Website, to build or not to build

Should you build your own website?

Well that depends.
What are  you wanting to achieve?
If you are simply looking for a web presence to send your clients to, and to use similarly to an interactive business card, then yes, give it a go.
There are some really great systems out there now that allow you to build a great website for free or at least next to nothing.

You do need to have some basic knowledge of design, image editing and an understanding of size over delivery. 

You also need to understand that your taste may be yours alone, so look for feedback from people who will be honest with you about the design you have chosen to go with and how your site presents.

A poorly designed website will impact  your business negatively just as a professional looking one will impact positively.

Finally if you have problems, it can be hard to solve without a background in web development. However, there is plenty of help, so use google to your advantage.

You are in full control 
Cost is very low
Changes are easy as you already know what to do

When You Should Use a Developer
As a web development business, you must be wondering why we are doing this post and we are not strongly against do it yourself systems.

Its simple, they are no threat to real programmers, sure they will spell the end for those "Web Developers" who use a system to build websites for the clients and have no real knowledge of advanced server side coding or system integration.

But for us, we build a different kind of website/system, and this is where you should consider using an actual developer:
- if you want to integrate with other systems
- if you want to give you site the best chance of ranking in search engines.
- if you want to use your site as a marketing tool
- if you want something "different"
- if you dont have time or ability
- if you need the website to expand and grow with your business

Over 19 years of development and programming we have learnt several things that must be done in order to have a professional level website, so if you are considering doing it yourself, consider doing the following:

Uptime Robot
Register with uptime robot, set it to monitor your site regularly to ensure that its up, if not it will send you and email letting you know the site is not working. Note be sure to use a different email address to your domain otherwise you will not get the notification.

Use Gmail
Yes this is one of the best options you can use, as google spends allot of time and money on their mail systems, and Gmail is by far one of the best that can be set to use your domain to send email and receive it. This account is also important for many other applications you will use to help with your website.

Google Analytics

Use Google Analytics to monitor your website traffic and give you vital information, your gmail account will grant you access to this.

Mobile Compatible
Make sure your site is mobile compatible otherwise you will be penalised in the search engine results.
You can use googles mobile check tool to see if it is mobile compatible:
Once Google says its compatible then you can directly submit your site from the mobile checker to google for indexing.

Build XML Sitemap
This is actually quite important, you have to create a site map (sitemap.xml) and include it in your root directory of your website, there are a few tools out there that will help you with this, and set the priority of each page.

Keywords and Description Metadata
Make sure you enter keywords and a description in the meta data for each page on your website, there are plenty of guides out there on how to do this. But do not underestimate its importance. Also ensure that the keywords and Description are different on each page, otherwise the search engines will ignore your page as a duplicate.

Add Structured Data
This is hidden code (similar to metadata) that describes your business, operating hours, location etc. Again do not underestimate its importance and it will play a role in how your site ranks and is represented in Google.

Make sure you use a server provider that is secure, this cannot be emphasised enough, there is no point in making a site that will be broken into in the first 6 months and blacklisted by service providers and browsers. Many server providers say they are secure, only to be found not to be. On average our sites are attacked at least once a day, so you need to make sure your site will be safe. Dont think because you are a small business they will not come after you. The reality is, you will be targeted as soon as you start to rank in google.

This is the most important thing you can do, secure your logins with good secure passwords.
If you use something like "password" or "password123" etc in your email, you can expect to be hacked pretty quickly and your mail server used as a spam sender by hackers.

Get others to link to you, this will help with your ranking, but make sure the links are coming from reputable sites otherwise it will work against you.

You should as a minimum have a Facebook business account, Google + account and Google My Business account.
Each of these play a major role in your sites promotion, (see our marketing blogs).
Instagram and LinkedIn are also important depending on your business type. Instagram makes a great gallery page and there are plenty of tools out there to help with integrating Instagram into your website.

In Closing
While all these tasks may seem a little daunting at first for some, it will be highly rewarding to do it and get your site working correctly, but be warned, it isnt simple, and even if you get everything right, you still may not turn up on the homepage of Google (usually takes about 1-2 months to rank properly), it simply depends on how much money and effort your competition is putting into their websites.

Shameless Business Plug:
You also have the option of paying $490 for a complete website with graphics and everything else done for you by professionals that offer far more features that you can add yourself, by using us. We have secure globally "A" rated servers, with self checking "aware" websites that have all of the above functionality built in, along with far more. 

So if you want to do it yourself, go for it, otherwise, give us a call and we will make the whole process easy!

Publisher: dataNdesigns
Date Published: Aug 24 2017 10:16AM
Date Edited: Aug 24 2017 12:21PM