Should You Build Your Own Website?

Should You Build Your Own Website?

Should You Build Your Own Website?


Are you a small business owner on a tight budget considering saving money by creating your own website?

If you have seen the ads for Wix, Shopify, GoDaddy or Square Online you probably think anyone (especially you) can create a website. If I had a nickel for every time someone said to me “It’s WordPress, how hard can it be”.

My answer is “it depends”. Ask yourself:

  • How much time do you have?

I’ve had clients who have spent months, even years creating their website before giving up and asking me for help. A website is much more than just what you see on your screen. They are more like an iceberg where most of the important stuff is behind the scenes. True, if you run into problems, reputable sites have tech support, but the level and skill of tech support is a wide spectrum, which often depends on how much you are paying for the hosting of the site.

  • Are you comfortable with sourcing, re-sizing and optimizing images?

When you find an image, it will need to be re-sized, optimized, given an alt-tag and titled for SEO. Plus, just because you can Google an image doesn’t mean that you are allowed to use it. You can be fined for using an image with a copywrite.

  • How comfortable are you with technology?

You no longer not need to know HTML, CSS, PHP or JavaScript anymore because many web editors are WYSIWYG but you do need a comfortable level of technical skill.

In an effort to answer this, I have created a little introductory video of some WordPress features using the Divi theme. In my experience, Divi is the most powerful and easiest of the platforms to use. (No, I am not getting paid to say that.)

Also, be aware that this video doesn’t answer questions about:

  • understanding SEO,
  • headings, typography,
  • wireframe,
  • navigation,
  • branding,
  • the occasional CSS, html or php,
  • image optimization,
  • plug-in integrations or responsiveness,
  • design elements,
  • CTAs,
  • cookies compliance,
  • analytics,
  • or SSL.

Just because a site looks pretty, doesn’t mean it is optimally functional. Give this beginner video a view. If what I’m showing you is straight forward to you, then yes, you could make your own WordPress website.

Or, you have better things to do with your time. I guide you the whole way and you only have 1 point of contact, I keep it simple, you know that this will be easier, faster and less frustrating. So book a call today and lets get this done! 


20 Reasons You Need a Website

20 Reasons You Need a Website

20 Reasons Why Your Business Needs a Website


Having your business is even more critical since covid. Covid dramatically increased the number of people shopping online and buyers have embraced the experience wholeheartedly. According to Forbes: Globally, 49% more consumers shop online now than before COVID-19. (Bazaarvoice) and they are not rushing to return to retail.

Research shows that Google is the first place people search to find what they want. 63% of shopping begins online (Oberlo) and according to Big Commerce; 43% of global shoppers research products online through social networks.  People buy online, do business online, and get entertained online. With statistics like these, your business can’t afford not to have a website.


Your website: 

1. Proves that you are a legitimate business.
• Your website is your virtual storefront.

2. Increases your business visibility.
• Using Google My Business offers many paths to reach your ideal client.

3. Helps your branding become recognizable.
• Your logo, colours, voice, & brand elements help build your brand identity which develops credibility.

4. Saves you and your customer time with questions you answer repeatedly every day.
• Questions like hours and location are easily accessible within seconds.

5. Provides images and information on your products.
• Go into the minute visual details of your product.

6. Gives detailed information about your services.
• Information your ideal client might not otherwise think to ask about.

7. Positions you competitively in your field.
• An up-to-date, visually appealing, and responsive website puts you on the playing field.

8. Targets search engines so you can be found.
• Both locally and globally, direct your SEO to your ideal client.

9. Places you everywhere in the world.
• The internet has no geographical limitations.

10. Connects all your platforms to one location.
• Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, TikTok, YouTube, WhatsApp, Snap Chat… can all be linked centrally from your website.

11. Is owned by you. No one can shut it down but you.
• Remember when Facebook shut down last October? Only for 7 hours, but businesses who relied solely on Facebook were panicking, with zero control over the situation.

12. Is easily accessible and always open. Different time zones don’t matter.
• Not like when I was a kid and I had to wait for CBS to come online.

13. Provides customer reviews and testimonials.
• The most powerful sales tool is what people are saying about you. Place reviews on your website and in Google Reviews.

14. Google maps shows where you are located and give directions.
• How often have you Googled “Fast food near me”, or “local computer repair”?

15. Gives you website traffic insights for SEO.
• Stay informed about what works with your marketing plan using Google Insights, trackers, and split testing to learn more about your ideal client.

16. Allows your client to get to know you and build a relationship with you.
• People want to do business with people. This is your opportunity to show who you are and share your story. When they are ready, they will buy from you.

17. Connects your client to you through contact buttons, email, phone, and chat.
• Your website can offer multiple ways for people to connect with you.

18. Your customer can purchase your product and service directly from your website.
• Imagine making money while you are with your family on vacation or asleep.

