Business owners are always looking for ways to cut their expenses, save money and ultimately earn a higher profit – and you’re probably no different. Today there is such an abundance of DIY tools on the market that many business owners can easily save on the cost of hiring a professional in many different areas. One area where you can certainly save a lot of money by doing it yourself is building your own website. But if you don’t get it right, then it could end up backfiring on you when you’re not getting a lot of website traffic and are struggling to figure out why the traffic you do get is bouncing off the site almost straight away. If you want to build your own website and save money, here are some tips to keep in mind to help you ensure that it is a resounding success.
Do Your Research
Even if you are an experienced business professional with lots of experience and are getting an online DBA from Aston University, don’t assume that you are going to find building a website easy. Although you do not have to be a coder these days to build your own website as there are plenty of visual tools available, you still have to have an eye for design and a good idea of what your visitors are going to be looking for. Otherwise, you could end up with a website that is a total eyesore and even worse, performs terribly. The DIY, build-your-own-website tools are certainly easy to use, but they are not miracle makers. It’s a good idea to spend some time researching things like web design best practices, design trends, and more to help you get off to the right start once you’ve decided on a platform and get to building.
Choose the Right Website Platform
Today there are lots of website platforms available that you can use to build your business website without ever having to write a line of code. But they are all different, and some people might find certain platforms easier to work with than others. There are a few things that you can do to make sure that you pick the platform that is the right fit. First of all, spend some time learning about the platforms to see which one is going to be the most suitable for the type of website you want to build.
Shopify is great for online shops, while WordPress has been the go-to for blogs and informational websites for a long time. Other options include Wix, Squarespace, Weebly, GoDaddy, BigCommerce. The good news is that a quick Google search will bring up lots of comparisons where you can learn more about the pros and cons of each option, pricing, features and more to help you get a better idea of what’s on offer and what aligns with your requirements best.
Take Your Time
Lots of people go into building their website using a DIY platform thinking it’s going to be super easy, and they can get it done in an hour or two. And this might well be the case for some people. However, it’s always best to err on the side of caution just in case you get held up trying to figure out why you can’t place that one rogue image where it’s supposed to be or how to make your buttons rounded rather than square. Give yourself plenty of time to get your website finished as chances are you’re going to want to make some revisions when you are done, or you might find some mistakes that you’ll need to fix before it all goes live.
Optimise Your Images
Some DIY website building platforms will optimise images for you, or others like WordPress offer third-party plugins to make this process easier. If you’re using one that just uploads the image as it is, then you should find a good tool to optimise your images before you include them in the site design. Whether you’re uploading photos, graphics, or infographics, it’s important to make sure that your image files are the ideal size so as not to slow your website down. While it’s important to have good visual appeal on a website, it’s even more crucial that your visitors are not waiting more than a few seconds for your site to load.
Focus on the Navigation
How easy your site is going to be to navigate will make a huge difference to the experience that users have when they land on it. Ideally you should choose a DIY website building tool that offers good menu options and allows you to create a smooth and streamlined navigation experience that makes it easier than ever for your visitors to find what they are looking for. Make sure that there is the option to add a search bar along with your menu for more targeted searches from visitors who know exactly what they want to find.
Design for Mobile
It’s important to choose a DIY website design tool that will give you the option to keep track of how your design is going to look not only on a website browser, but also on tablets and mobile devices. Make sure that you choose a website platform and builder that offers responsive themes as this will make it much easier to ensure that your site is going to work well and provide a great experience on any device.
However, that being said, sometimes the way that things are placed on a website when you are designing on a laptop or desktop PC can look very different when you open the site on mobile, so check periodically. Most good website building tools today offer the option to hide or show different elements based on the device that is being used to view the website, so you can use this to your advantage to ensure that the site looks and performs well no matter whether it’s being viewed on a huge monitor or a small smartphone screen.
Use Third-Party Tools
Most website design tools will work with a wide range of third-party tools so you can get even more from your site design and the finished product. For example, you can find sites that offer a range of widgets that you can design yourself before copying and pasting the HTML code into the source of your site design. This can be a great way to get more options when it comes to things like creating a carousel, adding social buttons, embedding your Google reviews into your website and much more.
Hire Some Freelancers
If your business website is quite large or needs quite a lot of content, then it’s probably not a good idea to do it all yourself. Not only are you going to be exhausted by the end of it, but chances are that you might not be that good at everything that’s needed – we all have our strengths and weaknesses, after all! If you are saving money by doing the bulk of the web design on your own, then you may be able to afford to bring in freelancers to work on things like photography for your brand and products, logo design, branding, written content, video content and more.
It’s a good idea to save your changes on a regular basis, before opening the website in your browser and testing it. There are lots of things that could go wrong like broken links or elements ending up in a completely different position to where you wanted them to be, that you might not notice when you are working in the website building tool. Checking and testing your site on a regular basis throughout the design process is the best way to ensure that you can spot anything that might need your attention as early as possible and is much easier compared to going through once the design is finished to find multiple problems that all need fixing at once.
Get a Second Opinion
Before you finally decide that your website is ready to go and hit the publish button, it’s a good idea to get a second opinion on it. You don’t necessarily have to hire a professional to do this but getting a second set of eyes looking at your website is a great way to spot issues that you might not have noticed. It is surprising how blind you can become to issues when you have been staring at them for hours! Whether you ask a friend, family member, a member of your team or even a stranger to look over your website, it can be a good way to learn more about how others view it and potentially discover things that you may have overlooked or didn’t even realise would be a problem. If you can get a few people to look at your site and give you feedback before publishing it, even better.
With so many DIY web design and website building tools out there that don’t require any coding knowledge, it’s easier than ever to do this job yourself and save money. Keep these tips in mind, however, to make sure that your DIY website build actually helps you save money instead of costing you more in the long-run.