The Good and Bad of Building Your Own Website

The Good and Bad of Building Your Own Website

The Good and Bad of Building Your Own Website

1/14/2018 | By Victoria Islas @ Creative Two

The common website story of the new business in town

 

You just started your dream business and you feel super pumped. You’re getting your business plan together and marketing plan too. And as your building your marketing plan you come across the idea of starting your website. The problem is you aren’t a pro but you still think you can handle building your own website. So what do you do? You turn to Google of course! Then you search for “website design builder” because at this point you don’t have the budget to pay a freelance website designer/ developer by the hour and you definitely don’t have the budget for an agency. The first website builders that pop up are Squarespace, WIX and even GoDaddy. Decisions, decisions.

 

The good of building your own website

 

I hope you could relate to the story. I definitely don’t like making assumptions so I used the many stories of our own clients and what they went through. But if you are on the same page keep reading, If you didn’t relate keep reading because, in the end, you are here because you are debating whether or not you should build your own website and that still relates to you.

 

So why should you build your own website? Well, there are many awesome reasons to take this route.

  • It helps keep cost down when you first starting your business. Who wouldn’t want to save a few extra dollars?
  • Most of the website builders are easy-to-use, have tons of templates to get you started and have great customer service (but beware, not all are equal).
  • It helps you get an inside look at how websites are built and its requirements to go live. Is it a win-win right? You are learning as you build.
  • You get educated on website terminology that can come in handy later (when you’re ready to upgrade your website and hire a professional). Learning how to speak geek is always good!
  • You learn about graphic and website design as you go as well. No matter what, you’re going to have to take graphics and manipulate them to fit your website template.
  • You’ll also learn about website copy writing and how important it is (hopefully).
  • You have 100% control of your own website and you can build it exactly how you imagined in your head.
  • You can get your website done on your own time schedule.

 

The Good – In Summary

In summary, building your own website is cost-effective for startup businesses, it’s easy and you’ll have tons of website template options to choose from, the experience will be very educational overall and you’ll have total control in several aspects of the website project.

 

The Bad of Building Your Own Website

 

Unless you’re a renaissance man (or woman) sometimes we need to sacrifice some of our control to let someone help us. This isn’t a bad thing at all! Tim Ferris, the author of the 4-Hour Week, is a great example of this lifestyle – outsourcing, or getting others to do what you just don’t have the time to do or isn’t really your forte can be a really great thing for your business, especially at the beginning stages. Getting into this mindset can actually help grow your business. Trust me on this one too, releasing a little of the stress will also help you on a personal level.

 

So why should you allow a website designer or website agency to build your website? And what is the bad part of trying to build your own website? Well let’s get to that now:

  • You most likely will lack meeting your website vision and goals. Getting a website done by a professional might not be cost-effective at first but if you team up with the right person or team it will be the best investment you will make in the long run. Saving a few extra dollars to invest can actually bring ROI after your professional website launches because a professional will know what strategies to use, what copy writing will sell and which design will work to meet your business vision and goals. Your vision might be great but a professional can make it even better!
  • Building your own website can take hours and hours because you are going to have to learn about website strategy, website design, website development (in some cases), graphic design website copy writing and so much more. It will leave you launching your website late, or even worse, never.
  • Website control is a thing of the past. Website designers and agencies can now give you the same control over your website as a website builder with CMS systems (Content Management Systems).
  • Remember how I said you’d spend hours having to learn about website design and all that other stuff? Well, you’d also have to spend time updating your website every month and upgrading your website every year to keep up with the internet and trends. Websites need to be updated and upgraded constantly so this too, will take a lot of your time. An agency can take care of this for you and reduce the amount of time you would have spent with a website builder. Ask them about their maintenance plans; they most likely will have one included with the service.
  • Not enough Features! Last but not least, depending on what company you use, drag and drop website builders might sound great at first but when you call in to ask about a feature you might find out that they don’t have it or they charge extra fees for the feature you are looking for. And that’s not it! Sometimes you might even find yourself having to implement it yourself and well if you don’t know how you might even end up spending money hiring a professional to do it anyways. Why not start your website with the features, to begin with?
  • You’ll end up looking like everyone else if you don’t customize the website template you choose within the website builder. Part of building a business includes spending the time to brand yourself and if you end up using the same template as everyone else, you won’t be unique and you won’t stand out from your competitors. It’s like going to a business party and you and your competitor are using the same exact t-shirt or tie. Yikes.

