This blog is actually quite timely as yesterday at the women’s networking group that I host, we talked about the different ways that we all market our businesses and of course the conversation did come around to websites. A couple of the women had actually built theirs while others had got a designer to build it for them.
So what should you do? When I was going to launch my business website early this year. I explored many options; and there are many…First are the websites in a box, they have various templates that you can choose from and you just cut and paste in your information and pictures and hey pesto your website is ready. Moonfruit and Vistaprint are the forerunners
in this arena. Prices per year start at £40 for Vistaprint and Moonfruit is about £100. Whatever you do, do not get the free ones they look very unprofessional!
Then there are the ones that you build yourself – from scratch – WordPress, Jumia and the lesser known Drupal fall into this category. These web builder software rely on plugins, widgets and add-ons which you have to download – similar to the apps on smartphones. They are mostly free although there are some with premium features that you have to pay for.
The final option is to pay someone to take the pain away and deliver your shiny new website to you. This costs anything from £400 pounds, plus update costs.
I didn’t like the ‘web in a box’ websites as they were not as flexible, they had set templates so you ended up with a ‘me too’ website and I had also read about some of them not being responsive – a term used to describe the way a website is scaleable so it can be easy to view on mobile devices Another reason was because it can be hard to manage and monitor your Search Engine Optimisation (SEO).
After reflecting on the options I decided to build my own website from scratch using WordPress templates. I did not know anything about website designs, html codes, php, plugins, add ons, themes and widgets etc. But with Dr. Google and a couple of very good YouTube videos, I was able to build a basic website that make some people go WOW! Not because of how it looks but because I lovingly built it with my toil, sweat and tears with no experience! I will give it a makeover but as it stands now it serves its purpose. I have a virtual place where my potential clients and customers can visit me, read about me and get their MOJO back.
Will I build another website again? If I can afford not to, No. It took longer than I thought and I gave up in frustration many times, missed my deadline by 3 weeks, but limited budget and a looming deadline are great motivators, so I forged on. It was a great experience and it made me think about my business in more detail. As I built it on WordPress I can go in and change things around, adding and taking away information without having to pay and rely on an web developer with those secret php, admin and html codes. A good website needs constant tweaking and google will reward your hard work in its rankings.
I tell people who ask me, which option to go for? – If you have the time and PATIENCE go ahead and do it yourself. If you can afford to. Get someone else to do it! No matter what you decide. Make sure you buy and register your own domain – website name – and even if you do pay someone to do it – remember you will still have to provide them with all the content (information) that you want on your website.