Deciding whether to tackle building a website yourself starts well before choosing a platform to build it with.
As with any marketing decision, you first need to decide what you want your website to do.
If your goals are simple—promote your business, yourself, your cause—you may find a DIY solution that does the job just fine. But as soon as you start adding goals like offering more than a handful of things for sale, taking payments online, and making your business stand out and grow, things start getting more complicated.
One of the first things you need to understand is the difference between design and development. Design has to do with how your site looks, and development is about how it works.
There are lots of web design tools that let an inexperienced person build a site that looks nice. It’s largely a matter of how good an eye you have. From there, it’s mostly a “paint-by-the-numbers” process. That’s also a limitation, though, since you’re restricted to the “numbers” they give you to paint with. Those are the same numbers (usually called “templates”) they give to thousands—or in some cases, millions—of other people. The result? You end up with a cookie-cutter design that’s just like hundreds of other sites and lacks many of the features today’s shoppers have come to expect.
A professional website designer can create a site with visual impact and layout that’s unique to you. Plus, they’re up-to-date on the latest design trends and techniques because it’s their job.
Website development has to do with all the hidden things that make your website work. It’s what you see when you lift up the hood and start seeing where all those hundreds of lines of code are, what they do, and whether they’re working right.
On a DIY website, you’re copying code from a template and presuming it’s optimized for your needs. It’s part one-size-fits-all and part MacGyver-style making do with what’s lying around. Here again, if your needs are simple, that may work.
But what if you want a product database to show what you have to sell? OK, there’s a plug-in for that. How about a shopping cart, or a payment system? There are plug-ins for those, too. But unless you know how to read, write, and analyze code, do you really know what you’re getting? Does plug-in A work well with plug-in B? Does the plug-in you added for email blasts share your mail list and other customer data with the guy you got it from? What sort of access are you potentially granting a stranger to your system? Does it have built-in safeguards against hackers and will it let you know if there’s an intrusion?
Professional website developers know how to build sites that take all these factors into consideration so that your site functions properly and safely, making your users’ experience a pleasant one that makes them want to keep coming back. And they know how to optimize your site so it ranks high on searches instead of getting lost in the crowd.
The Unleaded Group can help ensure that your company’s e-commerce business delivers all its potential. The Unleaded Group is just what the name says—a group of enterprises that work together to provide superior e-commerce solutions. Our design and development teams will make your site user-friendly and content-rich to drive up its rankings. Chat with us online or call for information: 720-221-7126.