Why You Shouldn’t Mess With Your Website Code

All websites are written in code – and some sites may encourage you to play around with your website code to try new things and see which styles result in an elegant or stylish web design that is aesthetically pleasing. However, the design of your site is the most critical aspect to helping you close sales. Because your website code is the basis for everything from search engine optimization (SEO) to elements that affect the user experience, even making well-intended adjustments can result in a massive drop in sales and a major migraine.

You Wouldn’t Write a Book in a Language You Don’t Know

If you are not fluent in a language, would you still try to write a book or a song in that language? Of course not – you would leave the translating (or creating) to someone who is fluent in that language. But even if you were fluent in Spanish, for example, that does not automatically mean that you are fluent in all variants and dialects of that language.

Similarly, code is comprised of numerous dialects and languages. If you begin to alter your code without understanding the language it is written it, you may create more problems for yourself. In the worst-case scenario, you may have to completely scrap the original code and start all over again, which is costly and time intensive. Even in the best-case scenario where you are making well-intended adjustments, you may be laying the groundwork for errors in the future. In turn, these errors can build up and result in costly fixes.

I can predict some comments already: But I know basic HTML code, you might be thinking to yourself. Surely I can’t do that much damage. Unfortunately, web design is about more than just the coding language. Web design is the intersection of a technical language (the code) with art (the appearance, layout, and visual content). However, just because something makes sense in a language does not mean that it will present well visually. The opposite is true as well – just because something sounds like a great idea from a web design perspective does not mean that it can be translated to code.

You May Be Hindering Your SEO

Web design is undoubtedly critical to landing sales. With over 1.8 billion active websites on the internet, it is important to make your website stand out from the crowd. While user-friendly and aesthetically pleasing design is one way to make your website stand out from the rest, those aspects alone will not help you land a sale. Potential customers need to be able to find your website easily through search engines. And by making well-intended adjustments to your website code, you may be unintentionally hiding your business from your audience.

Let’s put this in perspective with an example. Suppose an ambitious entrepreneur wants to start a small business and tries to do everything by themselves. Perhaps they are resourceful and read helpful online guides written by other business owners who have been in their shoes. In their excitement, our ambitious entrepreneur uses a separate website to create interesting, eye-catching graphics that include important information. They have a professional-looking image and they are communicating a message. Even better, their end result is easy to upload to their website! Two birds, one stone – right? Wrong.

Search engines crawl through website code to look for keyword phrases in prominent locations. These crawlers ignore any non-HTML code and categorize pages by text. Without text, crawlers will never be able to find a website – let alone categorize it in the ranking of a search engine. By putting information on a graphic (e.g. image file) instead of in the code itself, our entrepreneur hinders their ability to be found on even the most basic of search engine results. Instead of using the internet to boost their accessibility to an audience, they have made their website impossible to find – both by crawlers and by potential customers.

Outside Perspective is Healthy

When you hire a plumber to fix a leaky faucet, you are not just hiring someone who can get you to the solution quickly and easily. Rather, you might also hire them because they can spot other common problems or provide you advice on how to avoid future problems. Having an outside expert offer their experiential advice can be incredibly invaluable and save you quite a bit of money. They may also be able to suggest new technologies or products for you that help solve other issues.

The same is true when it comes to hiring a web designer. You are not just hiring someone to design a website. You are also hiring an expert who is well-versed in current trends, optimal design standards, and knows how to make your website design accessible across a variety of platforms. Web designers can help identify ways to improve your existing website. They can also spot potential issues when it comes to web design elements (like when a particular design element does not translate well, if at all, to mobile). Just like a plumber can help steer you away from destroying your own plumbing at home, a website designer can keep you from making common mistakes that would steer potential customers away from your business.

Leave It To The Experts

If outsourcing your website code feels uncomfortable, remember that smart businessowners outsource all the work that is outside of their skillset. Marketers are employed to handle everything from social media campaigns to logo design; accountants are responsible for managing payroll and taxes; even shipping and logistics are often outsourced, particularly for e-commerce businesses. By outsourcing the tasks that are outside your skillset, you are optimizing your business in a way that is efficient and cost-effective.

You’ve got great ideas, and we’re here to listen to them. We can talk about your vision for a new website or help identify ways to improve your existing website. Instead of putting your livelihood at risk by messing around with website code, schedule a consultation today.

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