Home Forums Tech talk Built your site yourself on WordPress?

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  • #993006
    deb_hmmdigital
    Member
    • Total posts: 4

    [Not sure if this is the right sub-forum/forum to post in. Sorry I am fairly new so if it isn’t let me know I’ll delete and post somewhere else.]

    Hi!
    I was wondering if any of you have built your business site yourself? If so, what advice would you give to someone that is about to do the same?
    What was your biggest struggle when you just got started? Did you know where to start and what to do next? I guess you figured it out as you were going.. but I would love to learn from your experience if you’re willing to share!

    Thank you!

    #1189291
    kathiemt
    Member
    • Total posts: 1,168

    Have you purchased a domain name yet and organised web hosting? Do you have any idea what you want your website to look like? Have you compiled the data and images to go on the site? There’s a bit of planning involved before you get started.

    Have you used WordPress before?

    #1189292
    Byron Trzeciak
    Member
    • Total posts: 422

    There is no reason why you can’t build a website yourself with today’s technology. In saying that the better question would be whether or not a website you build for yourself will be able to attract visitors and convert them?

    Two big areas are search engine optimisation and conversions. Knowing how to optimise your website for these two areas could be the difference between a successful website and a website that has little or no impact on your business.

    You need to understand why you want a website in the first place, to generate new business or simple a presence on a business card?

    How much time you’re willing to use to learn how to build it?

    Will spending time building a website take you further from your core business?

    Is it an online store or just a standard website?

    Will it turn out professionally or will it turn potential customers away because of poor design?

    More details would be required to understand your situation.

    #1189293
    dima
    Member
    • Total posts: 46

    I have buillt a few wordpress sites for myself and others. Here is my opinion:

    Some of it is definitely figuring it out as you go. If you have some basis in knowing HTML, CSS you will have no problems customising, as you can look up any code you may need/want to add/remove anyway, so don’t need to know code exactly, only how it all works.

    If you (or others reading this) don’t know how stylesheets, CSS and PHP/HTML relate to each other you might have a bit more trouble. You’ll still be able to create a semi-customised wordpress site using the wordpress backend, themes and add-ons though. This is pretty simple to get the hang of, but depends on the developer of the theme you use(which usually has easy to follow documentation when you pay for the $40-$50 ones, check this). This gives you the option of customising only specific elements of your website though, so you may fall into the trap of having a website which is obviously a common theme, or looks like your competitors. There are certain things you won’t be able to change without going into the stylesheets, which would be the next step in customisation.

    I would ask yourself all the questions Kathy & Byron mentioned though. As a flying soloer you’re more than likely the sort of person who can learn this if you don’t have a background in it… but to create a fresh, customised website with good SEO you may be spending time which could be better spent on your core business? It all depends what your time is worth, how quickly you’ll learn it and the purpose of the website.

    #1189294
    affgar
    Member
    • Total posts: 123

    If you are willing to learn many mind boggling new languages & stay up late for endless hours of head scratching jump right in!!!
    The benefits of doing it, experiencing it & learning from it are endless!
    The reality of doing it could be quite a different journey. Right when you are about to give up … & then some, you will finish your website & realise why you should have done it differently! lol

    Kind of joking, but quite serious at the same time :D

    As mentioned by Byron .. what are you trying to achieve, what is your website going to do for you & your business? Ecommerce?

    Depending on your needs you may want to go with a website solution … so to speak. A company that offers you an easy way to jump into it.
    Or, you could go for a company like Elegant Themes! They are an awesome theme development company & have come up with some nice products which make the whole web process easier. A product called DIVI makes building a website much easier. And they offer great support & help which is a must if you are doing it yourself.

    I am not trying to sell you on anything … but just check out the options available.

    If you have no experience & hope to build a website to run a business … I don’t like your chances. Depending on your needs you could pay someone to build you a very simple website from a theme for less than $1000.

    I like your ambition though .. let us know how you go & what you decide.

    #1189295
    MyGreatIdea
    Member
    • Total posts: 2,278

    I think having a go at building a WordPress site is an excellent idea and yes, I’ve done it.

    It gives you a deeper understanding and appreciation of what’s involved, you’re more likely to then outsource to a developer, and you’ll have the basic knowledge to be able to work WITH a developer.

    Apart from that, it’s really fun playing around in WordPress lol

    Wendy :)

    #1189296
    GuestMember
    Member
    • Total posts: 318

    Yes, I built my blog myself in WP. Biggest issue for me is that it is 3 blogs in one site so I had to use categories and it required code for various things to do with that, such as excluding posts from the homepage on two categories. Research time on a theme and plugins was huge, too. I’ve got some functionality on the blog that’s pushing WP to it’s limits without getting heavy with coding. Also, one big lesson (that I’m still trying to remember) if you install caching software to speed the site up, turn it off while developing or you’ll be served old pages and wonder why your changes are not taking effect. Wow that one’s a time killer.

