In Websites

Building your own Website – just because you can doesn’t mean you should…

Wanaka Web Design & Help - CMS SystemsI remember being a bit worried about my chose career path a few years ago when website builder tools like WordPress, Joomla, Drupal, and later Wix and Squarespace started to make it considerably easier than it had previously been to build a website.

These tools have now been joined by a multitude of others, but I’m a lot less worried about it now.

The thing is, a good web developer is always going to do a better job of building a website than your average person that is capable of doing it, and they will do it a lot more quickly.   I do a lot of work with WordPress, Wix and Shopify and am blown away by how clever they are and how quickly it is possible to build a website.  They are still technical though – there will be references in there to CSS, SEO, Meta Tags, PCI Compliance, image resolution.  These are things that generally anyone can learn at a high level given enough time, but why do it?

If you are a small business owner offering guided adventure tourism trips, or an entrepreneur with an amazing new widget, why would you spend your valuable time learning the concepts required to build your own website when you are probably only going to do it once.  The technology moves so quickly that in 3 years when you have moved onto your next project, whatever you haven’t forgotten about building websites will likely be outdated.

The other side of this is that why the site you build may look good enough, it will likely be missing solid foundations in the following areas:

  • Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) – keeping up to date with the latest SEO practices is a full-time job in itself, and if you don’t get this right you can do more harm to your page rankings than good.
  • Speed – striking the balance between how big your images need to be to look good without slowing your page loading speed down to the point that users get frustrated.
  • Security – what do you need to do to make sure that your site isn’t taken down or compromised by nasty people. more here…

My wife is into knitting, which brings to mind a concept that I think we would all do well to live by:

Stick to your knitting

If we all stick to what we are good at and outsource the things that we are not so skilled at to experts, we will all be a lot more productive.

That is my excuse for buying firewood rather than gathering it myself, staying out of the garden and not learning how to fix my own car.

Bikes are a different story…  For me fixing bikes is therapeutic.  It’s just a shame that it ends up being more expensive than actual therapy…