Here’s a note we received at today:

“I built my own website for my business using a wordpress theme. I have spent the last year trying to get it up in the local organic search for my keywords and service area without much luck. I just noticed that when I view the source on my website that it has pages of what appears to be junk. I fear that I have wasted a year and that perhaps it is time to have it redone by someone who ‘knows what they are doing.’ I would love to visit to see what the cost would be to have you design my website with local google organic search in mind so that I don't continue to waste money learning the hard way.”

Over the last 15 years, we have heard dozens of variations of this frustrating tale. Below are 3 things to understand if you are considering a DIY website platform such as WordPress, Drupal or Joomla.

1. This story is not uncommon.

WordPress has some inherent problems and “code bloat” is one of them. Ironically, one of the biggest problems with WordPress is caused by one of the biggest perceived benefits of WordPress: the large developer community. Thousands of developers from all over the world create WordPress themes and plugins. This ranges from highly experienced and sophisticated developers to sketchy teenagers from former Soviet Republics. Sadly, it’s next to impossible to distinguish between the two extremes unless you are a developer who can analyze the code before you install the theme or plugin. The result can be thousands of lines of unneeded code that can cause slow loading times, poor search engine results and open doors for hackers to run through.

2. Is it really too expensive?

The person who submitted this request contacted us before they launched their business. We developed a project plan and a budget that we believed would help them achieve success with their business. Like many startups, cash was tight. When they saw the budget to hire a team of experts they thought it was “too expensive.” They decided to go the DIY route to save money. A year has gone by and they have spent countless hours trying learn WordPress, developing and maintaining a bloated WordPress site and trying to get it to show up in Google’s search results - in their words - “without much luck.” Before you decide to do-it-yourself or use a a template for your business website, ask yourself a few questions:

  • Is a custom solution really “too expensive” when you factor in the value of your time?
  • Is a DIY WordPress site really “cheaper” when you factor in the potential lost business due to poor search engine results and a slow loading site?
  • Is it wise to endure the frustration of becoming a “WordPress expert” when you could be focusing on more important activities to grow your business?

3. For many businesses - like this one - a custom solution is the right solution.

Not everyone needs a custom website. If you are a local rock band or a freelancer working out of your basement, you probably don’t need a custom website. You can find a WordPress template on one of the hundreds of template sites or just setup a Facebook page and move on. No harm. No foul.

If you are a business that needs to differentiate yourself from your competitors and show up high in Google’s search results you probably should invest in a custom website that can help grow your business.

Find a company that can provide these 4 critical elements for success:

  1. World-class custom design that sets you apart from the crowd.
  2. Technical expertise to turn that design into a fully responsive site that can be easily indexed by Google.
  3. Tools that allow your non-technical employees to easily manage your website content.
  4. A support team to help you navigate the ever-changing rules of the internet (browser compatibility, security threats, social media, video marketing, Google algorithm changes, etc…)

About Creative State:

Creative State is an award winning website development and marketing firm that works with businesses throughout the United States. A recent project was recognized by the International Association of Fairs & Expos as the best website in the country for their industry. Another project for a large school district was named the best Public School website in the state. We work with Fortune 500 companies, startups and even entertainers like Garth Brooks and Taylor Swift. We’ve worked on projects as small as a few hundred dollars, to several million dollars and everything in between.

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