 

The Bad – In Summary

In summary, building your own website will take a lot of the time you should be spending to run your business, building your own website might not be the wisest choice if you are looking for ROI, you’re going to have to update your website on a monthly basis on your own and even upgrading it every year to keep up with the internet changes and trends, the drag and drop website builders that are easy to use won’t have all the features you are envisioning for your website which will leave you feeling off and finally using website templates won’t allow you to completely brand your business if you don’t customize them and you’re going to end up looking the same.

 

Do you want to add to our good and bad list? Comment below! We would love to hear from you.

Facebook will penalize your unfriendly mobile website

Facebook will penalize your unfriendly mobile website

Facebook just got serious about mobile websites. Did you know they will no longer take your ugly mobile experience? It seems that the more we advance forward, the more important user experience is with mobile and tablet websites. 

 

Why Facebook cares

Just like Google, Facebook is really taking into consideration their users. They care about you and me and what we have to say. One thing that has been reported to Facebook over and over again by its users is that they hate “clicking on links within the news feed that lead to very slow mobile websites”. So isn’t that speed then? Yes! Speed, believe it or not, is considered part of a users experience when they visit your website. If it’s slow, i will have a “poor user experience” on your website. Make sense?

 

What does this all mean?

If your website has a poor experience within mobile or tablet devices Facebook will take this into account for its news feed section. They are going to work hard on only providing the best sources for their users. So if you are not on track and taking this seriously you will fall behind as a business or organization IF you are heavily using Facebook for your promotional / online marketing efforts.

 

What we can expect now

Over the next several months (as reported by facebook) you can expect Facebook to slowly implement this idea /algorithm. Websites that are “too slow” and have a “poor user experience” will slowly start to lose traffic over time and might not even appear within in any users news feed.

 

How do i start working on my user experience?

We advice you to start working on your user experience immediately if you are using Facebook on a daily basis for your business or organization.

Here are a few of our recommendations to start today:

 

 

  • Head over to your web hosting company – Are you on shared hosting or VPS? Switch over to VPS servers to get your website faster. Sharing a server slows down your website.

 

Article Author

Victoria Islas – Founder of Creative Two / Omni Online Marketer & Designer

She is inbound marketing certified, loves creating amazing projects for her clients and enjoys reading a great book on marketing or music. On other days, she is spending time with her kettlebells and playing guitar.

How to enlarge or make logo bigger on Mobile Site – Divi Theme

How to enlarge or make logo bigger on Mobile Site – Divi Theme

There are little things in Divi Theme that we wish we’re easier to take care of within the “Theme Customizer”. Sadly, that is not the case BUT today i am providing you with code to enlarge or “make bigger” the mobile logo. Depending on your preference sometimes the logo might be too small within the mobile version of your website, this code will take care of it for you!

Just copy and paste at: Divi > Theme Options > Custom CSS

Keep in mind that you can modify the height and width to your needs. Go in and play around with the percentage numbers.

Article Author

Victoria Islas – Founder of Creative Two / Omni Online Marketer & Designer

She is inbound marketing certified, loves creating amazing projects for her clients and enjoys reading a great book on marketing or music. On other days, she is spending time with her kettlebells and playing guitar.

How to Create an HTML Rollover Image in Divi (Code Fixed)

How to Create an HTML Rollover Image in Divi (Code Fixed)

I know you want the cool and easy HTML rollover effect that Mak over at Elegant Themes mentioned in this video and blog post. But ALOT of you had trouble with the code and today i am debugging and showing you how to add a link to the rollover as so many of you wanted.

