Need a New Website?  (Do it Yourself or Hire a Professional?)  

  • By Blue Moon
  • 08 Nov, 2017

Here’s what you need to know…

With so many options available these days to create your own website, it never been easier to do it yourself.

Some of the more popular platforms you may have seen advertised are Wix, Weebly, Go Daddy or SiteBuilder, but is designing a website really as easy as they advertise? And is this an option that business owners should really consider?

 

Well if you have some technical knowledge and plenty of time to spare, then building your own website could be an option worth considering, especially if you’re particularly tight on budget. For a small monthly fee, these online services offer you a way to create and manage your new website, all that you require is a computer and a fairly decent internet connection.

 

So why would anyone bother using professional website developers if it’s so easy?

Well DIY website platforms don’t come without their draw backs and limitations. Here are some important points you may want to consider:

1)   Customers will judge you, by the experience they have on your website.

 

The image you portray about your business online, says a lot about you. If you’ve simply used a free logo from Microsoft Word Art, to represent what your about and thrown it on a cheap looking web page – it just screams “cowboy” or even worse “can’t be arsed”,

I mean seriously, if you’re going to put minimal effort in, then don’t expect the rewards to be anything else and yet it amazes me how many examples of these I come across on an all too regular basis.

Needless to say, this isn’t going to convince prospective customers to contact you!

 

In this day and age, your website needs to hold its own against an armada of competitors looking to steal your traffic away from you, and don’t be under any illusion, your website visitors WILL go and visit your competition, and providing their site is up to par – they will probably even get the order.

 

So why would you leave this to chance and not hire a professional?

There’s a reason why the website design industry is growing by the day and a good professionally designed website will do wonders for your business… but a bad one, will probably do the exact opposite!

1)   Good Website Design isn’t about creating good looking websites

 

I’ve heard many small business owners claim their website ‘looks’ great, and while some may be visually appealing – there is much more to good website design than just ‘looking’ nice.

 

Good web design is about being attractive in a way that also speaks to your target audience and it should get your message across quickly, i.e.) it needs to sell your business’ identity within the first few seconds of landing on the site. Unfortunately, most examples of DIY websites simply don’t take this into consideration, after all, you simply insert some professional looking images into your chosen template design and hey presto… a website!

 

The result however, more often than not, is a poorly designed website that actually ends up looking very disjointed.

1)   You’ve got the same website design as Joey next door

 

The main benefit of using DIY website builder is that it’s supposed to make the process of building your new website quick and easy… and that’s because much of the hard work has already been done for you, all you have to do is choose a pre-designed template, drag and drop in some images relevant to you and then add or alter the text to say something about your business.

 

Sounds great, but guess what?

 

You’re not the only person with access to this platform, so chances are that there are lots of other “variations” of your website online already, and templated websites just don’t cut through the ‘noise’ like a properly designed bespoke site will…

 

…with millions of websites online in the UK alone, you’re really not giving your business the best chance to stand out from the crowd if you choose to go down the ‘template website’ road.

1)   Most DIY websites don’t convert visits into sales

 

Okay so you’ve got some nice images together and added some text to describe your business, great, but what about how a visitor is likely to interact with your website? After all its pointless having a great looking website if it doesn’t entice visitors to do anything and no-one actually bothers to take any action once they visit the site.

 

Website visitors are potential customers and once they reach your website the first step is to keep them there!

 

To do this you need to generate interest and intrigue.

 

Think of it this way, when you’re shopping in the high street and step into a lovely looking store you just happen to notice, the chances of you actually making a purchase in this store are much higher, if a member of the sales staff acknowledge your presence and then engages in conversation to offer you some assistance.

 

In-short, the longer you spend in that store, the more likely you are to buy something, It’s that simple!

 

The same is also true for websites, and most DIY websites typically don’t do this very well.

1)   Your DIY website won’t generate you any traffic  

(Well, not unless you’re planning on spending a good amount each month on your online marketing efforts!)

 

I’m sure you’ve all heard someone, somewhere, talking about ‘SEO’ – and for some it would seem that it’s the holy grail of the web design world, but essentially SEO is just a “formula” that web designers can use, to get your website to appear at the top of Google searches for your product or services.

 

Sounds easy right, so why couldn’t you simply do that?

 

The truth is there are a lot of professionals out there, who don’t fully understand SEO properly themselves, so chances are if you’re busy running a small business and you haven’t been keeping up with Google’s seemingly ever-changing search algorithms, you’ve got little chance of understanding how to get your website to appear in google searches, without either a pinch of beginner’s luck or some professional help.

