Can I Design My Own Website

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March 8, 2022

can I design my own website, can I build my own website

ore than 175 websites come online every minute somewhere in the world of which roughly half are built with content management systems like WordPress, Wix, Squarespace, Drupal and others which offer an easier path to build a website.

More and more, business owners and DIY’ers are taking to YouTube and having a go at building a website through one of many hosting providers in an effort to save on developers costs but does it really work. Can I really design a website myself and save big?, let’s have a look at a few things that might help you decide.

What’s the Sites Purpose?

Can I Design my Own Website, What the Purpose of the website Im building myself

The questions to ask here are really a simple yes no. If you’re planning to build a basic site like a one pager (brocure site) to let people who already know about your service, product or event for instance, no problem. Basically, if you’re not really trying to compete to be found by customers looking for what you have, then you’ll probably be okay with a DIY site.
If the sites purpose on the other hand is to be a busy shopping site or to come up top on Google search results, WIX, SquareSpace and others will likely not be for you. Factors such as user experience, color palletes, site speed, analytics, on-page / off-page search engine optimisation, payment & social media integration will be some of the areas you’ll need to know well. As newbies, it can be difficult to really understand how competitive search engines are out there and how as website visitors really only skim content and that elements such as social proof, calls to action, imagery, testimonials are crucial to success.

Can I design my own website, Can I build my own website
Can I Do DIY Graphics?

The old adage, “A picture speaks a thousand words” is the rule when it comes to building websites. If your site has a Fiverr logo, header image and 2 or 3 images that are small in size (<80kb), you’re probably ok trying things yourself.
It’s important to know though, imagery can be tricky, very tricky. Tools like Canva and using templates from Wix and others are great, but if you want to get into customisation in any way, they’re not going to cut it. Most web designers will use tools like Photoshop and Illustrator for good reason in that they offer the ability to edit and produce high quality imagery with compression formats like webp is there.There’s also factors with imagery like text overlays, alt tags, size consistency, ratios and colour balance that add functionality and proper design to imagery.

Can I Do My Own Security?

Yes you can, and If you’ve already thought of it, then your on the right track. WordPress offers plugins like WordFence which is free and offers invaluable features like a Web Application Firewall (WAF) and two factor authentication for user accounts. There are also forms security plugins like Google Recapcha and backups software like UpdraftPlus that can cut down on spam and your site being offline due to errors or a hacker. You can also enable auto-updates for plugins to make sure you’re running the latest software. Read our related article on WordPress Security if you want to go into greater depth on security steps that you can take.
Security in otherwards an be managed yourself, but it requires time to setup and ongoing checks of alerts to ensure there are’nt any outages or defaced webpages.

Wordfence Firewall Options for WordPress
Wordfence Firewall

Can I Do My Own SEO

Can I Do My Own SEO?

In my view, this is the hardest area of web design. Most beginners will figure out over time that there are plugins like Yoast and that alt tags and <h1> headers are important but unless your only going to do paid advertising you’ll be challenged. Challenged how? well Google uses an algorithm called Google Rank which analyses hundreds of metrics on websites to determine whether it’s worthy of ranking well (Organically) in search engine results. Metrics like appropriate keyword usage in copy content, bounce rate, backlinks, domain authority, social media integration and many many more. Don’t get me wrong, there are great self help resources like Neil Patel on Youtube and explainer videos from Yoast. But this one’s hard as it’s not a once off exercise, lots of continual analysis of things like Google Analytics to see what’s performing well over time is required. Read our related article on SEO Tips if you want to find out more. SEO takes time, in many case months before you see tangible results when it comes to organic ranking, assuming you’ve done it right.

What About eCommerce?

You can definitely do eCommerce yourself with plugins like WooCommerce and Shopify. Key points to note is that you’ll have to commit time to setting up integration (usually API keys) with Stripe, Paypal or whatever payment platform you use.
You’ll also want to take the time to categorise and tag each product so that they’re found on Google search results. Each product should have the same size image and you should fill in the fields for upsells and cross sells so as to not miss those opportunities. Many web designers work from spreadsheets (see our example here) when building eCommerce shopping carts. Once the spreadsheet is built, you can then import the spreadsheet using a woocommerce import feature for example.

Final Advice

Practice and time commitment! there’s a saying, that it takes “10,000 hours to become an expert at anything”, this is never more true than with web design when one considers what happens under the hood with a modern site. Again, if you’re not really looking to compete with anyone when building your own site, go for it. DIY platforms like Wix and Squarespace will let you build something that can look half decent, but there’s more to just looks as we know.
Remember that if your building a business site and you plan on competing with other players in your market, you’ll need to be continually looking at site analytics to see visitor performance, keyword performance, conversions, A/B testing for campaigns and other metrics. In otherwords measuring your efforts against sales funnel results. You’ll have to factor in budgets for PPC campaigns and social media boosted posts to really attain business tangible results as nothing is really free. A bit to consider for your venture, and of course if you need help and you’re pressed for time, talk to us at Carlton Design!