The ease of building a website using a DIY builder like WIX or Squarespace is tempting business owners to try their hand in building their own sites to save money. But in reality, a free DIY website may end up costing much more than hiring a professional website designer.
Why? Because DIY websites provides the ABILITY for non techies to build a website but not the KNOWLEDGE on how to build an effective and professional website. Keep in mind that 75% of consumers admit that they judge a business’ credibility based on their website design.
DIY website builders can come off as all sunshine and rainbows, but they can quickly lead you down the road of wasted time and frustration. You can easily fall victim to a slew of design mistakes.
We’ve seen it over and over again, non designers building their own websites and almost every time it looks very amateurish. For various reasons you may have to go the DIY route, so we want to help.
Here are a list of 5 DIY Design Tips to help.
#1 Set Goals to Increase Online Success
What do you want the website to accomplish? Are you looking to increase sales? Then make sure to include strong call-to-actions, SEO, etc. to increase conversions. Are you looking to increase interaction with your customers? Then email marketing sign-ups, blogs and live chats are the way to go.
#2 Make it Mobile Friendly Responsive to Reach More Visitors
Mobile Friendly Responsive design simply means designing your website to be used on all screen sizes – from desktop to tablets to mobile. With mobile users now a majority of your site’s visors, this isn’t something you can overlook anymore. Plus, Google prioritizes mobile websites in their search results (*cough* SEO *cough*).
#3 Use Good Design Techniques to Look Professional
When you have free rein over your design, it can be tempting to try out every cool idea you’ve ever seen on other sites or Pinterest. This is how chaos ensues. Follow these design guidelines:
- Use a limited color palette to avoid overwhelming visitors.
- Choose a legible font to ensure readability.
- Maintain Consistency: Keep your headers/footers, colors and typography consistent on every page to build brand recognition and not confuse visitors.
- Design for your audience NOT for you: You want a website that your visitors will like – afterall the website is really for them not you. Take time to think who you’re ideal target audience is and what will appeal to them.
- Make the Design Your Own: Templates provide a jump start, but the not-so-great thing is that hundreds of other websites are using the exact same theme you are. Make sure the design unique to you. Even though you start with someone else’s design, in the end you want it to be yours.
#4 Leave Plenty of ‘White Space’ to Prevent Cluttered Pages
White space is necessary so don’t underestimate it! White space makes your website less cluttered by providing your content more room to breathe. Despite its name, white space doesn’t need to be white – it refers to leaving empty space around text and images. Don’t think of white space as a lack of design, instead think of it as a crucial element.
#5 Set Up Basic On-site SEO
In case you hadn’t heard, SEO is a marketing strategy necessary for your business to be found online (hello Google) and attracts more visitors to your website. Use long tail keywords, choose the right domain, write unique meta titles and descriptions, make it mobile friendly, submit a sitemap, give images alt text to describe the image to Google, build back links, and write fresh and unique content.
Saving money and taking control of your site may seem attractive, but if you end up with an unprofessional looking website that doesn’t achieve your goals and you might end up paying for it later. Remember, you get what you put into it.
This list provides you with a few tips you can easily implement on your DIY site to help take it up a notch in quality.
Do you have any DIY tips or questions? Share in the comments below.