    #1189297
    Dave Gillen – FS Concierge
    Keymaster
    • Total posts: 2,543

    Yes, you can definitely build your own website. If that’s your goal go for it.

    But if your goal is to make money from your business, you are 100% choosing to neglect another aspect of your business for every hour you spend on an (almost certainly mediocre and usually worse) website.

    Say you really wanted to get a date and think a haircut will really help your chances. Would you be better off:
    A) Spending 6 months learning how to cut hair so you can give yourself a haircut?
    B) Find a way to get a haircut from an expert and spend 6 months meeting new people instead of sitting at home with a pair of scissors (or a mouse) in your hand.

    I think in business you have the same choice.

    Good luck!

    Dave

    Dave Gillen - Client Acquisition | Brisbane | (07) 3180 0288
    #1189298
    bb1
    Participant
    • Total posts: 4,485
    FS Forum Support, post: 222345, member: 49676 wrote:
    Say you really wanted to get a date and think a haircut will really help your chances. Would you be better off:
    A) Spending 6 months learning how to cut hair so you can give yourself a haircut?
    B) Find a way to get a haircut from an expert and spend 6 months meeting new people instead of sitting at home with a pair of scissors (or a mouse) in your hand.

    Now I know what I have being doing wrong, I’m only 5 months into the course, Yippee only a month to go.

    #1189299
    MD Clean
    Participant
    • Total posts: 308
    bb1, post: 222349, member: 53375 wrote:
    Now I know what I have being doing wrong, I’m only 5 months into the course, Yippee only a month to go.
    Bert, when it’s done, I am sure that it will be spectacular too!
    #1189300
    Kelly Exeter FS Editor
    Member
    • Total posts: 241

    I will second the Divi recommendation if you are trying to build your own WordPress site. I’ve been working with WordPress for more than 7 years now and (to me) Divi is a real gamechanger x

    #1189301
    Kelly Exeter FS Editor
    Member
    • Total posts: 241

    [USER=49676]@FS Forum Support[/USER] – best analogy ever!!

    Say you really wanted to get a date and think a haircut will really help your chances. Would you be better off:
    A) Spending 6 months learning how to cut hair so you can give yourself a haircut?
    B) Find a way to get a haircut from an expert and spend 6 months meeting new people instead of sitting at home with a pair of scissors (or a mouse) in your hand.

    #1189302
    GuestMember
    Member
    • Total posts: 318

    I liked that analogy at first glance but I’m not so sure on closer inspection. ROI is low on a haircut. Let me explain.

    You spend a lot on a hairdressing course and then save very little by learning to cut your own hair (and you wouldn’t, of course, you’d cut other peoples to make a business of it). It would take many years to get your money back from cutting your own hair.

    In business, you spend very little on WordPress and can build hugely successful businesses on it that will pay for any number of haircuts and ultimately, having started from a low base with little capital in some cases, you can then pay others to do this work.

    I’ve had some painful times building websites but the ROI has been amazing. A single self-built and self SEO’d site bought me a house, bought me a second property, paid for me to backpack the world including an expensive kayaking trip in Antarctica, emigrate to Australia, buy a new house, buy every single item new (I gave my belongings to charity and family), and start 3 new businesses.

    So I can’t rush to be judge people who DIY. I think they need to think carefully about how much startup capital they have, their levels of patience and speed of learning, support structure or research abilities for problem-solving, how bespoke they want the site, functionality, and myriad other variables.

    #1189303
    Kelly Exeter FS Editor
    Member
    • Total posts: 241

    Hmm [USER=54653]@Paul Peace[/USER] … true! More to ponder :)

    #1189304
    MD Clean
    Participant
    • Total posts: 308
    Kelly Exeter FS Editor, post: 222773, member: 63738 wrote:
    Hmm [USER=54653]@Paul Peace[/USER] … true! More to ponder :)

    That may be so and I don’t doubt Paul for a moment.

    But whilst there is every imaginable piece of information out there to be a successful WordPress DIYer – and I call myself one – not all of the population has the capacity to take what they have learned and apply it successfully.

    Just like, I couldn’t draw a straight line in a pink fit and am therefore not a good candidate to ever make a good home improvement DIYer, there are many that could not translate all of the info on the net into a great DIY WordPress site.

    In fact, there is a lot of evidence of WordPress FAIL and sameness on the net for all to see.
    P.S
    By the way, I originally came from a recruitment background and it just about broke my heart one time when I came across a guy who wanted to be a hairdresser his whole life and he did get the opportunity to live out his dream and he was so joyous… only to find that the chemicals had a really bad effect on his skin and couldn’t continue in his chosen occupation.
    P.P.S
    I still want to see Bert’s DIY haircut!

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