Why on Earth Would a Small Business Owner Want to Build Their Own Website?

And other musings about the commercials aired during the big game.

by Holly Czuba

As a marketer the biggest sporting event of the year is an exciting time to judge commercials. I came into work this past Monday and was asking everyone what they thought of the Super Bowl commercials. I had a few of my own ideas, but I wanted some additional feedback.

Tugging at the heart strings.

Overwhelmingly the sentiment was “too heavy“, “depressing” and “sad“. I totally agree. There’s part of me that applauds big brands for addressing some difficult social topics – fatherhood, domestic violence  and stereotypes. Historically relegated to other, more socially conscious, channels of discourse, a chunk of the big game commercials addressed societal issues. I even applaud the treatment for the most part – but Nationwide might have gone too far for my taste. (Apparently they expected this reaction. And it wasn’t about selling insurance, interesting video on WSJ)

The other part of me was wanting mindless entertainment and I didn’t get much of it. I think we were all a little let down.  There were a few uplifting (McDonald’s, Coke) and/or funny ads (T-Mobile, Snickers, Doritos).  But if I had to pick a theme for this years commercials: tugging at the heart strings.

And now I must climb onto my soapbox… Wix, GoDaddy and Squarespace missed the mark with their ads.

Why would any small business owner want to build their own website?

We saw ads by Wix, GoDaddy and Squarespace all speaking about how easy it is to build yourself a website with their platform. This drives me nuts.  Why on earth would a business owner want to build their own website?! Wait, let me say that again – you can’t hear me…. WHY WOULD ANY BUSINESS OWNER WANT TO BUILD THEIR OWN WEBSITE?

As if you don’t have enough to do!? There are so many reasons you don’t want to be building your own business website.

  • You don’t know the web.

Ok, maybe you know the web a bit, but we do this stuff all day. Designers, digital specialists, online marketers know the web.  You know your job and industry. We know that tweets are about to show up in SERPS again.  We know what that’s going to mean for your business. We love this stuff! We’re on top of our industry the way you’re on top of yours. Reason number 1 for a small business owner not to build their own website: expertise.

  • You can get hacked.

30,000 websites are hacked every day.  The average cost to repair a hacked site – close to $9,000.  The National Small Business Association did a survey in 2014.  More than half of the respondents experienced a security breach of some sort.

I am not saying that the Wix, GoDaddy or Squarespace platforms are particularly vulnerable, but I see many  websites built by business owners or web designers or a nephew in college who know nothing about maintaining security. This is where paying an agency makes sense. We have a killer team in place to protect against security vulnerabilities. Reason number 2 for the small business owner not to build their own website: security.

  • What business owner has the time to make their online presence successful?

Yes those platforms make it relatively quick and easy to create your own website.  And some of them even look pretty decent.

But, a 1 hour, 3 page website does not a successful web presence make.

I was listening to a podcast the other day featuring several small business owners and the interviewer asked “What’s something that surprised you about starting a business?” One of the panelists said, “I didn’t realize how hard it was going to be to get customers and to keep customers.  It’s a constant battle, everyday.”

I’m sure many of you reading this will agree! The same sentiment applies to your online presence. If you want it to work (i.e. bring business in your door), you have to invest some time into cultivating it.  This is another great reason not to go the Do-It-Yourself route.  Many agencies have digital specialists that perform routine maintenance and updates for you!  I recommend, at minimum, a few hours of work on your web presence each month. The trick here is finding an agency that will be pro-active. (Cough.) Reason number 3 for the small business owner not to build their own website: maintenance.

I could go on. Really. But I’ll leave you with some additional reading:


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