19. Brings your customer to you instead of you trying to find them.
• Thanks to SEO, social media, and your online community all funneling to your website.

20. Avoids losing business to a competitor who already has a website.
• 63% of people start their buying journey with an online search. What happens when they search your business, and you are not online. 

A website is fundamental to a comprehensive digital marketing plan to compliment your social media platforms and enhance traditional forms of marketing. You need a trustworthy and experienced professional to guide you through the process, answer your questions, and suggest ideas you may not have considered.

If you are ready to create a website that attracts your perfect customer, click here to schedule a conversation about how you can elevate your online presence.

5 Things To Know Before Hiring A Web Designer

5 Things To Know Before Hiring A Web Designer

5 Simple & Helpful Things You Need To Know Before You Hire A Web Designer.

Websites vary greatly in price, and for the most part – you get what you pay for. As a small business owner your budget is tight, but there are more things to consider than just price when choosing who will build your website.

1. How will you communicate?

    • How available are they?
    • What time zone are they in?
    • How can you meet? By phone, over Zoom, in person?
    • What is their turn around time to respond to your questions?
    • Do they charge extra for questions and edits? How much?
    • Do you understand what they are talking about?
    • Do you like them?

Many clients have turned to me after they have hired an off-shore company with a time-zone difference. Your site might have been cheap, but if it goes down, how long are you willing to wait to get help? How much will that cost you and your business? Personally, I have always found it beneficial to form a local partnership with a business.

This is a collaboration where you form a relationship with your web designer while developing your project. The journey should be enjoyable.

2. Do they have a portfolio?

    • Do you like their style?
    • Do all their websites look the same?
    • What is their website like? Does it have typos, poor grammar, and bad practises?

When researching your perspective web designer, make sure their website portfolio includes legitimate businesses and not simply templates already available. I’ve seen this on Fivrr; they have “examples” of their work, but the websites are cut & paste templates and not live working websites or real clients. Unfortunately, if you don’t know what you are looking for, you might not be able to tell the difference.

3. What platform do they use?

    • I use WordPress Divi for the parent theme and customize it. Besides being the gold standard now for business websites, you also want a platform that can be easily edited if you loose touch with your web designer.
    • There may be instances where you want Wix, Weebly, Square, Shopify, Joomla etc… Just make sure they understand what you want, and why you chose that platform.
    • The platform must be modern enough that responsiveness is part of the deal and not an extra feature.

Whichever platform your designer uses, make sure it isn’t so proprietary that no one else can edit it unless you have a technology team or plan to pay them to manage the edits, updates and maintenance.

4. Do they have a policy for maintenance and perpetuity?

    • What happens if they go out of business?
    • Do you have enough information that you can take over the management of the site yourself or hire someone who can take it over?
    • Who will keep the site up to date?

Once a website is complete, even if it is perfect, there will always be changes on the internet that will affect your website and force it to be updated and maintained.

5. Can they provide references?

    • Are they on Google?
    • Does their website have a client and testimonial page?
    • Are they willing to share that information if you want it?

I get frustrated and even embarrassed when I have to bail out a small business owner who got ripped off by a web design company. Chances are, if you have thousands of dollars to spend on a website you will be going with a large reputable company. But, even in that arena I’ve seen poor business practices.

Just like the old saying:

              Measure twice,

              Cut once.

Take care choosing your web designer. It will save you time, frustration, and money in the long run. If you have questions about this, give me a call 604-308-0137 or email me at eileen@eileendreams.com


Please let me know if this is information is helpful to you.

instagram graphic with little people who love it

Favourite Word Press Plug Ins

My Favourite Plug-Ins for WordPress

(The bottom of this blog includes a bonus video on how I made this blog post. )


  1. Coming Soon by SeedProd
  2. Akismet Anti-Spam
  3. CDN Enabler
  4. Cookie Notice and compliance for GDPR/CCPA
  5. Site Kit by Google
  6. Smush
  7. Wordfence Security

1. Coming Soon by SeedProd

This plug-in creates a simple splash page that hides your new WordPress site until you are ready for your website to go live. It is the very first Plug-in I load and set up.

2. Akismet Anti-Spam

It might come pre-loaded but only use plugins that you need. You need this plug-in if you have a blog and allow comments. I removed it once and quickly got thousands of fake comments on a client’s site – so it definitely works well.

  1. CDN Enabler

Rewrites URLs like CSS, JavaScript, and images, to be served by a content delivery network (CDN) which helps speed up your WordPress site. Only use this plug-in if your host doesn’t provide CDN service.

  1. Cookie Notice and compliance for GDPR/CCPA

Adds a notice to your site to tell visitors that your site uses cookies and helps you comply with GDPR, CCPA and other data privacy laws. I use the plug-in by Hu-manity.co and it always works well for me. Whatever one you choose – be sure to use one.


