DIY website services like Wix.com have done a great job at giving small business owners tools that they can use to build there own high quality business websites without the need of a web designer. It’s great for small business owners, but it’s not as easy to do successfully as some would think.

Today, I’m going to tell you a little bit about what some of those things are and how you can get the most out of your Wix.com, SquareSpace.com, Web.com, or other website builder service and take your DIY website to the next level.

Which Website Company Should I Choose?

Winner – Wix.com

As of 2nd quarter 2016, I would recommend using wix.com. They have a great selection of professional looking templates that translate well on desktop and mobile devices and their website builder is easy to use and well put together. Some of the other website DIY builders can be buggy and make page creation meticulous and time consuming. With wix.com, it’s easy to build a great looking site. On top of that, the prices are great and the service overall provides an excellent value. In the right hands, a wix.com website can rival a website costing many thousands of dollars for a fraction of the price.

What About SquareSpace?

SquareSpace has some good looking templates, but I found the website builder to be somewhat tedious to use—and that’s as a web designer, so you can imagine that it would be even more difficult to use for someone that isn’t as tech savvy.

How About Weebly?

I’ve used Weebly in the past and was impressed. The website builder was really easy to use and overall the experience was fast. You can really get something up and going fast with Weebly and it’s cheap. The results look pretty good too, although not as good as wix.com.

How about Volusion & Shopify?

If you’re selling physical products, and even downloadable products, through your website and you’re going to be relying heavily on a shopping cart, than I would recommend either Volusion or Shopify. These are both solid platforms that I have personally reviewed and would use myself. While more expensive than the simpler and less feature rich sites like wix.com and squarespace.com, the specialization that you get with these sites will save you time, money, and headaches down the road.

So How Can I Get the Most Out of My Wix Site?

Leverage The Template

With so many website templates/themes on wix.com, how do you go about picking the right one for your business? Some things to consider are load speed, layout options, style, and its ability to customize and/or make unique. Most of the newest, most popular themes are great and I would try and stick to those to be on the safe side. Use the content blocks on the page to model your content after and try not to stray too far away from the original layout formatting when customizing your site.

Use a Solid Logo

A weak logo will drag down the credibility of any business and will make your website look unprofessional no matter how great the website template is. Do yourself a favor and invest in a good logo before you go live with your new website. This will be the heart and soul of your brand and will be a crucial part of that all-important first impression that is made between you and your prospects.

Keep It Simple

One of the things people new to website creation don’t realize is just how much work goes into creating a great website that really performs and delivers returns. It’s not easy. With page layout alone, one has to be aware of how content changes for mobile and desktop. Simple layout changes are often not as simple as they should be. Website builders can be buggy. Technical issues can throw the wrenches in gears and really bring everything to a grinding halt and we haven’t even gotten into content yet like what does each page say, graphics, and photos.

The point is, everything that you do to make a website more complicated doesn’t make it one thing more complicated. It increases the complexity by factors—it’s compounded, so when you start adding a little of this and that, things can quickly get out of hand.

Keep things simple because when it comes to making websites, simple really is better.

Calls To Action & Contact Info

Here’s where a lot of beginners drop the ball. They put a contact link and maybe a phone number in the header, but they don’t put a prominent call to action on every page. “EVERY PAGE?” you ask. YES, every page. But you must keep this in mind, a simple call to action like, “Call today to schedule an appointment” will not work if you don’t give your users a REASON to call. In other words, you should either have great prices/value, an innovative, unique, and in-demand product WITH a slick presentation (i.e., professional product photos), AND some compelling testimonials.

Make your offer impossible to resist—a deal too good to pass up THEN give them your call to action and your contact button, phone number, or buy button. Then put this on every page.

When a potential customer is perusing through your site, they’re looking to see if you have what they need. Once they see that you do, they’re usually looking for signs that you’re in their budget and/or you’re trustworthy. Once they know those are good to go, they’re looking for that Buy Button or that phone number. Don’t make it hard for them to find or have to click a contact button! The less clicks the better.

Get Listed & Get Social

Many small business owners put their websites up and then wonder why no one’s going to the site. Well, unless you have a clear plan for how you’re going to get traffic, the chances are that no one is going to visit. How can they? How does anyone know that your website exists? So…Get on the map!

Getting listed and getting social are almost synonymous these days, so you may as well do both.

  • Get your business on Google Maps
  • Get your business on Bing
  • Get your business on Yelp and get reviews
  • Add your business to any other directory or directories that come up when you do a search for what it is that you’re offering
  • Create profiles for Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and come up with a posting strategy for them. At the very least create the profiles so you an secure them when you’re ready to start using them.

Be Mindful of Image Sizes

Be careful of the file sizes of the photos and images that you upload to the various pages. The larger the file sizes of the images and the number of large images on your page, the slower your page will load and this will affect not only your users’ experience, but also your ranking in search engines. Search engines are ranking websites now, amongst many other factors, more than ever by user experience. Long page load times are bad for the user experience and so search engines will lower the rank of those websites. You should aim for the combined file size of ALL the images on a page to be no larger than 1 -1.5 megabytes. Around 200kb total would be even better, especially considering that wait times increase for users accessing the website on mobile networks.

Consider Using a Consultant

Using a consultant doesn’t have to break the bank (introductory consultations are often free) and will pay dividends to your bottom line. They’ve already been down the road you’re on. They’ve seen what works and what doesn’t work and they have the knowledge to save you time, money, and headaches while maximizing the return that your website can provide.

Final Words

Making your own website is easier than ever, but there’s more to it than meets the eye. With some carefull consideration, and possibly a little outside help, anyone can create a website that performs well for their own business.

I hope this article has been helpful to you. If you have any questions about your website, comments, or feedback, please don’t hesitiate to contact me. Good luck on your journey to success!

kind regards,
Mike Kong
Owner, MK Design