The perils of DIY website design

I’m a DIY kinda guy, so when my wife announced she wanted a custom-built shower, I said I can do that . . . for way less money than hiring a professional . . . plumbing and all. After all, how hard can plumbing be? Water runs downhill. What else do you need to know?

So I hopped on YouTube,  watched a couple of videos, learned the basics of sweating copper pipe and cementing plastic drain lines. A couple of trips to the hardware store and I was off. It was a little harder than I expected. I didn’t have all the parts and equipment I needed. More trips to the hardware store. My technique was rough and things kept leaking. It was taking forever. But I persevered and eventually I got it done.

I was so excited.

The next step was to tile the shower, which I did in a similar fashion. Watch some videos, drive to a store, get to work. I love YouTube.

It took several months of weekends and evenings, but in the end, my wife had her custom shower . . . with a minor problem:  I had reversed the hot and cold supply lines, which I didn’t discover until after I had covered up everything with tile. It certainly made mornings more exciting, at least until you got used to it.

But, not a biggie. Then a leak started behind the wall, running down and through the ceiling into the living room below (remember, water runs downhill). The stain grew larger and eventually opened a hole in the sheetrock.

I called Eric the plumber, who, after shaking his head a bit, had to tear out my tiling job to fix the plumbing. I had to retile the shower and repair the damaged ceiling. It was messy. It was expensive. But at least my wife and I are still married and the shower still works. Eric’s number is on speed dial.

I like to tell this story to potential clients who want to build their own website. How hard can it be they say? There are ads everywhere for DIY website builders and plenty of instruction on YouTube.

But like my failed plumbing experience, website design is harder than it looks. There are hidden traps and surprises. Even the simplest site builder requires a learning curve. And mastering the technical aspects isn’t everything (actually, that’s the easiest part): You need to consider the writing, editing, images, colors and fonts. Search Engine Optimization, security, maintenance. The list goes on.

There’s no point in building a website that doesn’t work, that doesn’t deliver the results you want: customers, members, sales or donations.

And unlike my very personal plumbing disaster, your site is representing your entire company or organization. Eric and my wife were the only witnesses to my hubris (Eric still laughs about it). A bad website makes you look bad to everyone.

So, if you really want to spend a lot of time building your own website, go right ahead. But if you’d rather spend your time doing what you do best (running your business or organization), give me a call. I’d be glad to help.

And if you need a good plumber, I’m glad to recommend Eric.


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