Building yourself a nice table for your garden is one thing... wood, screws, and a bit of sweat. Most people could do a pretty good job. How about building yourself a website - you might think that’s a lot easier? Take a look below to find out some of the biggest mistakes of DIY websites that we’ve come across.

Design, layout and user experience

Getting the user experience right means balancing colours, images, fonts, navigation, and marketing so that your website visitors end up loving their time reading your content. Unless you’ve got real experience of these things, it can be a really hard mix to balance. We all know that a poor looking website will turn away visitors. Once they’ve gone, it’s unlikely you’ll get them back. In addition, you may end up being stuck buying expensive stock content to try to pad out the site and make it look more professional.

As website designers, we have plenty of experience knowing what works and what doesn’t with web design, layouts, images etc. Each website we design and build is structured around your content, as the best solution for your business.

Not keeping it up-to-date

Once you have finished your website and it’s live online, now what? Just wait for the clients and money to roll in right? Hopefully that is effectively what will happen. But, what about in 6 months time… If you don’t keep your content and design in line with the times, your website can drop in the search rankings and the credibility reduce. Your about pages, service/product information and testimonials, should all be reviewed and updated regularly. This will show search engines that your site is active and will benefit your rankings. We have a handy blog post on how often you should update your website.

Not using clear Call To Actions (CTAs)

Say you’re building a website and have presented all the great things you can offer, but then you kind of forget to let visitors know what they should do once they’ve read that information. Not having visible and clear Call To Actions is like having a roundabout with no signs - you'll just end up going round in circles, not knowing where your destination is!

You need to think about the specific actions your web visitors should take. Do you want them to contact you? Sign up to your newsletter? Purchase something? You need to tell them!

Not optimising the content for different screen sizes

For us, in the last 90 days, 35% of our website’s sessions have been from mobile devices. This is a large portion of potential customers who need to have just the same web experience as those viewing the website on a desktop. Making sure your content is optimised for different screen sizes is especially important if your customers are more likely to be searching for your type of business while on the go, e.g. restaurants and coffee shops. Read more on this blog post about why your website benefits from being responsive (mobile friendly).

Search Engine Optimisation

To put things simply, if Google can’t find your website, it might as well not exist. A high search engine ranking is important not only because it is free, but it is usually the number one way potential customers will find you online. If search engines cannot find, index and rank your website easily, neither will your clients. DIY website builders offer virtually nothing in the way of SEO, meaning you have to piece together the puzzle of this perplexing practice on your own. There are also more SEO mistakes to avoid that you can find here.

While we appreciate not everyone has the budget to be able to afford a professional website designer, we really recommend you at least consult a professional to help with your website build. It may cost you a bit more at the beginning, but having a website that sells, pays for itself!

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