Better Than a DIY Website
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A Better Solution than a DIY (Do-It-Yourself) WordPress Website
As a business owner, do not settle for anything less than a WordPress website. In an upcoming post, we’re going to get into detail about why and how WordPress is the option for business websites and the drawbacks of building a site on other platforms. However, for today, we’re going to discuss your three options for developing a WordPress website to showcase your business – done-for-you, do-it-yourself, and done-with-you – and why done-with you is the happy medium for getting a cost-effective, professional-looking site and having it built quickly.
A Done-For-You WordPress Website
In a perfect world, every new business would be able to hand their web design off to a professional designer to develop a custom website. For one, a pro website consultant can create a fully unique, attractive, and functional site for your business. Although you still must invest some time with a web designer – to convey your message, branding, etc. – custom design has the added benefit minimizing the time you have to think about your site. That translates to you having more time to focus on your zone of genius and do the things only you can do for your business!
The most obvious downside to hiring a professional developer is the cost. At a minimum, that is for an extremely basic site, the design will cost you $1,500, and the average price tends to be closer to $5K to $8K. In fact, high-end designers can charge as much as $15,000 to build your website! (And we’re still talking sites for small- to medium-businesses, not large enterprises!)
Typically, outsourcing web design is a non-starter for new business owners, as they have limited resources to invest in their budding companies, and there are other business functions for which available funds should be spent.
A Do-It-Yourself WordPress Website
On the opposite end of the spectrum, new business owners have many choices for creating a DIY website in addition to WordPress. Platforms like Wix, Squarespace, and Weebly allow you to create websites with built in themes and drag-and-drop creation and editing, for all-in monthly fees that vary by what the business needs. Although these platforms offer accessible, cost-effective website creation, we’ve heard a host of frustrations from our clients who have used those services in the past. Complaints they’ve shared with us include
- Describing one platform as “a nightmare” to manage on your own.
- Significant time required for uploaded changes to install. (That is: They’re slow to update when you add or revise.)
- Site builders are not intuitive or user-friendly. For example, not being able to find the functionality you need either because of unclear or overly cluttered menus.
- Even though they’re supposed to be for non-designers, ended up spending a lot of time in the builder to achieve the design desired and that looked professional.
- Although their packages come with support, getting the support needed can “take forever.”
- Being “locked into” a theme once installed, as content has to be manually moved to a new theme if a change is desired.
As mentioned above, we’ll dive into more drawbacks of the DIY platforms, as well as the superior (and totally clutch) benefits of WordPress over all the alternatives. For now, let’s get back to focusing on the second way to get your WordPress site created, the DIY option.
Just Because You Can Build Your Own WordPress Site Doesn’t Mean You Should
Creating a DIY website on WordPress, which is a free, open source, flexible and scalable platform, is an attractive alternative to proprietary DIY platforms like Wix. With built-in, professional-looking themes for a variety of industries, easy to install plugins for added functionality, and a fairly intuitive UI (user interface), WordPress (in our expert yet humble opinion) is by far the smartest choice for DIY.
Although we think WordPress is intuitive and user-friendly – plus literally millions of how-to blog posts and video tutorials exist online – there is definitely a learning curve. It’s not particularly steep, but who wants to struggle just to get started? DIY completely from scratch, with no existing WordPress knowledge IS completely doable, but it can be an inefficient and frustrating way to get started.
As with all the other DIY options, a DIY WordPress site is cost-effective in the short-term, but will typically cost you more money and more time over the long haul.
The Drawbacks of a DIY WordPress Website
On top of being an inexpensive option, another benefit is the ability to tackle that learning curve and build a WordPress site at your own pace. If you’re feeling highly ambitious and you like solving problems and figuring out tech, you can publish a new website quickly. At the same time, what business owners often discover is that it simply doesn’t get done – or doesn’t get done in a timely fashion – as they’re focusing their energy on serving their clients and otherwise running their business.
Alternatively, they might quickly publish their business website but then realize it needs more work and/or requires additional functionality. Then, although they got themselves online quickly, they end up continually logging into their WordPress dashboard to add to their site or otherwise modify and edit.