  1. Site Kit by Google 

Sets up search console, Google analytics and site speed tests. In other words,

    • how your site appears in Search results
    • how many visitors you’ve had
    • analytics on your visitors
    • you can even run speed tests on your site

This used to be so difficult because you had to set these all up separately and now Google makes it so much easier I need to thank Google.

  1. Smush

This easily reduces image file sizes to help load time which improves performance and helps with SEO. I use Smush from WPMU DEV  and it saves me hours of resizing my images manually. Plus, I have tried other image optimizing plug-ins that caused problems so I trust Smush.


  1. Wordfence Security – This is a must have plug in.

I keep my site safe by using Wordfence Security – Anti-virus, Firewall and Malware Scan by Wordfence I use the free version and it has always been amazingly good at keeping my site secure. However, if my site ever went into the BigLeagues – I would pay for the Pro version for sure.


      • Only use plug-ins you need.
      • Remove any that you don’t need that may have been included in your hosting package.
      • Always keep plug-ins up to date by enabling auto updates for your plug-ins.
      • No, I did not get paid to mention any of these plug-ins. I just use them and they work well for me.

 Do you agree? What are your Go-To plugins that you always use?

Are you new to WordPress and want to learn more? Watch the video on how I created this post:

The Easiest Way to Create a WordPress Post


Shopify Time Savers When Setting Up Products

Shopify Time Savers When Setting Up Products

A Super Simple Time Saving Tip When Setting Up Products in Your Shopify Shop

Shopify’s “Duplicate” feature allows you to duplicate products when setting up products in your Shopify shop. Although you make changes to the title and product description, the basics such as

  • product tags
  • category
  • Region
  • taxes etc…

remain generally the same. This is where your time gets saved in picky little details.

However, the URL gets convoluted and if you don’t fix it while you are editing your product, you will have to go back in to each product separately, which is a big waste of time.

When you go to the bottom of the Product page to the Search engine listing preview you will see how the link includes the original copy of the link plus the new page title. To fix this, you must Edit Website SEO and delete the duplicate portion of the link.

Watch the video to see how easy it is to save time when setting up your Shopify Products store.

First 3 Steps to Get Your Business Online

First 3 Steps to Get Your Business Online

The First 3 Steps to Getting Your Business Online

  1. Secure your name
  2. Choose your platforms
  3. Choose a host

1. Secure your name

I am Canadian so I start with both .ca and .com top level domains for my website name.  Even if you don’t want to use all the social media platforms right now, secure your name for the future. I start with https://www.namecheckr.com/ to make sure I get the same name for Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram etc.

2. Choose Your Platform

Website Platform Consider starting with a landing page for your business website if you aren’t ready to start with a full feature website. You will have an online presence while you create content for your website. First you need to decide which platform is best suited to your needs. There is oodles of information about which platform is best. But, the question you need answered is:

Which platform is best for you?

I use Word Press. The downside is that there requires some learning depending how comfortable you are with technology. You could hire a designer to get you started and then take over for updates. Once your theme and template is set up, it is an easy blogging platform. You are not limited to what you do and you have complete control for future growth. The top three ecommerce website builders for small businesses are Wix, Squarespace, and Shopify. But it is like renting. You don’t own your site.

Shopify – Easy set up for an online store. Easily manages multiple payment methods and outranks other website builders in SEO.

Etsy – Showcase and sell homemade goods online

Wix – Simple way to set up a landing page.

Social Media Platforms

LinkedIn – Validate your business

Facebook business page – For followers and visibility

Instagram – Visually interesting way to gain followers,

TikTok, Twitter, SnapChat etc….. You don’t need to start with all the social media platforms. It is better to do a great job of one platform than a mediocre job of several platforms. As long as you have reserved your name, you can jump on to new platforms when you are ready. The most important consideration is to choose a platform where your ideal clients frequent.

3. Choose a host

Your host is the server where your website lives. Ideally, your host should have:

-Geo-redundant servers

-Automatic free back-ups

-Free 24 hour phone tech support

-Easy integration of third party apps (ie: WordPress, Joomla)

I use Ionos. I probably pay a bit more for their service but it’s like paying cheap insurance for when a website goes down or gets attacked. I know that I can phone them in the middle of the night and get an immediate resolution.

If you don’t know where to start with getting your business online these are the first three decisions you need to make. I have been setting up and managing websites for almost 20 years. My clients range from having me set up and maintain their websites and social media to passing over complete control to them. Some don’t want to know anything tech related and for others, I only step in when they have a problem. My clients are all experts in their fields, we just have different knowledge bases. Zooming with them to meet their needs is the best part of our online experience. If you have more specific questions, you can send me an email: Eileen@eileendreams.com and I will give you a free 30 minute consultation.