Should You Make Your Own Website?

Asking whether or not if you should make your own website is such a wide-open question because there are many factors to consider before making a decision.

Before we explore some of the rabbit holes this discussion could take us, I’d like you to ponder if you believe making a website is more of a professional vocation or something most can do.

As you might expect, I’m going to be a little biased towards professional vocation because, well, that’s what I do for a living. Nonetheless, I’ll try to be open-minded and discuss both options.

Professional Vocation

Regardless of vocation, the desired outcome is about the end product achieving the desired goal. A 12-year-old can build a soap box derby racer, but it will never win the Indianapolis 500.

A website is only one component that makes up a successful internet presence. The intended outcome may not be achieved even if one component is not operating at maximum potential.

In the early days of the Internet, a website could easily be found because there weren’t too many of them and the search engines weren’t very sophisticated about ranking websites in their index.

Today there are over 370,000,000 websites and the fight to the top of a search engine result is very fierce.

The Internet is constantly evolving and keeping up with its requirements requires expenditures of time, money, and effort. It’s reasonable to infer that a professional will be more up-to-date with internet standards and search engine requirements, and thus better able to incorporate as many of the techniques in a website to obtain optimal search engine ranking.

I will agree that the average person can build a basic website just as a 12-year-old can build a soap box derby racer. But if you want a website to perform at its maximum potential, like an Indy racer, then you either need to possess the necessary skills or hire a professional to do the job.


The technology is available for the average person to make their own website. There are numerous drag-n-drop website builder services that can guide you through the construction of a basic website.

For the most part, these online services provide the basic features (contact form, photo gallery, simple shopping cart) a website owner may need. If your website needs to perform more specialized or sophisticated functions, then you would have to pay the service to program these functions.

The do-it-yourselfer can also make their own website by using tools like WordPress and free to low-cost templates, but this requires a little more knowledge, time and effort. Again, you’re making a basic website, and if you need more sophisticated processes, then you’ll need to understand how WordPress plugins work and which ones to incorporate.

There’s no doubt you can save money making your own website, but it will take you more time to create it, and definitely longer to achieve its optimum potential.


If you want a basic website where traffic to it will be generated by paid advertising or word of mouth, then you can probably do it yourself. I would not expect any visitors from search engine searches unless you are capable of performing search engine optimization on your website.

If you want more sophisticated functions from your website, then you’ll either need to learn how to program or buy the necessary components.

I’ll end with my initial analogy. If you want a soap box derby racer, then you can make your own website. If you want to compete in the Indianapolis 500, then you need a professional.

Should I Use An Automatic Web Design System For My Website?

The short answer is… ah, there is no short answer but I will provide you with some information that you will find useful. Let’s start off about 8 years ago. My aunt came to me and said, “Jon I want to make a website to keep pictures on of our family and share them with others.” I was strictly an HTML and graphics guy at the time so I couldn’t recommend her towards a CMS such as Joomla, Drupal, or WordPress like I would today.

During this time there was several services offering free websites, with built in templates, simple point and click web design. However, during my research I found a company that offered a full script that would allow me to house this service on my servers so I purchased it and set it up. I figured it was win / win, my customers could edit their static sites with up to date data and without having to know how to program and my aunt could design the site she wanted.

After setup and configuration and a large price tag I had about 14 different templates with 5 different color schemes so people could really reach out to their industry, I thought it would go great. Later I found out most people don’t like editing their own site, even my aunt, who never set up an account. I also found search engines where not particularly fond of template sites.

Search engines actual despised these sites and there are several reasons. Your browser can be set to only show text, but people don’t do this, they want to look at the websites they visit in all their glory, with all that glory comes search engine nuggets. What I consider a nugget is something that is not seen by you but is seen by the search engines when it spyders your site. Every graphic on your site has an alt tag, the colors and fonts are held in a cascading style sheet and have a particular name, templates have particular names throughout the source code so without even looking at the meta tags of a site the Spyder is looking for duplicate content, and with these sites, it will find it.

There are other factors, one is the IP address. Every site has an IP address, server admins such as myself will setup Domain Name Servers, DNS, so that when a request is made for, the Internet Service Providers, ISP, know where to go. The thing with IP addresses is you can stack multiple domains on one IP then have your local DNS server point it to the right location. So now you have duplicate backend contents and the same IP as your competitor. Sounds like your off to a pretty bad start with Google already.

