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Common Mistakes to Avoid When DIYing Your Website

Woman sat at a laptop with a notepad and pen, ready to take notes. Squarebase | Squarespace template kits and Canva templates

In today's digital world, having a kick-ass website is super important for every business. But let's face it, not everyone who is starting out has the budget to hire a professional web designer. That's where the magic of DIY website creation platforms, just like Squarespace and Shopify, come into play. 

Web builders like Squarespace, Shopify and WordPress let you take charge and create your website without breaking the bank. However, people often make some common mistakes when they venture into the DIY world. In this blog, let's explore these blunders and how to avoid them.

Lack of Strategic Planning To Get the Site Live

Okay, picture this: you're all excited to dive into designing your website, but hold on! Before you jump right in, it's crucial to do some planning. Consider the purpose of your website, who your target audience is, and what key messages you want to convey. Create a simple site map and outline your content structure to make sure everything flows smoothly and makes sense to your visitors.

Also, launching your website can be pretty daunting; there's lots to do: image sourcing, copywriting, uploading content, writing blogs, designing the site, etc. We recommend making a site launch plan so that you have a launch date you're working towards; this will help keep you on track.

Overcomplicating Design

I totally get it—you want your website to look fabulous, right? But sometimes, less is more. It's easy to go overboard with fancy graphics, the latest trends and complex layouts, but trust me, simplicity is the key. Going crazy with too many elements can slow down your website, confuse your visitors, and make things look cluttered and off-brand. Keep it clean and intuitive, and let your content shine without overwhelming anyone.

Inconsistent Branding

You know how important it is for your business to have a strong brand identity, right? Well, your website should reflect that too! It's a big no-no to use inconsistent colours, fonts, and visuals, and this is the same across all other touchpoints in your business too, such as social media posts, email marketing, printed materials, and merch. By keeping your colours and fonts consistent, not only are you helping make your brand memorable, but you're also making it easier for yourself, not having to pick a new colour palette or new fonts every time you go to design things. 

An inconsistent brand confuses people and makes you look unprofessional. Take advantage of predefined templates or customise them to match your brand guidelines. Keep it cohesive, and let your brand personality shine through!

Neglecting User Experience (UX)

Let's talk about something really important—user experience. When you're building your website, you have to make sure it's user-friendly; you don't want people getting frustrated and bouncing off your site.

Avoid things like confusing navigation, slow-loading pages, and too many of those pesky pop-ups that drive people crazy. (Speaking of which, if you are going to use a pop-up, make sure you're offering something special in exchange for your customers' emails.) Your website should be a breeze to navigate, load lightning-fast, and give your users a seamless and enjoyable experience.

The best way to see if your site is user-friendly is to do some user testing, which is much simpler than it might sound. All you need to do is ask one of your friends or family members to navigate through your website without (and this part is crucial) saying anything.

Ineffective Call-to-Actions (CTA)

You've worked very hard to get people to visit your site; now, we need to inspire them to take action! One of the biggest things that I see with DIY websites is that there is either no call to action, meaning that the user is left a little bit confused about what you want them to do, or, on the contrary, there are too many call to actions, also leaving the user the confused.

Confused customers = lower conversion rate.

Your job is to effectively guide your users to what you want them to do on the site. Your CTAs need to be super compelling and placed strategically throughout your website. Use persuasive language that grabs their attention and gets them excited to take that next step—whether it's buying your product, signing up for your killer newsletter, or reaching out to you. Make those CTAs stand out, and watch your engagement and conversions soar!

Creating Your Own Squarespace Website 

Creating your own website is an exciting adventure, and at Squarebase, we believe you're fully capable of doing it yourself! But, it's important to be aware of the common mistakes people make when going the DIY route. By avoiding these five common mistakes, you can create a professional and engaging website that captivates your audience and converts.

If you're ready to jump into the world of DIY websites and you're looking for a great starting point, why not browse our Squarespace website template kits? We understand the struggles of creating your own website, and that's why we've got your back with our premium collection of Squarespace Template Kits, Canva Template Kits, and logo kits.

I, Ruby, a website and branding designer with over 13 years of experience under my belt, have designed all the templates on Squarebase. I've worked with huge brands like Microsoft, Canon and Panasonic, and now, maybe you, to help you launch your website quickly, affordably, and with serious style.

Explore our extensive collection of templates.

You'll find a wide range of visually stunning designs and layouts to make your website stand out. Start browsing our templates today, and get ready to rock your website like a pro!

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