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Why not build a website yourself?

You have seen the adverts on tv that say you built you own company why not build your own website, the reason why this is a bad idea is that you are probably not a website designer and dont know what social media marketing or SEO are and wouldnt know a good website from a bad one. Its the same reason why you would use an Accountant or Solicitor as you are not an accountancy or legal professional and know they can do a better job or any legal / accountancy task. The following conversation demonstrates why you should not attempt to build your own website but concentrate on building your own company instead.

[Website Owner] Can anyone help with a web design/google question? Basically when I search for my website on google instead of it displaying the website address it has this hideously long weird address for the domain site I’m running it

Well I’ve never encountered that myself. I’m not sure there’s much you can do if you aren’t in control of the hosting. Who designed/built the site? If they can’t deal with it I’d switch hosts. are one of the best. I thought you were good at that sort of thing. You’ve done a bloody good job on your own site. Sorry to hear you’re having problems Amanda to be honest, personally I don’t think SEO is really their responsibility unless it’s something you’re specifically paying for – ordinarily it’s up to you to sort out yourself. Have you submitted your site to Google? First off, make sure you do that. Secondly, your host has a blog article about how to help google index your sitemake sure you do all these steps! Thirdly, it can take weeks for any changes to actually show up in google so be patient!

[Website Owner] I didn’t build my website – I paid someone else to do it for me as I don’t know anything about web design I built it myself which is half the problem…I have no idea what I’m doing!! I don’t even know what SEO means (this is how foreign this all is to me!), but today’s homework will be reading your links & I’ll see if that fixes thing.

SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) helps with your Google ranking for keywords. Ideally you want to be on page 1 of a Google search for words that relate to your website. For website hosting I use Vidahost, and they are very good and always helpful.

[Website Owner] I think the SEO thing is different to the issue I’m having but I need to look into it anyway so mega useful info above.

I think he is right – at the moment Google is showing the random address that its automated system has found, ie your domainmonster subdomain. You need to optimise it and submit the correct URL to help Google search robots find and index the correct address. Keep the pressure up on your host as well though – there might be a more technical reason from their side that is beyond my limited web knowledge! x

James at Delicious Webdesign is good to ask for web design. James Brabyn – you’re the expert on web design. Maybe you can shed some light on the problem?

[Delicious Webdesign] This is a strange one but somehow the search engine (Google) has indexed the direct reference on your host to one of your pages, never seen this before but looking at your site I have found you have copied content on your pages from other Indexed pages and have massive photos / images that may have stopped Google from Indexing your main page and all subsequent pages. We often have clients with SEO / Design problems like yours and can remedy / fix anything to ensure your site gets correctly indexed / ranked and can remove the ‘hideously long weird address’ for you also. message me if you want specific instructions or want us to do this for you.

[Website Owner] Hey James thanks so much for your comment on the post. To be honest I have no idea how to do things like images smaller etc and don’t really understand a huge amount of what you’ve said, but unfortunately I just can’t afford to pay anyone so couldn’t ask you to do it for me. But any advice you’re happy to give will be hugely appreciated!!! I don’t want to take the micky at the same time though. Thanks so much, A x

[Delicious Webdesign] ok the first thing is to get your site correctly indexed in google but as it has text on the site that is copied from other sites that needs to be removed first then the images need to be resized as they are ‘massive’ your front page image is nearly 1mb which is 100 times bigger than is normal on website images

[Website Owner] Sorry – a few questions straight off…How do i know what text is copied? Then how do i re-size images and won’t that mean they’re less clear?

[Delicious Webdesign] Go back to the company that produced yoru text and tell them there are big chunks of it copied from other sites

[Website Owner] A friend helped me pull it all together, but he’s not been very helpful so would rather not involve him again! So basically he’s just coped stuff from other sites
Ok, is there a way for me to see which bits are copied?

[Delicious Webdesign] Your image is 1mb but needs to be resized and optimised for your page – if you dont know / dont understand image optimisation then its a big subject – I can obviously help on one or two images Sorry more bad news – your website uses external file names for images – really terrible practise. There is a few hours of work on your site needed

[Website Owner] I can see more by the second why people pay to get websites built! How much would it cost to sort this stuff out do you think? So the website builder is in effect copying all my images and storing on the internet in another place?

[Delicious Webdesign] sort of yes – are they your own images ?

[Website Owner] Yes, or they are images provided by photographers that i work with…

[Delicious Webdesign] I cant find them used elsewhere

[Website Owner] One of the things i really want to be able to do is lock people from being able to save the images. Would that be possible too if i paid someone to sort all this out do you think?

[Delicious Webdesign] Thats a common request but even if we put code in that stops the rightclick / copy function can still take images but dont worry about that as you can find out if anyone uses your images in 10 seconds and can get £2000 for every pic they copy Looking at the site I can give you some options but basically I recommend transferring it and then fixing these problems to ensure it looks good / works perfectly and gets indexed in the search engines

[Website Owner] That function is more useful as sometimes photographers won’t let me use their images because they can be screengrabbed from my site, but it’s not essential…
Ok thanks James. I really appreciate your time. I just wonder if this is all above my head and perhaps if you could give me a quote to fix it that would help me weigh up how i go about sorting it all out. Email me here or you’ll get an annoying bounceback email each time. Thanks James…

[Delicious Webdesign] Have emailed you – if you want us to take on this work we can start it a week after the transfer

The site has multiple problems and I recommend these steps:

Essential Updates:

1, Transfer website to new host* (email setup and phone / online support given)
2, remove all copied text
3, resize / optimise all images
4, SEO (optimise for search engines) the whole site (12 pages)
5, Install Analytics on your website (you get a monthly report of website visitors)
6, Add you to Google Local (so you get a free map listing in Google search results)
7, Add your site to Google Webmaster tools and we monitor it and take action on ‘problems’
Total Cost £300

*Need access to admin / control panel or to be given ftp code to download site and update the IPS tag (to enable transfer)

Optional updates:

1, Create a customised News section of the site Total Cost £250

Both Essential and optional updates can be done for £500

[Website Owner] Thanks James…i’ve just had a quick look at the quote. Can i ask why i need to change to a new host? Also if i moved to a new host, would i this change the ‘look’ of the site and would this affect my email addresses etc in any way? I’ll be completely honest that (although i’m sure you’ve given me a very fair price) I just don’t have that kind of budget at the moment so will have to really weigh this up.
I’m a bit scared by how much is wrong with the site and how out of my depth i feel, but in the first year of trading my cash-flow is very limited…

[Delicious Webdesign] You are with a budget / rubbish hosting company so its in your interest to be with a better one – you can keep the same host and take off £50 from the quote, changing host wont affect the look of the website and email accounts can be re-setup and can do this remotely for you. One of the reasons for changing is your hosting company may not give you a database and PHP so you will need that if you need a blog

[Website Owner] For £50 it makes sense to be with a better host i think. How much would hosting cost per month do you think with someone better? I’m paying £14 / month at the moment…
I have no idea what PHP or database is, but long term i would like to have a blog. It’s not essential for now though…

[Delicious Webdesign] £55 per year (£5 per month)

[Website Owner] Whoah so i’m paying way too much for what i’m getting then? Thanks so much James. I’ll come back to you asap. I really appreciate your time today. if i could correct all the text myself would that reduce the quote at all?

[Delicious Webdesign] Yes if you supply complete unique text and dont want us to check and verify all the pages on your site then that would reduce the time we need to spend so take off £35