Thursday, July 14, 2016

Should You Build Your Own Website?

Our blog's sponsor, Stepmans PC, is currently building search engine friendly websites for $999. Some business owners balk at this price. After all, why pay $999 when you can build your own WordPress website for free? Our advice? Unless you have sufficient time and resources, do not build your own website.

What do we mean by "sufficient" time and resources?

Time

According to Alex Stepman, the owner of Stepmans PC, a simple five page website requires about 25 hours of skilled labor. (Obviously, this number varies for each project).

Do you have an extra 25 hours (or more) to build a website?

Resources: Website Design and Development

Beyond sufficient time, to build an effective, search engine friendly website, you will need the help of experienced professionals to perform the following tasks:

1. Website Design
2. Website Development

If you do not have a designer or developer in-house, you might feel obliged to hand design and development to your "IT" guy. Just remember: A knowledge of computers does not necessarily translate to a knowledge of website design and development. And you will rarely find a single person skilled in both design and development. As we've noted before:

"After your hire a professional website designer to create a visually-appealing website, you will need to hire a developer to make the website work for both users and search engines like Google. Unfortunately, since these tasks are so different, and require different parts of the brain, you will rarely find a professional who can perform both with the talent and energy you require."

Resources: Content Creation

The same is true for content creation: Writing for the web is a specialized skill. Too often, businesses attempt to hand this task to an administrative assistant--or the resident English major. Some of Stepmans PC's clients balk at the additional cost of content creation, and choose to perform the task in-house.

A typical complaint is that a web writer couldn't possibly know the business. So how could he write relevant copy?

A good writer does not need to know your business to write relevant content. A good writer will learn about your business through interviews and research, and he will use his expertise to craft content uniquely suited to your business.

"Hi, my name is James. I majored in English. I can write your copy!" [Photo Source]

A Bad Website

Without any of these resources, you risk wasting time (likely much more than 25 hours) building a bad website with bad content.

Of the many ways to define a bad website, one flaw is especially harmful: the website does not work for search engines. In some cases, the designer included unworkable elements. Web crawlers, for example, cannot index Flash technology. In other cases, the development missed essential website elements.

Alex Stepman told us he has seen this calamity too often to count. Poorly-developed websites can repel Google's crawlers. Without a presence on Google (or other search engines), a website serves no real purpose.

Website Costs

To build a simple, search engine friendly website for $999, Alex makes about $40/hour. By industry standards, this number is exceedingly low. The website design, development, and marketing agency, Executionists, for example, estimates the average cost for a "simple informational" site to be $7-$10 K. This is based on an hourly rate of $125.

Of course, the Executionists are working in a different market (L.A.) with a different client base: mid to major businesses. As they note: "Freelancers, one-person shops and website brokers can also be more competitive on price."

Whatever the market, the reality is the same: No website is "free."And most businesses do not have the time and resources to build a website.

Search Engine Friendly Websites with Stepmans PC

For a limited time, Stepmans PC will build your search engine-friendly website, developed with the latest search engine algorithm requirements, for only $999! If you want to speak to Alex about your project, call Stepmans PC today.

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