 

This means your new website will be effectively useless for catching any search traffic, and traffic is what will generate you more sales!

1)   If you run into problems… you’re on your own!

 

I’ve seen this happen so many times it’s untrue. The idea seems great and so you set off on a mission to create your first website, and then something happens… you hit a snag, you struggle to get something to appear the way you want it to be, sure it’s a set-back but nothing a little more time won’t help you figure out…

 

…time goes on and you become distracted by the priorities of actually running your business, more time passes by and you still haven’t got around to resolving anything. In the end, you either end up accepting a website that you’re not particularly happy with, or you lose interest and never actually get around to finishing it!

 

This is actually a more common dilemma than you might think.

 

I’ve often had conversations with business owners who go down the DIY route (usually because they’re just focussed on the initial expense of a professional site), they will say something like “our website is currently being built by us (or by a friend) and it will be online in a few weeks”, then 6 months pass by and there’s still no sight of said website.

 

All the while it’s you who is losing out on potential customers!

1)   It could actually cost you more in the longer term

 

Whilst a professionally designed website will mean investing an initial outlay, typically prices tend to be quite competitive. Of course, that old saying often still rings true “you pay for what you get”.

A decent entry level website cost, probably varies around £500 upwards – any less and I’d be sceptical that what you’ll end up with, won’t be much better than a DIY website.

 

With DIY options, you’re basically trading your time to save some money!

 

If we think about the time you will spend creating your website initially, it could take you anything from a couple of days (with a good understanding of these platforms) to a few weeks, if it’s the latter, then it’s likely you’re already into greater cost (if you value your time) than hiring a professional in the first place.

Now let’s consider how you intend to promote & monitor your website’s performance – after all it’s kind of a pointless exercise if you don’t use the website to serve your business’ goals and find new customers. Again, this takes time, knowledge and experience, which more than likely you won’t have.

 

Ultimately, this means your website could end up being a much less effective tool for your business, than it could have been by paying a professional to do it for you… and this comes at the biggest cost of all – fewer customers!

 

Then what do you do once you realise that your DIY website isn’t working?

 

Well basically, you’re back to square one and end up having to pay the professionals to do the job they should have done in the first place.


If you’re considering creating your own business website and have little to no knowledge of website design, SEO or digital marketing… perhaps you should think again…

You wouldn’t decide to photograph your own wedding, just because your mobile phone has a convenient camera lens attached to it!

Note about myself (the author):

Having worked for one of the UKs biggest web design agencies, I’ve seen hundreds of examples of a cheap and cheerful DIY websites over the years, in reality however, the vast majority of these websites do very little, if anything, for these businesses. All of the above comments represent my own opinions, based on my experience working within the industry and are intended to offer an unbiased and balanced view on this subject.

 

Blue Moon was born to offer affordable, simple, web solutions to SME businesses without the need for mundane templated designs. So, if your considering starting a new website or even thinking of upgrading your existing business website, we’d love to hear all about it!

By Blue Moon 27 Nov, 2017

First let’s start this off with a couple of questions to see if this article is going to be useful to you…

 

Are you the owner of, or are you involved (a partner) in a business?

 

Do you manage (or have you set up) your business website and social profiles?

 

If you answered yes to these questions, then this article is definitely for you, so let’s get down to the crunch…

 

It’s surprising to see that many business owners are still coming to grips with the idea of promoting their business via social sites like Facebook, Twitter & Instagram. There seems to be some resistance to the idea of using these platforms, it’s seen by some as being only for the hip, young, trendy generation of today and a complete waste of time and resources for any serious business owner, right…?

 

In reality, you couldn’t be further from the truth, and here’s why…

 

1)   Social Media Isn’t Going Away Any Time Soon

Let’s make this clear – social media is not a fad and it isn’t going anywhere soon – since the launch of Facebook in 2004, the use of the internet was forever changed. Today everyone is familiar with the beast that Facebook has become, with over 32 million registered users here in the U.K. on Facebook alone, over 70% of which are checking in daily. That’s over 22 million people who wake up every day and actively scroll through their news feeds to see what’s happening in the world around them.

 

2)   It’s Not Just For The Younger Generation

Once upon a time this might have been the case, but for a while the fastest growing age group of users on the internet has been the “silver surfer”. Currently over 8 million out of the 32 million Facebook users are made up from the 50+ age group, the slight majority of whom are female. That’s 25% of the social audience, so how anyone can argue it’s only a game for young people, is either uninformed or perhaps just beyond reason. It seems these days that everyone from your mum, dad, nan and granddad are getting in on the action. So if you haven’t already, get on-board!