Also, even though you can find a WordPress tutorial that will teach you how to do just about anything you need to incorporate into your site, if you get stuck, there’s no WordPress support to point you in the right direction or help you solve your problem.
Finally, keeping your WordPress site up and running full tilt requires routine maintenance to ensure reliability, speed, and security. For example, the plugins added to your site for additional functionality are frequently revised by their developers to keep them running smoothly with the latest updates to the WordPress software. To keep your plugins working properly, they need to be updated in your WordPress dashboard as code revisions are published by the developers of the plugins. Therefore, we recommend monthly site maintenance to ensure all components of your WordPress site are always functioning properly, providing seamless service to your audience.
(What’s potentially worse than prospects not being able to find you online? Finding you online but then having a bad experience on your website! It makes businesses look like amateurs when prospects visit a site and have a poor user experience.)
A Done-With-You WordPress Website – The “Goldilocks” of Business Website Creation
Whereas done-for-you is an assault on your bank account and do-it-yourself can mean costing you money, time, and reliability, a done-with-you (DWY) WordPress website (like what we offer through Raney Day Sites!) is the happy medium new businesses need.
A DWY design allows you to learn how to develop, maintain, and manage your WordPress website but flattens the learning curve significantly, as well as speeding up the initial creation of your site. That is, learning “how to WordPress” with our support means you end up with full control of your website, versus struggling to learn it on your own or being beholden to your designer when you want to update something. (An added drawback of done-for-you shelling out even more money to your designer for every little change, update, and problem needing to be solved.)
What Does Done-With-You WordPress Look Like?
With our Raney Day Sites DWY WordPress website creation service, you start building your site from day one. Raney Day Sites includes a variety of professional themes for a variety of industry needs (and we’ll help you select the right one for your business), plus tools and support for creating the text and graphic content that every business site needs to be effective, to attract your ideal customer, and to convert visitors to your website.
Beyond the getting started phrase of your build, your DWY website package through Raney Day Sites also includes multiple methods of ongoing support. On the Raney Day Design (RDD) blog page, we publish “WordPress Wednesdays” – how-to articles and tutorials 2-4 times a month. Those resources are accessible to anyone on the web, however, we’re also developing how-tos in more depth and for advanced options for our Raney Day Sites partners.
Raney Day Sites also includes a private Facebook community for additional support. In this community, the RDD team will respond to questions community members have, and we offer monthly AMA (ask me anything) calls via Zoom, so you can talk to us face-to-face(ish!). Plus, Raney Day Sites members will be able to get to know, interact with, and share their own WordPress and marketing tips and advice with like-minded business owners!
Furthermore, for more in depth and/or urgent WordPress support, Raney Day Sites partners have direct access to our team through our support desk. (And trust us, our taskmasters at RDD – the Happiness Coordinator and the Fierce Finisher – will ensure we are on it and delivering the help you need ASAP!)
Why Raney Day Sites for Your Done-With-You WordPress Website?
We’ll admit, we’re not the only “do-it-yourself but with training wheels” option for WordPress on the market. But we believe we’ve created a unique approach to making WordPress websites accessible to all businesses, including brand new ones. For example, some options out there provide you with a theme to install within WordPress and written and video instructions about how to add the content to it. But that’s the limit to their support. If you don’t understand something within their instructions, or you want to do something with your site that’s not addressed or supported in their ‘DIY+’ package, you’ll be on your own.
Plus, we’re committed to not only helping you with the technical side of adding content to your site, but to also guide you to creating the right content for your site. That is, content that’s crafted and structured to attract your ideal clients and to guide them through a journey that converts them to paying, loyal clients.
Finally, Raney Day Sites makes it affordable to get started and to gain ongoing support without paying a fee every time you have a question, need a bit of help, or need to make a small change. Plus, you not only have several forms of built-in, ongoing support from our team and out community, you’ll be creating an online asset that will scale with your business. You won’t need to wrestle with proprietary software, manually move your content from one platform to another, or lose your domain name because your business outgrows the capability of a tradition DIY platform (e.g., Squarespace).
Raney Day Sites offers you the best value, the most control, full ownership of your site and its content, and the most cost-effective way to design a website with both initial, expert assistance and ongoing support. To learn more about how Raney Day Sites will work for your business, check it out here.