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Taking your business online
19 December 2013

Custom website development or DIY?

There is absolutely no denying that having a strong, targeted online business is a necessity as more than 25% of the world’s population can be found… out there, somewhere, on the world wide web.

No doubt, you’re out there too, emailing, connecting, searching.. But what about your business?

No matter the size and nature of your business – whether offering a service to a small pocket of your local community or targeted products on a global scale – having an online presence via a cutting edge website means that you can and will be found and the search for some can come to an end. Lovely story isn’t it!

Well this is a reality for many thousands of successful businesses and organisations. This almost living, breathing thing being the Internet continues to grow, expand and evolve. You’ll need to consider whether to create your own site, or work together with an experienced web developer to build a custom website.

First things first - what do you hope to achieve through your website? You’ll need to consider how it will fit into your wider business strategy. Are you looking generate online sales? Share information? Provide a means for potential clients to reach you? What are your desired results, and how much are you realistically looking to invest in order to achieve these results in terms of both time and money.

Often times, it’s hard to imagine the possibilities if you’ve been conducting your business in a different way for quite some time.

Custom website development teams the knowledge, skills and experience of a web developer with the passion and vision you have for your own business. A successful website will clearly communicate your business message and provide an excellent design interface that is functional and allows visitors to navigate with ease.

Customise!

Some web development and design companies might expect you to part with an exorbitant amount of cash for your custom website and ongoing hosting. However, careful market research and oftentimes word of mouth will uncover the right web development company that is more in-tune to your business needs, and more reasonable in their cost. Be sure to ask lots of questions, and always, always ask to see previous examples of work.

Your website is the first face of interaction between the user and the business. Here it’s no different from meeting in person. The well-known 3-second rule still applies, meaning that’s how long it will take for a potential client to form an impression of your business. So you need an impressive design that connects to your brand.

It is the job of your web designer to make the custom website really ‘pop’. Your developer will need to ensure that it’s user friendly and search engine friendly too. Essentially what you need is a great looking site, that has been optimised so it will be indexed correctly by search engines such as Yahoo and Google and convert visitors into sales leads.

DIY

A DIY tool can make things happen - but if you don't know what to make happen, it is either a useless tool or a dangerous one. There is a learning curve in knowing how to present information online (called information architecture in the profession), as well as for using the site builder. In other words, the fuller featured the tool; the more there is to learn. If you aren't familiar with colour theory, use of typography, information architecture, navigation and interface design, and page layout and design, you can potentially make something that will hurt your business more than help it. So, unless you are already computer and web savvy, figuring out all the features within your web hosting and site builder package can be time consuming and frustrating.

Nobody is stopping you from trying though! If you have the will, you will certainly be able to find the way. Just be aware that locating the right ways to customise a website for your business needs specifically may be quite the challenge.

In the end

In the end there are ways that a business can take advantage of these new options and still create a functional and professional website. The primary advantages of the custom built website by an experienced web developer ensures you can engage online sooner, have a technically optimised site and gurantees that traffic conversions to your site are optimised.