control.
You may need to set up a service that handles that for you.
Have a newsletter?
You need a form to capture new subscriptions and an app to send that content.
A web-builder will be your best friend, providing that you know exactly what you want your website to do, have everything you need to do it, have the time to get it finished, know exactly how you want it to look, and how to do it.
If you have all these things, good luck! Go nuts!
If not, well, you have a long way to go before you can think about starting.