Disclaimer – I really am a pretty good handyman!
A few years ago, my toilet would not stop running. I went to Youtube and found a video of a plumber who fixed a running toilet in 3.5 minutes. Being the sort of DIY person I am, I gathered my tools and got ready for the quick fix. I dried it up, scraped some stuff, tightened some other stuff, and it got better, but it was still running. A bunch of other Youtube videos and a visit to the store later, I nailed it – it was working like new! I felt so proud of myself that I did it all for free and didn’t have to pay a plumber! That feeling lasted for a few more minutes until it hit me—this was far from free. Between videos, work, and a trip to the store, I had literally spent about 6 hours—6 hours to do what a professional plumber did in 3.5 minutes, and I didn’t even feel 100% confident that my solution would last. Go me!
The Temptation of DIY
When it comes to building a website, it’s very easy to get caught up in the same idea. Many online businesses—WIX, Squarespace, Godaddy, etc.—offer professional-looking templates and easy-to-use tools that allow users of just about any skill level to create a working site. We’ve worked with many clients who started out using those tools but eventually decided against them because “it looked DIY”—and that is where one of the biggest DIY website issues comes in.
Inexperience Rarely Makes a Good Impression
Unless you have a great eye for design and actually know how to put fonts and pictures together the same way a designer would, then your website will likely not look professional. If you’re pretty good at it and somewhat technical, then it can look fine, but “fine” could mean you are wasting an opportunity to make an impact or close a sale. Customers have so many options these days that they are looking for great. If design is not your forte, you could even make a bad impression, regardless of how solid your product or service is.
Just like you would judge a brick and mortar store on how clean and organized it is, visitors will judge your product or company based on what your website looks like—that is a proven fact.
DIY Can Actually Cost You
Too often we only associate “cost” with money—and only directly: e.g., it costs money to purchase something. We tend to forget that things like DIY projects also cost us time and indirect money (lost sales/revenue). Let’s say you’ve researched how much it costs to pay a professional to make a website, and even the lower end “feels” like too big of a number for something you could “easily do yourself.” So you do just that. You start doing more research, watching YouTube videos, reading blogs, and learning more than you ever wanted to know about building a website, website design, user flow, etc.
Eventually, you have a finished website that you are content with, and it only took you 3 hours a day . . . for a month. 3 things to consider here:
a) What are those 90 hours worth?
b) How much ROI (return on investment) will this website give you?
c) Will this website give your business the boost it needs to succeed?
More often than not, and you can ask your fellow colleagues, the answers to those 3 questions all make it obvious that you should hire a third party that specializes in doing what you’re trying to do – websites or otherwise. Furthermore, when it’s just about a toilet and a few hours then you can afford to make a mistake and laugh about it, but when it comes down to the success of your business the stakes are much higher.
Investing in a Professional is Worth Your While
The vast majority of business have seen dramatic increases in conversions and sales following a solid website redesign which goes to show that it’s an investment that comes back multifold. You want do your research, pick the best partners, and never look back. That doesn’t mean that you should hire the biggest and most expensive if you’re not there yet—maybe it just means hiring a freelancer to help out, but make sure that they have enough experience and talent to get the job done right, because more often than not, a mistake costs much more than the original investment.