I know nothing about cars. Now, I can drive ’em great. I’ve changed my oil, filters, headlights—I’ve even done my brakes before—but I know enough to know there’s plenty of stuff under the hood I wouldn’t touch with a ten-foot pole. And that’s what my mechanic is for.
I’m pretty handy around the house, too. I can do basic plumbing stuff, a little electrical work, I’ve painted entire houses—I’ve even replaced a thousand square-feet-worth of carpet with bamboo flooring—but I know that if my A/C compressor went out, I wouldn’t have a clue what to do. I’d be on the phone in a heartbeat.
So, let me ask you this: Do you get flustered filling out web forms? If I were to give you the server settings to an email account, could you log in to gmail and get it to send and receive from that address? If I told you to clear out the cache in your browser—or on your smartphone—would you have a clue what I’m talking about?
Because how comfortable you are with things like this will tell you a lot about just how you’re going to do with the DIY website approach. It’s not just clicking buttons – you have to know how to configure domains, web hosting, email, plugins, themes, newsletter services, social media accounts… for starters.
If everything I just said made sense to you, great. You’re probably going to be just fine. But if any of this made you run for the hills, then know that trying to build your own website is not going to be a fun little adventure for you, or a stress-free way to save yourself a few bucks.
Pros are pros for a reason.
There’s a reason to pay a designer who’s done this over a hundred times to guide you through the process. Because not only do you not know what you don’t know, you don’t even know to ask about it. But your pro does. And that kind of expertise is worth paying for.
Hey, I get it – we live in a DIY age. YouTube has tutorials on all kinds of stuff. And makers of DIY-based themes, plugins, and services love to tell you how easy it is to “build a site in twenty minutes!” using their handy dandy tools. It’s easy to think you can click a button here and there and come out with a site that’s flawless.
But a mechanic would likely say that replacing your brake pads is a piece of cake. And a contractor would say the same thing about flushing sediment out of your hot water filter or re-grouting bathroom tile.
If you’re already well-steeped in code, or you dabble with web tech on a regular basis (and no, playing Candy Crush on your iPhone doesn’t count), then the prospect of noodling around with HTML & CSS until you get things looking professional might just be fun for you.
Even if you think you are the DIY website type…
Here’s the thing to remember: it’s for your business.
If you fixed up a screen on your house with a little duct tape, that’s not the worst thing in the world.
But how would you feel if you went to your doctor’s office and saw she’d done the same thing with her office window? Would it change how you felt about her as a professional? Appearance does matter.
As a professional, you can’t afford to have a janky website.
What will prospective customers—people who are considering paying you money to solve a problem for them—think when they see your hacked-together, paint-by-numbers website?
Believe me, there are lots of things I’d love to just DIY in my life. But when it comes to business, there are some things worth paying a professional for.