Looking to design your own website or maybe revamp your existing website?
There are only 3 ways you can do it.
DO IT YOURSELF
GET A FRIEND TO DO IT
HIRE A PROFESSIONAL
The below will give you some insight into THE BEST WAY FORWARD.
DO IT YOUR SELF (DIY)
There are hundreds of web design platforms or more commonly known as page builders on the market. In fact, almost every hosting company offers some sort of page builder.
Just google “Design my own website” and you get about 4 billion results. That’s half the earth’s population.
Let’s take a look at some of the most common ones:
These are just a few of the platforms that offer a DIY option. All these platforms off a great selection of Themes and Plugins where you just need to replace your content over the demo content. In most cases, you can get by without knowing any coding at all.
The cost of these platforms starts from FREE plans up to about R 5000pm depending on the type of features you require like advanced shipping, swatches, special calculators, Courier integration and various other premium features you are likely to need.
The only decision you will need to make as an entrepreneur is:
- How much is your time worth to you?
- How much will it cost or save you by going this route?
Let’s take an example:
If you earn R 30 000 pm, work 22 days in a month, 9 Hrs a day, then your average rate is R 150p/h, excl tax, etc.
If you decide on the DIY route you will pretty much spend the better half of 6 months to a year (an hour here and there) figuring out how to work these platforms before your website is actually functional to represent your brand. That’s if you don’t give up after a few hrs.
Then there are daily or weekly changes to content, backups and other areas you want to tweek.
So take at least 5 hrs a month, that’s 1 hour per week to work on your website. That’s around R 750 p/m working in a space you know very little about.
- Content Creation
- Your Annual domain renewal
- Premium license fees
- Premium stock image
- Graphic design
- Image compression
- Setting up and managing emails
- Tutorials and believe me you will do hundreds of YouTube tutorials.
- Dealing with support when your website breaks.
And let’s not forget last but not least. This industry is one of the fastest-changing industries in business today. So after all the hours, you will have spent building your own website, everything will change and you will need to learn most of the above again.
So when they say DIY, what they actually mean is that these page builders make it easier for web designers and digital marketers to build websites for their clients.
You will be constantly:
- And marketing……..
When will you be able to manage your business?
NEED A PROFESSIONAL WEBSITE?
ASK A FRIEND
– “My Brothers wife’s uncles daughter was doing our website but now she is backpacking in Europe and we can’t access our website and our Facebook ad account has been suspended and notice that someone else has bought our domain”-
Ask any web designer and they will tell you that a large portion of their business comes from “deserted” designers.
The biggest mistake any entrepreneur can make is “buying a website once-off” or asking a friend that does not have an established design business of their own.
Your website is not a once-off. It requires management, hosting, updates and ongoing work. It forms the backbone of your marketing dept. which is an investment, not a cost. If you do take on a website as a once-off, make sure you have a qualified web designer to manage it. (One needs to ask why you would outsource a website if you have an in-house designer?)
Your website is an extension of your business and will be one of your most important tools and assets as long as you are in business.
HIRE A PROFESSIONAL
Hiring a professional to develop your website may be the best route you can take if you are not a web developer.
However, do your homework first. Make sure their website is an example of their profession.
Here’s a checklist:
Not all companies spend money on Google ad words, so don’t always pick the top results. Many digital marketing agencies only take on a certain amount of work so they can deliver quality instead of quantity. Whilst this may be the case they are likely to be more expensive.
On the other hand, be aware of Agencies offering websites for R 150pm and 1 day turnaround time. These companies are looking for volume and are unlikely to give you the support you will need to manage your website efficiently.
There are also many individuals starting their own business and you want to make sure they are qualified to do the job.
Type their domain into google and check if their results show a professional structure.
It should NOT look like this:
This is s clear indication that their site has not been indexed by Google. You don’t want the same to happen to yours.
Check that their domain is safe.
You DON’T want this:
It must show a padlock on top.
OVERSUPPLY OF FEATURES
Be aware of fancy Jargon, large hosting packages, and massive bandwidth. If you are a small business you won’t need more than 2 Gb of space and few a thousand visitors per month. You can always upgrade as you grow.
DON’T SIGN UP FOR PACKAGES ONLINE UNLESS YOU KNOW WHAT YOU ARE GETTING
A reputable design company will showcase their products and then allow you to make an inquiry. Make sure you speak to a consultant and they request a full brief.
DON’T BUY A WEBSITE ONCE-OFF
Your website package should include design, hosting, emails, SSL, management, and other features depending on the type of package. DO NOT employ a designer to do design only unless you require a custom website. Your digital marketing agency will usually outsource this type of work in the event of you needing such customization.
Not all Design Agencies will showcase their work publicaly due to client confidentiality. It is best to ask for some examples of their work. Most companies will use themes to develop your website and refer you to a repository where you will be able to choose a professional look and feel.
Check out their online presence. This will include things like Facebook and LinkedIn etc. Make sure they are current and their last post wasn’t 6 months ago.
EMAIL ADDRESS AND CONTACT US
Make sure they have a domain-based email address and not a public one like email@example.com or Design@hotmail, firstname.lastname@example.org, etc. Phone the company and see if they answer. Send an inquiry on their contact us page a see how long it takes for them to make contact.
DESIGN UI & UX
Does their website offer easy navigation, user experience, and load speed? These are basic elements of web design and you want this to flow into your product too.