DI-Why a pro should build your website

Tuesday, December 20, 2016 1:00 PM

Do It Yourself-ing is a major trend. Blogs across internet land promote the artisanal, the handmade, and the lovingly self-crafted. As hilarious Pinterest fails demonstrate, however, not everything can be DIY'd. In fact, in many situations, DIY should not even be attempted. Some examples include DIY home renovations if you can barely manage to build a bird house, DIY medical diagnoses using Dr. Google, and perhaps most hotly contested - DIY websites. We've all come across websites that made us stop and gape, drawing us in with design so poorly-executed, and content so awful, we wondered if the site - and the company or organization it was built for - was for real. Avoiding the possibility of potential clients and collaborators debating the legitimacy of your business is exactly why you shouldn't attempt DIY web design or development. Engaging a reputable professional whose portfolio is readily available for you to view comes with a number of significant advantages. Here are a few reasons why:

1. Visual design is an art form.

It's one thing to change the locations of some widgets on a pre-existing template - it's another thing to build that template from scratch. In combination with their own experience, knowledge, training and talent, good interface designers engage a variety of tools to achieve a polished, professional end-result to capture an audience. Good, professional designers and developers don't just know how to make websites function well and look great - they know what needs to be done, and why.

2. Are you a good writer?

Stringing together random words into some semblance of a coherent sentence does not good writing make. Websites rampant with spelling errors and bad grammar are a huge turn off, even for those without master's degrees in English. What is written on your website is a reflection of your actual business or organization, and not just a reflection of the website itself. Would you hire an engineering firm that can't be bothered to spell-check the content on their website? What impression does this leave you about their professionalism and attention to detail, and the quality of service you can expect them to provide? DIY content strategy and writing are risky ventures. How much of your professional reputation are you willing to risk?

3. Programming and Security Matter.

The ever-changing nature of the internet means that your website will always require regular security and usability updates and upgrades. As technologies age, they become exposed to security vulnerabilities that can leave your website open to becoming compromised. Aging CSS and HTML might not display or function properly if left unattended for years. Landing on an old, unmaintained website is literally akin to walking face-first into an open door full of spider webs at a long-abandoned house. Good web programmers are in tune with evolving technology, and have the experience necessary to know when and what to change things to keep your website both safe and relevant.

If you remember the Flowbee - the hair cutting vacuum attachment created in 1986 in the hopes of revolutionizing the way millions of people style their own manes - you'll also remember that you probably don't have one. As uncomplicated as cutting your own hair sounds, most of us would rather keep sharp scissors away from our own faces, and leave them in the hands of professionals. The same holds true for designing and building websites - your reputation depends on it.

Asia Szkudlarek

Asia Szkudlarek

Asia Szkudlarek is Division 1's word wizard. She's also a project coordinator, environmentalist and wilderness adventure addict. Asia reads law textbooks for fun and is much too verbose, as evident from this short bio. You can find her on Twitter under @oaktober

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