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I like to tell a story on myself about the time I decided to try cutting my own hair. Come to find out, I’m not really very good with scissors and mirrors. And no, I wasn’t 10 when I figured that out. I was well past 40 and sitting in a barber’s chair at the time. Fortunately, my friend – who is licensed to cut hair – emerged from the breakroom in time to tell me to hand her the scissors, have a good laugh and fix the damage I’d done. Yeah. I know. I should have known better. But if you don’t try to do things you’ve never done before, you won’t know if you can do those things or not. Suffice it to say, I know for certain I CANNOT cut my own hair with any expectation of a respectable result.

But then I never would’ve been justly qualified to write the rest of this piece and wrap it up in some sort of an extended metaphor or an analogy – which some of you may know I’m quite fond of doing – if I hadn’t tried cutting my own hair.

So it’s not my intent to discourage anyone from spreading their wings a bit, it’s just that it sometimes makes sense to ask for help. Today, I’m talking about website design, creating quality content and developing an SEO strategy. Those are the kinds of things we do here at <engine/>.

Not quite as easy as it looks

While it may be tempting to give it a go yourself and jump feet first into designing and developing your own website, the task often becomes bigger than anticipated. There are a lot of things to consider when embarking on such a project.

The first, and often the most daunting task, is creating a design that will look great on everything from one of those new-fangled folding phones to 27” retina displays. And sadly, even though there’s some kind of consortium lurking somewhere setting standards, not everybody building browsers seems to acknowledge that those standards even exist, let alone adhere to them. What works in Chrome often doesn’t work so well in Safari or that Edge thing Microsoft keeps trying to cram down your throat every time your Windows machine boots up. Sorry. That’s a pet peeve. Makes me long for the days when we only had to worry about Netscape, Internet Explorer and AOL.

Beyond that, you also need to decide which content management system (CMS) or pre-packaged website builder – see also Website TONIGHT! {as I shudder uncontrollably} – you want to use that will best suit your needs and offer the greatest flexibility as your website grows. And after you pick a CMS, then you’ll likely need a theme like Divi, Avada or Helix to make building your pages a whole lot easier. Unless you want to code from scratch, which probably isn’t the best idea.

Then as you dive into it, you’ll see things like plugins that greatly enhance the functionality of your website. But which one is best? Hey! This one’s free! Only it’s not really. The BASIC functionality is free, but if you want the full-blown beauty, it’s gonna cost you.

And then there are the tweaks through cPanel, the PHP running everything and the database behind the scenes that everything feeds on. If you haven’t any experience with those things, it can be a bit overwhelming. 

But Brent, you say, that points me squarely toward a website builder package (Website TONIGHT!) where I don’t have to mess with any of that kind of stuff. Please know that there are serious limitations with those systems and they don’t give you but a smidge of the flexibility you’re gonna want.

Call in the pros

So at this point, I hope you’re thinking about handing us the scissors.

Here at <engine/>, we design and build websites every day. Whether you need a basic informational website, or an eCommerce sales platform using Shopify or WooCommerce, we can help you. We have a fair amount of expertise in those areas. And we can help you make an informed decision on which CMS will best suit you.

If you need help creating engaging content that will increase your site’s visibility when search engines come a-crawlin’ we’ve been doing that with great success over the years. We can take your content and tweak it to appease and/or optimize it for whatever algorithm might be analyzing it.

And for your email marketing campaigns, we’ve worked with the most popular platforms like MailChimp, Constant Contact and Salesforce. From creating a targeted and effective campaign to gathering the data in a meaningful way and making sense of the results, we have the tools and experience to help you grow through the web.

So if you’re not quite sure if you’re ready to cut your own hair just yet, give us a holler and let’s talk about it. 

Need professional help with your website? Contact us today!