“Do-it-Yourself” Websites

Maybe you’ve thought about building your own website, after all, many sitebuilder applications boast that “anyone can do it” and “you don’t have to know any coding.”  Sure, you can click on a template, move some pages around and type in some content, but here are some other important things to know.

You need to know how to:

  • set-up well thought out and organized navigation
  • create links – internal, external, email and file links
  • upload pictures and resize for proper screen resolution
  • customize and upload header images (if your sitebuilder allows that)
  • use keywords, meta tags, alt tags, etc., and understand how they affect your search engine ranking
  • submit your site to search engines and local online listings
  • Point or redirect your domain name (if you already own one)
  • Make the site visually appealing (see the “Avoid These Website Mistakes” post).

It would also be helpful to know how to:

  • set-up an email account or an email forward
  • set-up photo galleries
  • set-up blogs
  • integrate your site with social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and more
  • understand hosting “language” so you’re not paying too much for hosting or getting a whole lot more than you really need.

Additionally, for eCommerce sites you’ll need to know how to:

  • offer and set-up shopping carts
  • accept PayPal and/or other forms of payment
  • display your products with pictures that capture the true essence of the product.

Many times, what starts out as something “fun and simple”, can become overwhelming and time consuming.  We can’t stress enough how important it is that your website make a favorable impression within the first 10 seconds.  The reality is people do “judge a book by its cover”, the only difference is when they’re online, they’re just one click and a few seconds away from your competitor’s website.

So make sure you have the time and the know-how to make your site a success.  And remember, customized websites from Small Business Design Solutions start at only $799 for a professional five page brochure site.

If you understand most of the above and feel confident to tackle a website yourself, let us know.  We are constantly researching the best site builders and keeping up on their improvements and upgrades.  We would be happy to recommend the best one for your needs!

Kim Kopec

Kim has over 25 years of experience in marketing, design and communications. She loves to use her creative gifts to help Michigan small businesses (and start-ups) with their online presence and visual branding. Her motto is “Behind every great design, is a substantial amount of coffee!”