Now there is the speed factor. Your sites download speed is of vital importance and you are going to get what you pay for. Your template host will jam as many sites as they possible can on your server. These sits will usually run on a mysql database which can be intensive for the server so now your have a slow loading site with duplicate content, on the same IP as your competitor.

I have been through the training and managed hundreds of thousands of dollars in Google AdWords but the only campaign I will run now is my own companies but I will consult with my clients on how to do it properly or how to choose a company to help them, which by the way you will probably save big money if you hire a company who knows what they are doing. Anyway, back to the subject at hand. One of my clients ask me, Jon, should I let “Company Name Not Listed” take care of my PPC campaign? Of course this autosite template company has to offer PPC the sites they setup will probably not rank well organically, or take a lot of SEM to get them to. I responded no and explained that large companies like this usually do not handle PPC very well, they tend to be of the “set it and forget it” mentality and you need someone local who can work with you and help you learn how to monitor your accounts.

Your website is there to make you money, there is no two ways about it. When you see a company offering to build your web presence in minutes there are problems. Finding an honest Indianapolis website company that provides SEO/SEM services can be tedious but it is your company, your presence and it needs to be strong. Take the time, find a company to work in your budget, and get it done right the first time because you will spend the money. You can spend it now or spend it later while losing profits in the meantime.

How to Find A Web Design Company

As the web design industry has become a highly competitive market it is becoming harder for small business owners to determine what makes one company more qualified than the next. With the ability for designers to work from remote locations the industry has been flooded with foreign firms and developers trying to get a piece of the high-paying American market. In this article I will use Indianapolis as and example and explain how you as the consume can find an Indianapolis Web Development Company that does quality work and is competitively priced?

If you make sure to look for the following information and ask these simple questions you can ensure yourself that you have found a true professional that is capable of delivering the high-end results you are looking for. With the web becoming the go to place for information it is crucial that your companies site exhibits a level of professionalism that matches your business.

Ask to view the company or designers personal site. If they do not have a site or they make excuses for why their site doesn’t look very good walk away, or maybe even run! Any true professional will have taken the time to create a nice looking site. After all this is their business, shouldn’t they have one of the best sites you have seen?

Ask them for their portfolio of past work and go through the examples they give you asking questions. It is also a good idea to contact one or two of the sites to ensure that they really did do the work and that the customer was satisfied with the relationship. Some web design providers will hide behind examples of other peoples work in order to gain new business.

Make sure to get an understanding of their skill by asking about their past experience. If they are a company with a team makes sure to inquire about all of the different members so you get a good idea of their skill. Programming is a learned skill that comes from hours of practice. If someone is new or only has one or two sites to show you, you will want to look elsewhere.

Find out how many on-going sites the company is working on. If they are working on 10 different projects and have a team of 5 employees you probably want to find someone else as they will most likely not have the time to focus on your project like you would want. On the other hand if they currently have 0 projects that is another red flag that you should look elsewhere.

Having the best looking site is only half the battle so make sure to ask what tactics the company will take to optimize your site. Also ask them about any SEO work they have done in the past and get some examples. If they don’t have any keywords they can give you then most likely they have no idea what SEO is and its time to move on.

Finally, make sure to find out what coding language they plan to use on your project. Ideally you would want the site coded on a popular content management system platform such as WordPress that will allow you to update the sites content without the need of a programmer. Having a CMS platform also makes it possible to add a live blog to your site where you can regularly add fresh content to further boost your SEO ranking.

So now that you have the basic questions you should ask what is the best way to find potential companies? The obvious answer is to search Google for terms such as “Indianapolis Web Design Company”, “Web development companies in Indianapolis”, “Website Design Company Indianapolis”, etc. Using search engines is a good way to answer a few of the above questions by yourself. First it allows you to view their personal site and portfolio of work. More importantly if their site shows up at the top of the search results for these phrases it also shows you that they have a good understanding of SEO as they have obviously optimized their own site. Another very good way to find an Indianapolis web design company is to ask other local business owners who they have used in the past and if they recommend them. This will give you an unbiased opinion of the company before you contact them. A final option for searching for a web designer in a particular city is to visit the chamber of commerce’s site and look through the directory of web design firms. To view the Indianapolis Chamber of Commerce site visit