Hands up if you’ve had a DIY disaster?!?
Of the 45m plus UK active users of social media, approximately 39m of these are mobile media users – meaning most of us reach for our phone to check out or social media platforms rather than our pc’s and if your website isn’t optimised for mobile users (therefore disjointed, haphazard and unpredictable), you could be losing a valuable audience. Also remember, sites can look different depending on whether you are viewing them on Chrome, Edge, Safari etc.
With the rise in so called do-it-yourself websites a lot has been lost in translation as few people (the last statistic I heard was 9%) making their own site actually understand SEO, indexing, HTML, PHP, CSS or what to do if and when your site gets a bug, how to prevent your site from getting a bug or even how to not lose everything! That is, lose every pain staking hour you have put into your site, customer access to your online shop, customer information (oh that’s serious!) and your services. It can happen with something as simple as making an update. It happened to me quite a few years back!
I used a DIY web builder for my first business, it looked amazing, I saved a LOT of money and was living the dream for a good few months and then I applied a little update to a little plugin, one tiny little thing and BOOM! It corrupted the whole site. It wasn’t a virus, no the plugin itself was absolutely fine, BUT the code in that plugin, didn’t like the code in one of my other plugins and when they mingled with each other, it just trashed my site. I applied a regular backup of my site, so I thought everything we be ok, but nah! The job the backups was providing through the site builder was not what I thought it would be and so, grrrr! Gone! Although it is hard to quantify exactly how much I lost, I certainly did lose out on online sales, plus I had to pay someone to unravel the conflicting codes. Eventually, I had enough and paid someone to do a professional one for me, complete with maintenance package. The galling thing is, the professional build probably cost less than the fix and what I potentially lost out on in online sales! That was over 10 years ago.
Bruised, battered and financially kicked in the balls from my innocent attempt to save money, I went on a mission to learn from the ground up – code, hosts, support, the lot! And now I’ve made this part of my business. I do love it, but it can be quite hard to convince people to have their website built by someone who knows what they are doing!!! I said to a plumber I was working with recently:
Me: “Do you have any experience with fixing cars, or car maintenance?”
Me: “Well, would you attempt to replace your own brake pads?”
Him: “I would if I could find a decent YouTube tutorial!”
Me: “So, you have the experience, proper safety equipment and support?”
Me: “And you’re willing to risk a serious accident, just to save a few quid?”
Him: “‘Errrrr, …..?!?!?!”
Ok so your website crashing and costing you lost business isn’t the same as crashing your car and losing…potentially… well… you know. But it drove home a point to him. To be honest, he didn’t take heed, he’s gone off to build his own website and I’ll probably hear from him in the next week, month or months to fix something that has gone wrong or and the fix, the labour and the software needed to fix it… well it’s going to cost a lot more than a professional website would have cost you in the first place!!!
Have you ever consulted with Dr Google and she (yes she!) tells you that those symptoms you are having mean you have a flesh eating disease and not only will you be dead by morning but everyone who has come within a 10ft radius of you will also succumb.
Doh!!!! Go to a real doctor!
I’m not trashing DIY site builders (or the lovely Dr Google); they have their place. It helped get me to where I am now and there are some fab personal sites and blogs out there, all done with builders. Even me now, I use WordPress as my base line along with the likes of StudioPress but I don’t have the basic everyman subscription – I have the full-on heavy duty all singing all dancing big momma, because it helps towards me giving my clients a fabulous website and service. AND more importantly, I know what I am doing AND I have heavy duty support and backup behind me who have masses of years of experience between them!
Why take the risk?
And on that happy note, i shall go spread some more joy among the peeps of the webiverse!
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