 

This code has rollover effect + opens link within your website (copy and paste) in the CODE MODULE:

This code has rollover effect + opens link in a new page (copy and paste) in the CODE MODULE:

Why your non-profit brand identity is important

Why your non-profit brand identity is important

VIEW GOOGLE SLIDES

As a non-profit brand identity can get a bit confusing but today we are going to help you understand what brand identity is, why your non-profit brand identity is important and finally go over what makes a good logo. To keep this blog short and less complicated we will be going over one part of your identity, which is your logo. We will also go over three non-profit logo examples that we love and talk about what makes them good.

What is brand identity?

Simply stated a brand identity is “anything that visually represents your non-profit”. For example, your logo, your marketing collateral, the colors you use on the wall when I walk into your non-profit’s headquarters, it can even be your website. In our opinion, a website is one of the best forms of identity in the digital world as of now. A great tool and hub for your entire brand. But again, today we will be focusing on the logo within your brand identity and nothing else.

So why is brand identity important?

Here is a list, in no specific order, on why brand identity is important:

1.) It defines who you are and what you stand for.

2.) It will target the right donors and get them supporting you.

3.) It has a strong psychological effect and creates an overall experience.

4.) It’s the overall perception of your non-profit.

What makes a really good logo?

1.) It will work when big or small.

2.) It must work in black and white.

3.) It must be able to work across different mediums.

4.) It must be timeless.

5.) It must tell your story and have a meaning.

Three strong examples of non-profits logos

(Note that these are our own comments and opinions about the logos, we may be right, we may be wrong.)

1.) Invisible Children Logo

The invisible children logo is in classic black and white, has a very bold font/typography that fits with the type of difficult tasks the organization tackles every day. It also has a distressed look that adds a great element to the logo and may even represent the distressed environment that the children in Africa live in on a daily basis.

And finally one of the biggest points to this logo is that it’s strictly using lettering, there is no icon in this logo because the NAME itself is very strong, powerful and empowering. It would have been easy to just put a child’s silhouette or something of the sort but they didn’t go with the cliche or the first thought and went with something more unique. Props on that!

The name itself makes you think, Why are these children invisible? How can something like this be silent? The children and family stories in Africa weren’t being told in America’s mass media. Invisible Children made that happen with their great non-profit campaigns, marketing, and branding efforts. So does the logo speak the story? Yes!

2.) To Write Love on Her Arms Logo

To Write Love on Her Arms is in black and white but what makes this logo unique is that actually directly communicates to younger teenagers and young adults struggling with suicide. How? It’s directly linked to a great story and music!

But what really makes this logo great is that the name was originally a very real and emotional story that converted into a great non-profit, name, logo and overall brand. Even the tiny star that you see on the logo has an interesting touch and we think it’s related to the original story and here is a snippet to finalize this logo: “Tell them to look up. Tell them to remember the stars.” Does this give you hope if you are having troubles with suicide and does this speak its story? Absolutely.

3.) WWF (World Wildlife Fund) Logo

World Wildlife Fund is a long name so what did they do? They shortened the name by just using the initials- WWF. This logo teaches us that it is important to think about where you are using your logo if you have a long name. Thinking about it can save you the trouble of trying to squeeze it into different mediums where it possibly won’t work.

Another great aspect of the WWF logo is that it utilizes great negative space which in turn keeps the logo simple and timeless. You do not need to keep all the details and overcomplicate it.

We also found a great web page by WWF that goes over more information on the logo. Here is a great snippet from the website that we thought we would share:

“We wanted an animal that is beautiful, is endangered, and one loved by many people in the world for its appealing qualities. We also wanted an animal that had an impact in black and white to save money on printing costs.” -Sir Peter Scott

We hope you found this article and our accompanying video useful and that you implement some of the things we went over. If you need help with your logo do not hesitate to contact us for more information! More coming soon.

Reference:
http://invisiblechildren.com/our-story/
https://twloha.com/learn/
http://wwf.panda.org/who_we_are/history/

Article Author

Victoria Islas – Founder of Creative Two / Omni Online Marketer & Designer

She is inbound marketing certified, loves creating amazing projects for her clients and enjoys reading a great book on marketing or music. On other days, she is spending time with her kettlebells and playing guitar.