Jeremy Julian

3 Hidden Pitfalls of DIY Websites

January 9, 2019

It’s 2019 and you’ve made the goal to have a website built for your restaurant. However, you see services like Wix, Squarespace and GoDaddy that say you can build full-blown, awesome site fast.


But is it worth it?


After all, wouldn’t it be better to save some money on your website and build it yourself instead of spending thousands of dollars to have someone build you a website?


While it may seem tempting to pay less than $10/month for such a service, we would counter by asking you these questions:


  • Would you hire a chef with no experience?
  • Would you fix your electrical wiring?
  • Would you build your own home?


The answer to most of those questions is most likely, “no.”


Below, we are looking at the hidden costs of DIY website builders and how you can avoid these hidden pitfalls.


#1. Time
Even for professional programmers and web designers, building a properly functioning website takes time. And as an owner/operator of a restaurant, it is time that you do not have. Yes, these services have templates and some of them are good, however, writing effective copy, choosing the right images and injecting the functionality you want, are all things people do not think about. Do you want users to make reservations? How about order online? What about proper security for paying online? Most of these functions are available, but only at an additional cost.


Also, the systems are somewhat simple, but there is a learning curve to navigating and adding new elements when building a site. We say, as the RTGs, it is ‘simple’ because we live and breathe digital, but to someone who has zero or minimal experience, this could be extremely frustrating.


#2. Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
You ever heard of Search Engine Optimization (SEO)? SEO is a marketing discipline focused on growing visibility in organic (non-paid) search engine results. SEO encompasses both the technical and creative elements required to improve rankings, drive traffic, and increase awareness in search engines.


There is a whole science behind making websites appear on the first page of search engine results. And this may sound fancy or made-up, but this is a real and very necessary task that needs to be done. There are great resources on the internet about SEO and it’s importance. In fact, we have written two articles about it as well. Check them out to learn more about SEO:


#3. User testing
You have finished creating your website, everything looks good and you have feel so proud. Next day is when you scheduled to launch and everything seems fine. You wait a week or two and notice that no orders have been coming through and wonder why. Come to find out that the order button on the website leads to a dead-link (meaning the page does not exist or load). Or, the menu items that you worked meticulously on do not render on the page.


Above are all real-world examples of what happens when you do not take the time to test and have others go through the user journey. These mistakes can be as big as the ones above or as small as images not loading, typos or top-navigation links not showing. But in our digital day and age, any mistake makes a site look cheap and we often hit the Home button and search for a better alternative. We have done it before and are very sure you all have done the same. Don’t be the site that people back away from and never return.


Look, if you have the experience and know-how to create a fully-functioning website, by all means, go for it. But, if you do not have that experience, do not fall for these services and thing you can ‘knock one out’ quickly. Especially if you want to put your best foot forward to customers and want the functionality users expect.


Our advice is to seek out services or people that have experience in this field and can give you exactly what you and your customers need.


Be sure to check out Custom Business Solutions and their Northstar POS system to improve the power and effectiveness of your restaurant!


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