Putting up a website is trivially easy. With the right template site, you can do it in less than 5 minutes. That doesn’t mean you should do it, just that you could. Indeed, there are situations where a 5-minute website is the ideal solution. Not everything on the web is about doing business, or about squeezing every penny out of every person on the internet.
Sometimes, it is more about learning new skills and exploring the possibilities. Your website could simply be a fun and frivolous project. There is nothing wrong with that.
The stakes get a lot higher when you have something more important to do. Perhaps you are putting together a website for your upcoming wedding. This doesn’t require a professional. You can do this very well with any popular website builder. If all you are doing is announcing your wedding and making a space for people to gather and comment that isn’t Facebook, the stakes are not that high. But the moment you want to add gift registries and financial donations, you have entered another level of seriousness and complexity. Beyond that is the territory of a professional web designer. Here’s why:
When the Data Absolutely Has to Be Correct
If you are dealing with medical or legal records, the data absolutely has to be correct. A mistake can be extremely costly. If you are going to do it yourself, consider using a free scanner app rather than trying to type everything in by hand. Data entry is neither easy nor fun nor fast. As a bonus, it is not even particularly accurate. You go through all the painstaking work of doing it all by hand and still make more mistakes than a simple technological solution.
Having a scanning solution also allows you the benefit of being able to easily add new information with a few clicks. It makes doing it yourself a workable solution. But you should still get a professional to do it even if you think you could do it yourself. If something goes wrong, you want to show that you did your due diligence to eliminate errors.
It will not go well for you if the judge believes you were cutting corners and doing sloppy work yourself just to save a few pennies. Medical and legal records are as high as the stakes can get. Contrary to popular opinion, when it absolutely has to be done right, don’t do it yourself. Hire a pro.
You Don’t Know What You Don’t Know
There are common mistakes people make when designing their own website. What makes these mistakes so hard to overcome is that if you are not a professional, you don’t even realize you have made a mistake. You don’t know enough about proper web design to know what you don’t know. Did you know that certain colors can influence a person’s buying decision? Marketers use colors to make you buy things, and have been doing so for a long time. If you are not familiar with the art, science, and psychology of using colors, you might be sending the wrong signals to your intended audience without knowing it.
It is not just about colors, you need someone who knows how to design a navigation flow that presents the right information to the site visitor at the right time and guides them through a process that ends in commerce. You could actually be driving visitors away just by the way you have presented the information. All of this is too important to leave to chance.
Security Is Job One
Unless you are an internet security expert, you should always leave website design to an expert when data security is involved. If you collect information like usernames, passwords, and credit cards, you are being targeted by people who are far better at stealing information than you are at protecting it. If you insist on taking the cheap way out to save a little money, you are committing digital malpractice. Don’t do it. It’s not worth it.
Practice designing your own website when the stakes are low and the outcome doesn’t matter. Otherwise, accuracy is too important, there are too many things you don’t know, and security is job one.