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DIY Web Sites, a Lesson From a Client

I’ve written many articles on here about DIY (Do it yourself) web sites, and the potential dangers of them.   Here’s another lesson on this.  We recently did a survey of our clients asking only five simple questions.  The responses varied greatly, but were all very interesting.  One response really stood out, it was from Lenny Wilkinson the President of Bettendorf Home Repair.  Lenny had originally decided to build a web site himself using a DIY service.  What he found was a total disconnect between his company and the DIY service provider, he was essentially trying to get customer service from a piece of software.

This is what Lenny had to say:

I tried one of those on-line discount web design services and thought I was getting a good deal, until the time came to actually launch our website and suddenly our good deal turned into a year long battle with a faceless online company that I had no idea how to contact and never responded to my needs. Our website was literally “under construction” for over a year!

This is more often than not the case with these discounted DIY services.  You don’t really know what you’re getting, there is almost no customer service and the documentation is minimal at best.  The marketing hype for these services makes them sound great, they talk about how fast it is, how easy it is and you don’t have to deal a web design company (such as ours).  In reality, its you and your computer using software you’ve never seen with no training trying to build a great marketing piece for your company.

I see these DIY built web sites quite often, and they always stand out to me.  There’s the trademark logo of the DIY service adorned to the top or bottom of the page, probably some web ads and of course templated clip-art looking graphics with the site owner’s logo smashed in there.

Lenny was lucky in finding us, but you know a lot of people don’t always take that next step in getting themselves a professionally designed web site.  The dangers are working with a faceless company, restrictions and a “one-size-fits-all” approach.  With marketing and especially the aspect of web design, this concept rarely works.  If you want to be effective in your industry and marketplace you set yourself apart from the competition, you create differing policies and focus on providing a better service/product the best way you know how.  Your web site is no different, it should be tailor made to fit your company so what you’re providing virtually is identical to what you’re providing tangibly.

Web design can be a scary process, I couldn’t imagine taking it on blind and having the knowledge that we’ve developed over the years.  Think about what your customers want, think about what you need then ask yourself does the DIY service understand that and what’s more, how will they assist you in implementing that?  Do you have a plan?  Can you develop one on your own with the tools and resources available at your disposal or do you need assistance?  I haven’t met a single client yet that knew exactly what they needed, what their customers wanted and what was even available…and that’s OK.   Most people don’t, it helps to have that 3rd party perspective.  You’re down in the trenches all day working in your business, we help you work on your business by creating a beautiful and effective web presence.

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