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As someone who is responsible for other people's livelihood, it can be daunting trying to figure out if you should take on the challenge of designing your website. Looks can be deceiving, and perils can be around the corner if not doing correctly. In this article we will look at 4 questions you should ask before designing your website.
Here are 4 questions you should ask before designing your website
Can I devote the time needed to keep the site up to date and secure?
A majority of people suffer from a lack of time. Dropping an extra five hours a week or more on a website can be a problem for most small businesses.
Let’s look at some of the challenges you can face as a DIY website developer.
- Constant updates
- SEO changes/Google Changes
- New Marketing initiatives
- Customer conversions
These are the top problems for most small business owners.
As a web developer, you are plagued with weekly updates to themes, plugins and even your site as your business grows.
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Without constant updates, your site would be old and out of date very quickly. Updates look at securing loopholes so that crooks do not bring down your site or hinder your business plans.
Updates are a part of life now; things need to be updated on a regular basis. The sooner you understand this, the better off you will be for the future.
Security like a computer or anything else means looking over logs and checking things. A person who throws up a site and never reviews the security logs will find themselves in trouble more frequently than someone who does so on the regular.
Hackers have gotten smarter and as they have gotten smarter so has security. However, there are times when they are one step ahead of everyone. If you do not believe, so all it takes is a quick Google check of which big companies have been hacked, and you will discover it is happening daily.
Smart business owners will not only secure their website but spend time:
- looking over logs
- blocking IP addresses that are trouble
- Filtering out spam
SEO Changes and The big G
It is no shocker that Google is constantly updating their search algorithm. Google is a company that has to block spam and marketing which is considered black hat SEO.
Sometimes, however, Google decides it is time to let go of old rules and change the rules completely. Examples of this can be SSL which was not required 5 years ago but has now become a hot-button topic and Mobile/Responsive websites.
As a person who owns a company and tries to get customers to your site, you can do one of two things. Either play by Google’s rules or find your website efforts at the bottom of the list of search results.
While a new start-up can certainly survive for a limited time without a website, it will not be long before customers start demanding one. The website is a modern day business card, and it is not going away anytime soon.
New Marketing initiatives
Most new companies will try different marketing throughout a year. Not all of the time do these marketing efforts involve a website. If you are looking at most new marketing initiatives, you will find it is imperative that website owners use new technology.
Are just a few, notice what you do not see on the list?
- Direct mail
- TV advertising
- Radio Advertising
- Business cards
- Door to door
- Cold calls
That is because these forms of advertising are no longer as useful. The world has moved on and soon just like A-trac tapes these marketing types will be long gone.
Websites and online are the future, and the faster an old business can incorporate one or some of these elements the sooner they can see results.
The final reason on our list is customer conversion. It is important that once you put up a site, you are not only updating it and keeping it secure but A/B testing Headlines, design, and offers.
Business is almost like a science experiment. You have to try things to find out if your target market likes your offers.
Finding out things like top referrals, geographic area, and overall customer acquisition will tell you if your message is connecting with the right people at the right time.
What’s the cost involved with doing the design by myself rather than paying someone?
Figuring out your hourly rate is an easy task for most small businesses. How much do you charge for how much the service you are using is going to be charging you?
If you assume you are spending much time doing web design work, then it is probably a safe bet that you are going to need to spend the money. Even if you are breaking even, there is a bigger chance you can make money by doing what you do best and allow someone else to focus on your website.
The peace of mind from letting go of an overwhelming task should be delegated to other people who focus on that type of work. All of these are questions you should ask before designing your website.
Is it easier to start small a grow or go big or go home?
The answer is there is no roadmap for any one website or company. Every customer is different, and you have to think of your situation as completely original.
No one single decision brings down a business more than indecision.
Some people with larger capital may want to have huge plans for the website six and twelve months down the road while some people will focus on tomorrow. Websites that have a single purpose survive as well as those that serve 10 million people.
Always keep in mind that even the largest website will need to be dumbed down to make sure that customers are finding information as fast as possible.
A simple one-page website can be easy for a one-person start-up but provides fewer opportunities than bigger sites that tackle different marketing avenues. The more information you provide, the more you will be looked upon as a resource. A customer who finds you and connects with your message will join your tribe.
For me, I will take a long win over short-term gains.
What is my budget?
There is nothing that will determine your more than how much you are willing to commit to long-term. If you have zero budget then, by all means, do whatever you have to do to survive.
You will discover that like anything a good plan with long-term goals will beat out anything that’s cheap with short gains. Expect that a business that wants to grow and succeed will have to spend some of the money they bring in.
You cannot build muscles by starving yourself, and you cannot grow a business without spending money. The adage it takes money to make money is currently alive and well.
Consider your budget and how it will affect your long-term goals. There is nothing wrong with bootstrapping a business at the start of life until you grind yourself into a real company. When this evolution takes place, you need to be ready to evolve yourself.
Nothing kills a business quicker than someone who holds on to false belief and tries to do everything as cheap as possible.
So are you ready to play the game?
Hopefully, this article has given you some insight into the pitfalls of doing a website yourself. If you can avoid these common mistakes, you will find yourself ahead of the game. Look for more of our content to help you run your startup or business more efficient. These 4 questions you should ask before designing your website is important.