Should I Manage My Own Website?

Your project is finally launched on the web, the design and development team have tested your site for speed, optimised the pages for search and rolled it out like a shiny new car. You can’t wait to give it a test run.

Like any car, it helps to have a bit of knowledge about how to operate it. Like how to check your oil & water, your tyre pressure, how to fill up the fuel tank; how to unlock the door and start the engine, and hell yea, probably even how to drive it.

Knowing this stuff though doesn’t make you a certified mechanic. If you start tinkering under the bonnet, pulling out screws and seeing what happens, chances are, before you know it, you’ll be stuck on the side of a slip road whilst everyone is hurtling past.

So, what does this have to do with your business?

“The greatest obstacle to knowledge is not ignorance; it is the illusion of knowledge.” 

Historian Daniel Boorstin

With hundreds of web builders and automated marketing tools to choose from, suddenly anyone can have access to the tools to build and manage their own website or run digital campaigns. But without a solid understanding of the foundations, you could be causing harm to your business that could slow down or even stop your conversion process. But why?

No You Shouldn't - Here's 9 reasons why it will lose you money

Before we go hurtling on in our broken car, the short answer to this blog is No. You shouldn't. and chances are, a web developer shouldn't either. Here's why you should pay an experienced SEO to do it for you..

Let's talk about the DIY'er

I know a person who wanted to save money by building their own website. They set off with a drag and drop page builder. 200 hours later they had created what was a pretty basic brochure site with a blog. Every page was inconsistent, things didn’t sit right. That person was proud of the results of 200 hours of effort, but I always wondered what they could have achieved if they had spent those 200 hours in their own business making money & let someone else spend far less time creating a website for them.

Your website is an investment, not an expense. A poor investment with a cheap firm or a DIY project will cost you dearly in the long run. A well-made and maintained site will pay you back dividends for years to come.

So, here’s 9 reasons why, when it comes to the online side of your business, you should find a trusted expert to partner with and not go it alone.

Reason 1: Site Speed

This one is a customer killer. On the web, we have an attention span of about three seconds. There’s a small window of time to get your viewer’s attention and if the first five seconds of that is getting the page to load, you’ve lost them forever.

I’ve yet to find a DIY website that isn’t painfully slow. That’s because non-designers don’t have the web design 101 knowledge needed to make this happen.

for example, do you know how to optimise images to be less than 100k whilst still looking good to the eye? It’s something we always give our clients a lesson in, but it doesn’t stop there. A skilled web professional will look at ways to combine the code of your website down into micro file sizes as well as only load required scripts when needed.

if you want to test your site, this handy tool can give you a few insights.

Reason 2: Design Is Everything

The chances are, you aren’t a designer. Design isn’t something you can just do. Or pick up overnight. There’s no such thing as just having ‘an eye’. An eye for design has come from years of practice. Building a website is nothing to do with IT or your technical ability.  Plenty of tech-savvy companies have terrible web presences. Beautiful design takes a well-developed skill set. That’s why working with an experienced design team can make all the difference to the success of your site.

Reason 3: The Customer Journey

A seasoned designer will look at your customer journey. How will users get from A to B on your site? What kind of interactions will they go through?  They will help to choose the correct typography and colour convey the right message.

Reason 4: Your Message

A big part of our role as a marketing agency is to help our customers with their message. Nobody knows your ideal customer better than you do, but sometimes it’s hard to see the wood for the trees.

Not getting this right can resulting in websites that are highly confusing to the end user. No clear message, no calls to action and use of technical language that a lay person would not be able to understand. We are trained to think like marketers. As a Google Partner agency ran by a former Googler & Google Squared Online graduate, we know it takes expertise to get this right.

Reason 5: SEO

Ah, the elusive dark art that covers so many things! If you build your own site or maintain it, then have you taken into account 301 redirects? Internal linking? Adding appropriate metadata and ensuring the page has the correct mark-up code are critical to being indexed properly on major search engines. Many DIY website builders don’t take this into account at all, leaving you invisible to a search engine. Making mistakes in your SEO could cost you dearly.

Reason 6: What’s in the Toolbox?

You need specialist tools to create a killer web presence.
In our average web build, we need an array of professional tools and knowledge. All our websites are bespoke themes, hand coded. This means we need knowledge of web languages such PHP, CSS3, HTML, & JavaScript. In addition to that, we create wireframes and mock-ups, requiring knowledge of Adobe XD, Photoshop and Illustrator. That only scratches the surface because we don’t want to bore you with our nerdiness.

Reason 7: Things Break

Like my 200-hour web friend, you could end up down a proverbial rabbit hole when something goes wrong. Something that you could pay your agency an hour to probe and fix could take you days of frustration. This is a far bigger loss to your business. Who has time for that?

Reason 8: Time

All I have to say on this is trying to do it yourself will probably take you forever. If you even finish it. Many people don’t and if they do, it’s a hotchpotch.

Reason 9: The Thundering Hooves Principle

This is by no means least. Cutting corners by not working with a professional, when your competitors have, means they will fast gain a competitive advantage. What’s that noise behind you? It’s the thundering hooves of a competitor who believed their web presence was an investment not an expense.

Factory is a Manchester Digital Agency who specialise in creative clever digital marketing campaigns and beautifully crafted websites for growing brands. Check out our other work and blog posts.

Written By Andi Wilkinson Last Updated 8th July 2019 
Creative Director of Made By Factory. UX Designer & SEO Nerd, Andi is also a board member of Manchester Digital, and speaks and writes on a variety of web-related topics.
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