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Common website mistakes


Building a website yourself?

Thinking about building your own web site?

Doctor, lawyer, plumber, interior designer…..whatever your profession is, you must be good at what you do or you wouldn’t be in business.  You work hard and sometimes there aren’t enough hours in the day or days in the week to do what needs to be done.

To make your business successful the average small business relies on experts to handle many of the requirements of the business.  Payroll, bookkeeping, accounting, direct mail, advertizing, financing and network maintenance are examples of the functions where we don’t have the time, the tools, the skills, or the speed of the experts to do ourselves. 

All of these services are important to the success of your business. Without expert help you wouldn’t have the time to devote to running and growing your business.  Your website is just as important to your business as these other services. Why would you do it yourself?

In spite of the proliferation of website development tools that claim you can develop your own website in minutes, an effective website takes many hours, even weeks, of work. Just because you’re computer literate doesn’t mean that you can successfully design, develop, and maintain an effective website, plus configure the domain name, hosting plan and email.

And, what exactly is involved in developing an effective website?

  • Do you know how to develop a story board and wire frame?
  • Do you know how to present your USP on the home page?
  • Do you know what a USP is?
  • Do you know how to design a home page that will entice website visitors to open other pages in your site?
  • Do you know the importance of “above the fold”?
  • Do you know how to balance too much information on a page with not enough information?
  • Do you know how much time the average website visitor will spend on your home page?
  • Do you know how to set up the navigation to avoid dead ends and other things that inhibit the search engines?
  • Do you know how to make effective use of titles, alt text, headers, and key words?
  • Do you know how to optimize your site for search engines?
  • Will your site be mobile friendly?
  • Can you integrate social media?
  • Can you resize images and optimize them for the web?
  • Do you know how to properly align the images with text on the web pages?
  • Do you know how to find and work with a good hosting provider?
  • Does that free website come with free (or any) support?
  • Can you afford the time away from your business?

If you can answer yes to all these questions, then go ahead and build your own.  If not, read on.  

The free and low cost website development tools cover the mechanics of putting together the site but don’t cover, or gloss over, these steps in the process. The claims of an easy to use “what you see is what you get” editor are exaggerated – you rarely get exactly what you see – and the claims of “build a website in minutes” are just not true. 

 

OK, you read this and answered all the questions satisfactorily, and you're confident you can build the website. What's next?

Mercury WebSites can provide support services to assist you in your endeavor:

Create a Website

WebSite Tonight®, an advanced, template-based Web site building tool, allows you to build and publish a fully-functional storefront Web site in a few easy steps. WebSite Tonight® also includes hosting for your unlimited-page site.