One thing I have found over the last 20 years of doing this sort of thing is almost always your opinion about your DIY website is that it is pretty much just as good as a professional website...ummmm, nope.
Now, that is not to say you shouldn't have a go at building a website yourself, absolutely, give it a go, and don't get me wrong, some do achieve amazing result too. Building your own website is fun and of course there is a sense of achievement when it's completed too!
Even better, the most wonderful thing about building your own website is that no matter how dysfunctional it is as a website or how ugly it really is a design (in a medium where design absolutely matters), almost all of your friends, all your relatives and even all your online pals, will be extremely complimentary about your new baby. Why? Well because everyone knows you spent all that time putting it together, they know how proud you are of it (because you did it yourself) and as a result no one wants to tell you your website looks like something the cat dragged in...
So, did build your website for the compliments or for the income it will bring?
For most people a website is not a 'bit of fun', it's a proper business (at some level), if there is an expectation of a commercial outcome then treat it so.
Your 'front page' has 15-20 seconds to make an impact on the surfer when they arrive on your website (they say 16secs but I am just rounding). Really, it doesn't matter how good the product is, if your site looks amateurish and 'home-made' then a large portion will leave and take their wallet with them - and you will never ever know they did. That's reality.
So, if you must DIY, here's few tips
Don't clutter your front page with all that damn writing!
Why the first page is so complicated is beyond reason, if the surfer really wants to know more they will find the information via the menu; the average webizen is very clued up on how to surf a website, yours is not the first one they have been to so there is no need to shove all the info on the first page.
We built this hobby/business website www.vintagemovieposters.com.au The best thing about this particular hobby is that it sells posters and yes, a picture is worth (you know the rest).
So why fill up the front page telling the visitor who you are, where you are based, what you are selling, how to use the website, how long you've been in the hobby, the name of your dog, the colour of your socks and so on....ZZZzzzzzzz, unlike your friends and your relatives, Joe-Average buyer does NOT care!
This tip is even more important if you are running a webshop then remove the clutter and start selling on the first page. Sell first ask questions later!
You sell on eBay therefore don't need a website?
If you use eBay then why not have a back-up plan. Get yourself your own commercial website to run alongside the eBay one - you've got the database of your eBay clients who are happy with what they bought off you, point them at your other website for other purchases and more profit.
Hmmm...so, you want a professional looking website/webshop, you want to spend about an hour or so building it, you want to spend almost no money outfitting it, you want to spend no money marketing it, you want to put up pictures of the items you are selling taken with your phone-camera on the floor of your dining room, you want to get a lot of traffic, oh and everyday you expect lots of orders because you want to make money hand over fist immediately because your friends said it would go well.
Yep, that how it works in bricks and mortar business too...
Make it EASY for your Customer To Purchase
If you sell items on your own website but do so by the old "send me an email with what you want, then I will send you a bill, then you pay, then I will wait for the money to clear etc..."
If you cannot achieve two clicks to purchase then you are losing business.
Face to Face
I hear this so often, the statement that one needs to meet the web designer. Why is it you don't care about selling internationally but care so much about designing locally? So what you are saying is you expect your clients to trust you without meeting you but...?
SEO - Search Engine Optimisation.
Ahhhhh - here's a secret...if you build it they will NOT come. You really have to understand what you are doing, and it takes quite a while.
If Google themselves say you CANNOT be guaranteed a top spot in search results (excluding paid ads), then why believe any of those SEO companies that say they can achieve it? Bottom line, search results are driven by your website content and it's a hard job to get the content right, it's not learnt in 5 minutes and if you don't know what you are doing then good luck. Here's a real world example...
Type vintage poster restoration into Google (I did it for you, click th link, but you can try too), go ahead I'll wait..
I haven't checked in a while but hopefully the results are that on the first page www.vintagemovieart.ca in the results on that first page (whether it is google.com, google.co.uk, google.com.au or even google.ca), before we built Dario's website he had a homemade one and he didn't even feature in the first 30 pages of the international search results, what was worse on Google Canada he didn't feature in the first 10 pages (and he lives in Canada!)!
It took almost four months of hard work and tweaks to start getting decent results, now as the result of his talent when combined into his website a bit better his site ranks well. He now gets as many people visiting his website in one year as he did in the 10 years he had from his old 'home-made' website. He also tells us he has never been so busy and blames his new website...
"Give a man a fish and he will eat for a day, teach a man to fish and he will sit in a boat drinking beer all day" Sure you can learn SEO, understanding it to then make it work for you is the hardest part.
Social media - ignore it at your peril.
At the very least you should have a Facebook page running in conjunction with your website, just because you don't understand about FB (or care about it) doesn't actually mean your clients do - 'nuff said.
Remember that old bumper sticker, "Ass, grass or gas - nobody rides for free". Having a business website is hard work, don't expect to set it and forget it and then watch the orders and money to come flowing...