Whether you’re a fresh yoga teacher looking to set up your first website, or an established yoga brand, you know that building a website ain’t for the faint-hearted…
But, if you are laboring under an incorrect set of assumptions, it’s even harder! Our beliefs have the ability to shape the decisions we make in our life and business. Beliefs are a powerful thing, but what if some of the things we believe are wrong?
I want to debunk some of the most common myths about websites that yoga teachers have that you should stop believing right now.
#1 – It doesn’t matter what your website looks like
Here’s the thing: people make snap judgments. It only takes 1/10th of a second to form a first impression about a person, and websites are no different. It takes about 50 milliseconds for users to form an opinion about your website, which determines whether they’ll stay or leave – there are actually studies that show this! Scary, right?
Whilst I think you need great content on your website (like good copy to convert your visitors into customers, a good brand message, etc), if people don’t stay on it, they’re not going to see all the great things you have to offer or read on to learn more. Visual appeal and website navigation have the biggest influence on people’s first impressions of a website, and it’s the first impression that counts. Contrary to popular belief – this doesn’t mean that you need an expensive designer (another myth that I’ll be covering).
A few years ago, Google confirmed the 50 milliseconds number in their own research. The interesting key findings from their study were that websites with low visual complexity and high prototypicality (that means how representative a design looks for a certain category of websites) were perceived as highly appealing. The key takeaway is this: make your web design simple and familiar, follow conventions.
People have a fixed idea of what a website should look like – for example, you would expect the logo to be on the left and the menu bar at the top, right? If you go for innovative, unconventional layouts, people are actually less likely to like them. Keep it simple. I always preach this, but I think that it’s super important, especially when you’re not a designer.
What a lot of people get wrong is that they want to be too unique and creative. I get that, I really do! You want to stand out and you probably have your own ideas of what you like and don’t like. But very often, that goes terribly wrong. Like hand-drawn logos that are way too elaborate to use on a website, and impossible to read on a mobile phone, or colors that are too strong or clash.
Can I say it again? Keep it simple, and it will be much easier to make a good first impression with your website.
Tips for keeping your website simple:
- Have a simple logo, maybe just your name in a beautiful font.
- Keep your navigation menu super clear and have a maximum of 7 topics in it. You don’t need to put “home” as text in your menu, people know that your logo links back to your homepage.
- Have a lot of white space. White space is the space between elements – for example, between an image and a headline. Be generous here, it will look better than if everything is cramped together.
- Consider your colors: white looks great as your main background color, and you can accent it with another light background color, for example, a very light beige or grey, and some stronger accent colors that complement your main color.
- Use fonts that are easy to read and are not too small.
- Make sure that the contrast between the text and background is good.
- Don’t have too much text on your homepage.
- Don’t use stock images on your homepage, people recognize them immediately and it looks weird, especially when you’re a personal brand.
If you take these tips on board, you’re well on your way to having a beautifully designed website! If you also have amazing content and get that side of things right too, you’re golden, and have a real asset for your business.
#2 – You need a designer to have a professional-looking website
I just told you that how your website looks really matters. So, naturally, you might think the best thing to do is to hire a designer to build you a beautiful website, right? I have to say, I have mixed feelings here.
When you’re just getting started and might have just paid a ton of money for your yoga teacher training or a nutrition course, you probably don’t have the budget to hire someone good. Does this mean that you should wait, and not get a website? Of course not!
Yes, a professionally designed website will probably look better than a DIY website – that’s why professional website designers exist. However, you can get something great-looking up when you keep it simple (there I go again) and put some thought into it. You could start thinking about what content to put on your website, what pictures you would like to use, etc.
When money is tight, I would strongly recommend that you spend it on a photo shoot before you hire someone to design your website and/or logo. Photos make such a huge difference, and you can’t fake good-quality photos of yourself. It’s not impossible to take the photos yourself, but it’s super difficult – trust me, I tried it.
Do a photoshoot, and then build a simple website yourself and start growing your business. Then, when you’re actually earning money from it, you can put some of that towards hiring a website designer (like me), a copywriter, or a virtual assistant. You are reinvesting into your business and building the foundation for more growth.
When you’re just getting started, you don’t need a fancy website with all the bells and whistles. You just need something nice looking where people can learn more about you, your offers, and how to get in touch.
Alternatively, you can keep managing your website yourself. It’s actually totally possible, even when you’re not a designer, and it’s so empowering. That’s what a lot of my students in my course Blissful Websites tell me. They’ve said how empowering it is that they could do it themselves and change anything they want when they want! They actually built their websites themselves, and they love being in control of all of the elements of their website and know that they don’t have to wait for someone else if they spot something they’d like to change.
Even if one day you want to delegate your website, it’s super beneficial if you know how to do things yourself. You’ll know how to brief someone, you’ll know what you want, and what you don’t want. You’ll also know how to change things yourself which can be really important if you notice a mistake and urgently want to fix it before you send out a newsletter, and your designer is out of town or on annual leave.
So, you don’t need a designer for your website. There’s definitely power in doing it yourself. One thing I will say is, I would recommend investing in an online course, or a good template, so you don’t have to start from scratch and spend crazy amounts of time on it. Trying to put something together with no plan and no idea what you’re doing is going to lead to frustration and to a probably not-so-stellar-looking website.
Thankfully, you’re really lucky, because it’s never been easier to build a gorgeous, professional-looking website yourself than today, thanks to website builders and templates and online courses that allow you to create something amazing without knowing how to code. I don’t know how to code! I taught myself how to use WordPress, but I never needed to learn HTML or PHP, or any other programming languages, thank god! I don’t believe it’s impossible, you just have to sit down and learn them, but there’s really no need!
With the easy drag-and-drop builders that are available today, you don’t have to be techy to build a website. Though I don’t even know what that means. What’s techy? Who’s techy? I’ve certainly never met a yoga teacher who said he or she is techy. But I’ve met MANY who said, “I’m just not techy”. Which is the third myth I want to address today.
#3 – You need to be ‘techy’ to build a website
I’ve already mentioned that you don’t need to be techy to build a website, and I mean it. It’s a limiting belief, and when you tell yourself that, you’re stopping yourself from doing it, from being successful in creating your website. You’re belittling yourself and your abilities.
Is it super easy to create a website? Of course not! There are still a lot of foreign things to learn and handle, like registering a domain, hosting, choosing a website builder, and all that. The thing is, you can do this! This is just like a foreign language you need to learn, or anatomy. You probably had to sit down and learn all the names for the different bones and muscles, this didn’t happen overnight, and it’s the same with your website.
You just need to get started, and then you’ll figure it out, step by step. Just try to get into this mindset – that you’ll figure it out, and that it’s a new thing you’ll master. Get support, watch tutorials on YouTube, or get an online course that teaches you how to build your website step-by-step, like I do in my course Blissful Websites. You can do this. You got this!
Your website matters. It’s a big asset for your business. You need it. But you don’t need an expensive designer to build it for you and you certainly don’t need to be techy.