woman sitting on floor working on concept for new DIY website designThere are a handful of website companies out there that boast about providing people with the opportunity to design and build their own website for free. Wix, Weebly, and SquareSpace are just a few of the many platforms currently in the DIY website space. And each of those platforms do offer advantages and opportunities for those looking to create a free website!

But while creating your own website for free may be a tempting option, especially if you’re a small business owner with limited funds for online marketing and advertising, there are some major pitfalls to this method that many unsuspecting consumers don’t realize until it’s too late.

Believe us, we’ve seen it happen – and we’ve helped many clients pick up the pieces when things have gone all wrong.

Here, we’ll delve into the truth about building your own website on one of these DIY platforms and reveal why working with a website design company is often your best bet, even if your budget is limited.

Challenges of DIY Website Design

Building your own website may seem like an easy and affordable option initially. However, there are a number of challenges that many business owners face once they get into the midst of the design process.

We’re here to warn you about a handful of the most common challenges ahead of time so you don’t have to go through the website building process yourself only to end up frustrated and looking for an alternative solution.

Limited Customization Options

This is one of the first frustrations of the DIY website building process that consumers tend to run into relatively early in the design process.

Most DIY website platforms provide users with templated designs to choose from. While some customization options are available, for the most part users must stick to what’s featured in the available templates.

This is problematic for a couple of key reasons:

  • It limits your opportunities to highlight your brand within your website
  • It results in a site that may look unoriginal or similar to others on the web that utilize the same template

If you want to create a website that truly encompasses your brand and is completely customized to your business, a templated site you build yourself is probably not going to meet your needs or expectations.

Limited Functionality

Another major frustration we’ve seen clients run into with DIY website builders is limited functionality. Again, many of the features on these platforms are templated – meaning that they’re generic and therefore not built to meet the needs of specific businesses or organizations in specific industries.

If you are looking to add certain features or you’d like to integrate a specific function outside of what’s included within the template, you may be somewhat limited in your ability to do so – especially if you don’t have programming experience.

Oftentimes, business owners seek to add features in order to make their websites easier for clients and customers to use and navigate. Because the user experience is such an important factor when it comes to website performance, the limited functionality of many sites created with DIY site building platforms is an especially difficult challenge to overcome.

Limited Support

When people run into these first two hurdles when building a website, they often reach out to customer support for assistance. While some questions can be answered and some guidance can be given, in many instances customized solutions can’t be developed to solve these problems.

The support teams for these free DIY platforms are helping hundreds if not thousands of people to build and maintain their websites and troubleshoot issues on a daily basis. As a result, your issue may not receive the individualized attention it deserves or needs to be resolved the way you’d like it to be.

With this limited support, it may take longer to have problems resolved when they occur and customized solutions simply may not be possible.

Limited Search Engine Optimization

Search engine optimization is a conglomeration of strategies, tactics, and features aimed at giving your website the best chance of being found on the web by the consumers who are searching for what your business has to offer.

While some SEO-friendly features may be included in the template you choose to work with when building a website on one of the DIY platforms, in most cases these types of sites are minimally optimized. This can put your site at a disadvantage, even if it is beautifully designed from a visual perspective.

Some business owners choose to build their own websites, then hire an SEO company to optimize it. While this is certainly a logical step to take in theory, this strategy often presents issues as well. Because of the templated nature of DIY sites and the limited functionality they offer, optimization of these sites can be especially challenging. In some cases, strategists’ hands will be tied in terms of features they’d like to add or changes they’d like to make to improve the site from an SEO perspective.   

Limited Analytics

If you’ve invested time, energy, and resources in creating a website for your business, you’ll probably want to measure the return on your investment – right? While integrating Google Analytics and other performance tracking programs is possible with most DIY websites, the set up of the Analytics account and the integration will all fall to you.

This can be an intimidating task if you’re not familiar with the platforms, and it’s something you’ll absolutely want to get right if you want to accurately measure the success of the website you worked so hard to build. From setting up goals to adding code to the back end of the site for tracking, you’ll have to get all the steps right with limited support to help you tackle this extra step.

These are the most common issues we’ve seen clients and business owners run into when attempting to build their own websites through DIY platforms, but there are certainly others that can arise as well.

While DIY websites can certainly be a cost-effective strategy for some organizations, they can also create unexpected headaches and challenges that leave business owners searching for alternative solutions. If you’re weighing your options, it’s important to be well informed so you can choose the website development and design strategy that stands to benefit your business the most.  

In Summary: Professionally Built Websites are Well Worth the Investment

With decades of experience in the website design and development industry, we’ve seen these issues arise with DIY websites again and again – and we’ve helped dozens of clients overcome these issues, in many cases by working with them to professionally design a website that truly meets their needs.

Running into any of these issues with your current website? It may be time to call Mannix Marketing!

When you work with us, you’ll have a complete team of digital marketing professionals on your side, from programmers, designers, and developers to SEO strategists and copywriters. We can help you with everything involved in creating a custom website from start to finish, guiding you every step of the way as your site evolves from concept to reality – and beyond.

Our team is accessible, knowledgeable, and dedicated to helping our clients’ websites – and businesses – succeed. We’d love to work with you on creating a new SEO-friendly website that truly showcases your unique business and all it has to offer.

Give us a call today at 518-743-9424 or contact us online to get the conversation started!

Interested in learning more about our website design and development services? Find out what we offer and check out our portfolio of work here.

Wondering how much a new website will cost you if you don’t build it yourself? Get the details on what to expect expense-wise here.

About Jessica Tracy

Jessica Tracy joined the Mannix Marketing team in 2014 as a Digital Marketing Strategist. She has substantial experience in campaign design, content development, and writing and editing for the web. Jessica is a skilled project coordinator whose attention to detail and organization help clients to effectively and efficiently expand their web presence. An avid learner, Jessica works hard to stay informed about the latest trends in social media, SEO, and online marketing strategies. Jessica brought a diverse skill set with her from her previous position at Cornell University Press and is thrilled to be a member of the talented, passionate team at Mannix. Jessica has a bachelor’s degree in English from St. Lawrence University and a master’s degree in Communications from Ithaca College.