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! 


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