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Website – build your own or outsource?

Deciding on how you are going to build your first website can seem a minefield from the offset. Do you use a website builder, could you build it yourself, what on earth are they talking about! It’s a whole new world of jargon, technical know-not (I did not have the know-how then) and it seems like a cross between science-fiction and the dark arts. Where on earth do you start? I made that journey with help from friends (thanks Rick & Laura) and many hours spent on google, plus I finally ventured into some wonderful Facebook groups. It’s tough to know where to start, what’s being said by those with the technical know-how and what on earth you want, or can and cannot do to make this happen.

I recently did a discovery call with a potential client about helping her with her website and half way through we mutually agreed that I wasn’t what she needed. That’s fine, that is what a discovery call is all about – discovering if what the client needs matches with my skill-set and capabilities. We continued the call and at the end she thanked me for the time, she now knew what she wanted to do (work with a website developer) and she now understand the process and some of the basic terminology. She had gone from almost zero understanding of what happens in the process to having a definitive idea of how she wanted it built and was now enabled to have a decisive and informative conversation with a developer to get it started.

Please don’t think that I am knocking the amazing build-your-own website providers. I’m not, they offer a fabulous, easy to use solution for the DIY builders. The issue is not in making it look great, it’s in understanding what needs to happen to get people to it. There is no point in building the most amazing shop and then putting in the middle of a desert – which is unfortunately where so many self-builders fall down.

I’ll be honest, until I really invested time and money into sorting out my SEO my website was only viewed by friends, family and contacts – it wasn’t getting seen by potential clients. Between the discovery call and my own experiences I realised that there is a big gap in people’s basic knowledge. It is assumed that you know, at least, the basics when you start looking at building your own website, and as in my case, there are many people who just don’t know anything about it until they’ve gone through the painful and slow learning curve.

So I wrote a guide for newbies, it clearly explains the options and terminology and helps you to make an informed decision as to whether the DIY build or working with a developer is the best route for you. I hope that it helps you to bring to life your very first website and makes the process just that bit easier.

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