Building Your Own Website? 5 DIY Website Fails to Avoid

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You may be tempted to build your own DIY website for a lot of reasons. Maybe you’re a Renaissance Wo/Man and the thought of doing something all by yourself is just too irresistible. Maybe you just want the glory and recognition, or maybe you just want to cut costs. But whatever your reason for taking on the challenge of creating your own website, we commend you! You’re in for quite the ride. Before you embark on your hair-pulling but gratifying experience, be sure to read these five common DIY website fails to avoid.

#1: Forgetting About Your Lorem Ipsums

If you’re using a drag-and-drop style of website creator like Wix, Squarespace, or WordPress, you’ll quickly notice that the placeholder script looks a little funny. Every placeholder starts with the words “Lorem Ipsum dolor sit amet.” If that doesn’t make any sense to you, then you’re reading it right. You’re not supposed to understand what you’re looking at unless, of course, you’re familiar with the Roman philosopher Cicero, from whom that text derives. Because these words really do stick out like a sore thumb and because everyone knows that it’s traditional placeholder text, leaving it on the site by accident could (and should) lead to major embarrassment. If you don’t have the text to fill in all the spaces where you could put text, just remember to delete your Lorem Ipsums and leave a blank space instead.

#2: Having Inconsistent Content

Building Your Own Website? 5 DIY Website Fails to Avoid

Inconsistent content can mean a lot of things: wrong product information, misspelled words, different store hours or contact information on different pages, or filler content that you just threw on a page that has really nothing to do with your website. The most professional-looking websites have seamless web pages that provide consistent information no matter where you click. If you’re handling the website all on your own, it might be easier to write consistently. But if you’re delegating the pages, please make sure that everyone knows what they’re doing and that they have the correct info. Harsh and unusual punishment should be awarded to anyone who gets your business contact information wrong….just kidding! (Or am I?)

#3: Caring More About the Style Than the Content

Some websites out there make our one-page static spread look like chopped liver. But those websites were probably handled by a team of expert web designers. And while Wix and Squarespace do offer built-in features that one might call “top drawer”, all we ask is that you focus more on the content and user experience than the bells and whistles. You want your users to find the information they’re looking for easily and without too much preamble.

Unfortunately, our attention spans aren’t that—oooh something shiny! What’s more important than the frills are the meat and potatoes. We’re not saying that there’s anything wrong with the style of your website (and in fact, we’ll even go as far as to say that it can greatly enhance the user’s experience). However, if you’re building your own website from scratch, we think it’s best to prioritize. Click here for examples of common UX mistakes.

#4: Not Being Mobile-Friendly

For the love of god, don’t neglect your mobile users! Not only will your website be really annoying to use for the majority of people on your website, but it will affect your search engine result page ranking. As of 2015, all websites that aren’t mobile-friendly won’t get any love from Google. So why waste your time building a beautiful website that looks good for only the fraction of your users. There are several ways to make your website more mobile-friendly, and how you get there will depend on your developer. Most of the time, all it takes is a click of a button. Enabling Google AMPs or accelerated mobile pages will also help boost your load times.

#5: Building Your DIY Website Blind

You know what they say about being a Jack of all trades? That you become a master of none. Don’t let that be the case with your DIY website. People love using the term “throwing a website together,” but the reality is, it takes A LOT more work than that. If you think the work stops after building it, think again. Maintaining a website is just as important, so if you really want to build it yourself, you’re looking at a long-term commitment. That’s why we suggest doing your homework first. Don’t go in blind! There are so many resources available on the internet that can teach you everything you need to know. And don’t forget that Wix, GoDaddy, WordPress, Squarespace, and Shopify all have really useful resources…so use them!

But if you’re looking for something beyond the cookie-cutter website, you might need a little extra help. Not everyone has the time or energy to build and maintain their own website, especially if they’re new business owners. That’s where professional web builders and designers come in. Take Awkward Media, for instance! Our team of experienced designers and SEO experts will work with you to develop the website of your dreams. Contact us today to learn more!

 

Published by Genevieve Morrison