Episode 4 – Should You Build Your Own Web Site?

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Hello, everyone, and welcome to episode four. This episode I’m going to talk about something that comes up from time to time in our business. Really when it does come up, it always bugs me. I want to talk about it right now because it’s not something that we’re currently experiencing, so I’ll have a slightly less bias take on it. What that is is people who see the value in having a website. They know they need to have one, but they’re not quite ready to commit to having a professional work on it. These people might have a friend, son, grandson, cousin, college roommate. Sometimes they find someone on the internet who doesn’t have a good portfolio or any kind of portfolio, but that person says they can do the work for a very low price.

If the price seems too good to be true, it’s probably because that person doesn’t do good work. Sometimes you might find someone who does, and they’re just building out their portfolio. We’ve all been there. Quite often that person just doesn’t do very good work. They’re going to build you a whole website for a couple hundred dollars. That website’s not going to be well put together. Maybe they think they want to dabble with trying to learn on their own. Every single time we’ve seen this situation, it doesn’t work out for them for various reasons. I want tell you about some of the experiences we’ve seen. Yeah, I just want to break it down piece by piece. I don’t want to take too long.

Normally if someone says they’re going to do it for you for free or as a favor, what we’ve seen happen every time we’ve ran into this is that person is doing you a favor. It’s put at the back of their priorities. Maybe they do websites for a living and they have people that are paying them they have to keep happy. Maybe they don’t do website for a living and this is how they find their leisure time. Quite often what we’ve seen is they think it’s leisure, but watching Netflix or going out or working out, or spending time with their husband or wife usually becomes a priority over building your website. What happens is you expect them to do it, it’s the back of their list even though it’s something you want done quickly. It doesn’t always work out the way you expect it. Your website can take months when it shouldn’t have.

Oftentimes what also happens, we’ve done this quite a few times and we’ll never do it again, is you might be trading services for a website. That always gets tricky as well because you don’t have a finite number you’ve estimated for the project. If you’re trading a website for four weeks of housecleaning because you own a housecleaning service. Quickly the website, you might see things you need changed, and maybe they’ll expect a whole nother week of housecleaning when you don’t think it’s worth that. When you’re setting dollar values to a site, it really makes it more clear for everyone. We’ve done a few trades in the past and we’ll never do it again just because of this experience and it’s hard to meet expectations.

Yeah, a lot of times when you’re trusting that person who doesn’t have a portfolio built, or is charging you way too little, they probably don’t quite understand what they’re getting into, or what they’re going to be doing is having multiple clients, tons of projects running at once. If you’re charging $200 for a website, you’re probably … We did this when we started off, and we’ve learned a lot from it, but you probably have 10, 15, 20 websites going at once. Think about your profession and think about whatever it is you do and how many of that thing you can handle at once. I’ll tell you for websites, I don’t want to handle much more than three or four, maybe five, at the same time. I don’t feel like I can do enough for those clients if I have that time spread out throughout other responsibilities and being involved in my community, or even just taking care of myself personally, having down time.

More than five websites at a certain period of time, I just cannot manage that. For those of you thinking about doing it yourself, maybe it’s a good fit. I have seen some people with success. I might actually be having someone on the podcast in a week or so who built a website using a build-it-yourself platform. He happens to be a skilled computer scientist project manager. He built a website for a project he’s doing with actually building his own tiny house and to share his project. Not necessarily a business but just to get his word out there. His website’s beautiful. It seems to be well maintained. I don’t know what his traffic is. Maybe he’ll talk about that when we talk. He also has that background and those skills to do that. That’s what he does as a profession basically.

If you’re a contractor or a dentist, and you’re taking two or three hours a day out your day to learn how to drag and drop and use one of these builders online. Is that really the best bang for your buck and for your time? I don’t know. Maybe it is. I would argue it’s not. You can be spending that time in other venues trying to increase your business or increase your skillset. To me, it really makes the most sense to have someone who’s skilled and experienced and an expert in it because, sure, maybe you can learn how to design your page, but are you going to take the time to learn how to market and search engine optimization and track conversions and increase your conversion rate and your percentage and increase time people spend on your page. There are so many variables that you should take into account.

Quite frankly, if you have all that time to do that, I would be concerned about how you’re spending you day in your profession. Even as someone who … This is my life, my living, full-time commitment is to web design, and I still don’t know if I have the time to learn everything I need to know and oftentimes we’ll bring in a contractor. We have some people we work with for search engine optimization, some people for design. We really try to make sure we’re being as skilled as we can internally, but sometimes we have to bring people in. Yeah, so thank you guys for listening. Again, like I said, sometimes someone will tell us, “Well, I don’t want to make that investment. I’ll do it myself,” or, “My nephew will do it.” “My cousin will do it.” Whoever that is. We try to warn them but at that moment, it seems like we’re trying to make a sale.

I wanted to make this podcast while we’re not dealing with anyone who’s in that situation. Hopefully, you found us, you’re enjoying us, and we’re not trying to convince you otherwise right now, and you can actually take this for what it is. I do admit, sometimes it does. It’s a sensitive topic for me. I wanted to get this out there and hopefully someone finds this. You can refer back to our previous episode that talks about top 10 questions you should ask someone when you’re going to be working with them on a website. Hopefully between this and that, you can figure out who’s the best fit to run and your project and build your website. Thank you all for listening. As always, like us on Facebook, follow us on Instagram. If you’re listening to this on a podcast application, please take the time to give us a rating and a comment. Particularly if you use iTunes or have an iTunes account, please go on there and rate us and comment on us. Thank you very much.

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