 

3)   Social Media Is Where You Can Reach your Audience

People are spending more and more of their day scrolling down their news feeds. We see it all the time, at work, on public transport, in restaurants, on holiday, it’s everywhere! The average user now spends a terrifying 5 years and 4 months of their life on social media sites. To put this in context for you, it’s more time than we spend eating and drinking or even socialising in person with friends and family.

It simply can’t be ignored by any business. If you want to get through to your target audience and be seen and taken seriously by them, you have to meet them where they spend their time. Get seen where they’re already looking!

 

4)   It’s The New “Word Of Mouth”

Social has forever changed the way we spread word of mouth about businesses, products and services that we take an interest in. People use social media to request recommendations from their friends, or to express their satisfaction with a new product they recently purchased, or even the friendliness of the staff who helped them. So if you’re not taking advantage of this, you need to ask yourself why?

 

5)   Don’t Be Afraid Of Bad Press

I hear some business owners say they are worried about getting negative reviews because people are unreasonable… I disagree, in general people don’t waste time posting negative reviews unless they have a reason to do so, and if they do then it gives you the ideal opportunity to demonstrate to the public that you care about your reputation by professionally dealing with and responding to the complaint, after all if they are complaining, they are reaching out to you to resolve something they’re not happy with. If it happens regularly, then it could be highlighting a problem within the business that needs your attention. Most people will look at the way the complaint has been handed before making their judgement about a company, so make sure you show them that you care!

 

6)   It Could Be The Most Cost Effective Way To Market Your Business

Especially in the early days when cash-flow can be tight. Social media offers every business owner an opportunity that (in this day and age) you’ve really no excuse to ignore. It’s often a cheaper alternative to local publications, radio and TV advertising, and at its most basic level it only involves your time and consideration to start building a loyal base of followers for your business. If you don’t have the time to dedicate to it, then hire a professional to manage it all for you. We look after numerous social campaigns, that give our customers the confidence to know that their social marketing is in good hands, and if you can’t afford to hire a professional, then sign up at www.bluemoonmarketing.co.uk to follow our blog, for regular tips and advice on making the best out of your online presence.

By Blue Moon 08 Nov, 2017

With so many options available these days to create your own website, it never been easier to do it yourself.

Some of the more popular platforms you may have seen advertised are Wix, Weebly, Go Daddy or SiteBuilder, but is designing a website really as easy as they advertise? And is this an option that business owners should really consider?

 

Well if you have some technical knowledge and plenty of time to spare, then building your own website could be an option worth considering, especially if you’re particularly tight on budget. For a small monthly fee, these online services offer you a way to create and manage your new website, all that you require is a computer and a fairly decent internet connection.

 

So why would anyone bother using professional website developers if it’s so easy?

Well DIY website platforms don’t come without their draw backs and limitations. Here are some important points you may want to consider:

By Admin Account 06 Sep, 2017
Anyone can make one:
For better or worse, anyone can write a blog post about anything they want. Everyone has a voice and the best voices will rise to the top.

The writer can show their personality:
In blog posts, the writer has more leeway to add in their voice and personality than other types of writing.

Blogs are a great form of mass communication:
You can help people, learn new things, entertain your audience-the possibilities are endless and amazing. Blogging opens up all of these to a very wide audience.

You can make money:

Get the right blog going and you can make a lot of money through advertising and sponsored posts.

It allows people to craft better thoughts:
Instead of reading haphazard, uneducated Facebook statuses, it's much better to see people's thought process in a well-written blog post.

You can establish a community:
Blogging allows you to connect with other individuals who share the same interests. Sharing ideas and opinions within your community helps establish yourself as a thought leader.

Good for SEO:
Keeping content on your site fresh and relevant, you can use your blog to boost the search engine ranking (SEO) of your site and your business.

It brings people back to your site:

If your blog is strong enough and updated regularly, people will come back looking for more and bring traffic back to your site as well.

It's free:
It costs you a grand total of zero dollars to post to the blog, so if you have something to say, there's nothing to stop you.

You can establish yourself as a thought leader:

A blog is a great place for your original thoughts, and it can be a wonderful way to show off your individuality. If people like your ideas, you can become a thought leader in your industry!

What else do you love about blogs? Let me know!
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