We’ve heard many funny, crazy, and painful war stories from small business owners who have tried to build their own websites.

Four members of Jottful Community relate their best “why friends don’t let friends build their own website” stories. Enjoy these website mistakes and tales from the trenches!

I built it… but it looks like it was done by a third grader

“Friends don’t let friends build their own websites. Or, allow me to re-phrase, my friends should never let ME build my own website. I always start out confident when trying to do this all DIY. ‘Oh, this’ll be easy. I totally got this.’ Then ten hours later I have something that resembles a glue-stick + poster board project from third grade.

“Great design is great for a reason. This holds true for website designers the same way it holds true for architects, interior designers, movie directors, fashion designers, etc. Yes, the DIY tools are better and easier to use now than ever before, but the expert eye will always take things to a more professional level.”

Chris O’Brien
Writer & Co-Founder of Long Overdue Business

Domain mapping = huh?

“Enjoy drinking copious amounts of coffee and learning about domain mapping? Want to know more about ICANN? (Spoiler: it’s the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers.) Save your nights for sleep and let others make sure that the navigation to your new site works right. You may have bought the snazzy URL for cheap, but getting it to host correctly on a website is a whole other beast you should probably avoid by using Jottful.”

Cassie McClure
Writer & Principal at McClure Publications

So we’re a year into this project…

“Never ask a friend to build your website…but hey, why not ask your son?”

That’s what Kathyrn did, but then “it took many months; nearly a year to hear back.” Once he finally dug in and used all the content she had emailed months prior, she then got the impression he expected to be paid. Kids…

Kathryn Pomroy
Writer & Principal at UpNorth Writer

And now we’re starting all over…

“My father had a friend design his first website for his real estate business, about 15 years ago. It was a disaster, especially when my dad tried to add content beyond its initial five pages. It became cluttered and disorganized, as the designer arbitrarily placed new pages wherever he could easily make them fit. Visitors couldn’t find what they needed. It looked unprofessional and ranked poorly on Google.

“When I finally talked my dad into hiring a pro, the new web designer couldn’t believe how convoluted the programming was on the old site. He said the site was band-aided together, and he was surprised it functioned at all. He had to start from scratch and build the new site from the ground up.

“In the end, what my dad saved by initially using a friend to design the first website, probably cost him some new business, and he ended up having to hire a pro anyway.”

Susan Greene
Writer & Principal at Susan Greene Copywriter

Jottful Community is where small business owners can find the best local experts for their website and online marketing.

If you want to find a logo designer, email marketer, social media marketer, content writer, photographer, or SEO expert who has experience working with small businesses, look no further than Jottful Community.