Building a website yourself? 5 things to know first

If you’re trying to save a little money by building a website yourself, and you’re not a designer, developer, or generally tech savvy, website builders like Wix, SquareSpace, GoDaddy Site Builder, and Weebly can be a blessing. Here are 5 things to know before your DIY website project:

1. Getting out later will be an issue. If you decide later on you want to move to another platform, don’t like the service you’re in, or want to hire someone else, your site files are stuck. Take Wix, for example, where all of their site files are built into a proprietary system.

2. Some of the low-hanging fruit of a site may be accessible, like a user poll, but more advanced features, like a robust gallery, navigation menu, forums, or podcast hosting are not.

3. Don’t over-do-your-do-it-yourself. We’ve seen Mad Men, there’s more to good marketing than just writing some text on a page. You may still need the help of people who are expert user interface or experience designers, or copywriters.

4. There is no magazine cover at the grocery store right now that has just a stock photo on it. Or an image hobbled together using some free image service like Canva. People notice quality.

5. Websites are a lot like taxes. Sometimes they’re pretty simple, and simple tools like TurboTax gets the job done. Sometimes they’re complicated and require a tax preparer and CPA. And any time the hammer comes down and you face an audit, or a competitive market, you probably don’t want to be alone or rely on a call center.

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Justin Harter

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