I’ve already mentioned in a previous post that I think every business should have a website in 2018/2019. If you haven’t read that already you can check it out here. But with so many cheap options available today in the form of DIY web building apps, is there any need for a small business to hire a web designer? There are lot of ways a bespoke website can help your company and I’ll give you 9 reasons why you should hire a web developer.
If this were the only reason on the list it would still be worth it. A good web developer will design your site from the ground up with search engines in mind. After all, it’s no good having a website if nobody can find it. And it goes without saying, the higher you rank on search engines, the more effective your website will be.
To the uninitiated, SEO can seem like a vastly confusing field full of technical jargon and, well, it is. There are so many facets to SEO such as; site maps, meta descriptions, and long tail keywords, to name but a few. Furthermore, the overall design of the site is as important as anything in modern SEO. In order to rank well websites must be fast, mobile responsive, and easy to use.
If you are serious about ranking well, a web developer or marketing agency can also offer you an ongoing SEO package. This typically includes ongoing analysis of your website traffic, tracking of your keywords, and a constant flow of fresh, relevant, high-quality content. To find out more about SEO check out my previous post here.
With the sheer number of websites out there, it can be very difficult to stand out from the crowd. A clean, modern website can help to differentiate your company from it’s competitors.
Website builders use common templates and the problem is that a lot of them look the same. The majority of websites designed with these apps look like exactly what they are; templates. Whilst most users may not be able to tell, they can often sense something that’s not quite right.
Users of DIY web building apps face many design challanges, most of which they have probably never encountered before. The colour palette, images, fonts, and overall layout are incredibly important aspects of website design. They must all come together in a coherent way to produce a design that makes sense. Arguably, the most important quality a designer needs is a critical attention to detail.
It usually takes a designer with a trained eye to be able to envision what’s required to bring an eye catching website to fruition. A quality web developer can design a bespoke website around your brand, as well as taking care of all the technical details. With a unique, custom design, you can rest assured that your company’s website truly feels like it’s own.
Creating a memorable brand that strongly represents the values and ethos of your company is integral to developing an online audience. At the heart of a successful brand lies an eye-catching, memorable logo that reflects the values of your business. Furthermore, your website and logo should mirror each other seamlessly, creating a lasting impression with your clients. When a client sees your logo they should immediately think about your company and your website. Developing this relationship will massively help in allowing your audience to feel at ease with your company, and will make them more receptive to future interactions.
An accomplished web developer can design the look and feel of your website around your logo and brand. In many cases, the best option is to have the web designer or agency design your logo from scratch. Establishing a strong connection between your brand and website will allow your users to become accustomed to visiting your site on a regular basis. Users that become frequent visitors are more likely to become regular clients, and regular clients are more likely to recommend your services to others.
A good web developer can design your website to a professional standard which will make your company look bigger than it is. A professional website will add credibility to your business and can help to instil a sense of trust in your clients.
DIY websites often look like amateur projects and the lack of professionalism doesn’t tend to leave a lasting impression with users. Your website is an extension of your business and acts as a shop front, advertising your services to potential clients. It is important to appear to be an authority within your sector in order to effectively convey the message you want to your clients. Being able to achieve this in a clear and concise way will give your users confidence in the rest of your business.
One of the most important ways a website can help your business is by improving the ways in which clients can interact with your company. Web developers design forms and systems that can improve user experience and increase efficiency.
Users have come to expect a contact form on your website for ease of communication. Also, many businesses benefit from a booking system which can help to save time and money. Saving you from answering the phone and taking bookings can ultimately improve productivity. Furthermore, an online store is something that can drastically increase the profits of many businesses.
Unfortunately, these aspects are difficult to implement and they generally require an experienced developer to make them a reality. Furthermore, it is of utmost importance to ensure online security at all times, something that professional web developers and agencies take very seriously. GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) is also a big concern today and you must ensure that you comply with all the relevant regulations. If you are planning on implementing any of these processes in your website I would strongly recommend seeking professional advice.
Designing a website takes a lot of thought and effort and it will take somebody unexperienced much longer than a professional. Whilst web building apps can take care of a lot of the technical details, it is still a time consuming process.
One of the least considered issues is what happens when something goes wrong, and things often go wrong with websites! The last thing you want is downtime, particularly when you are unable to solve the issue yourself. You may end up having to fork out a lot of money for a quick fix in an emergency.
When you hire a professional web developer to design your site they will do everything they can to avoid downtime. If something does go wrong they will be able to figure it out in a timely manner, with minimal impact to your website.
As a business owner or manager, your time is generally better spent focussing on the ins and outs of the business. After all, time is money, right? You can leave the web designer to take care of the technical side of your online presence without having to worry about wasting your own time. That’s not to say that you can’t have an input on the process. Web designers are always happy to listen to the clients needs and concerns in order to produce the best website possible.
High quality imagery is an integral part of modern websites. In fact, the choice of images and the way in which they are used can completely transform the feel of a website. Typically, this requires experience of selecting, processing, and editing images.
The selection of images for a website is one of the biggest challanges users of web builders face. With a seemingly abundant supply of stock images available online, you could be forgiven for thinking that it’s easy to source high quality photos. However, trying to find images that fit your brand, as well as each other, can be a laborious and time consuming process. Also, if you want the best images you’ll usually have to pay for them. In addition, images must be processed in a coherent way in order to maintain consistency throughout your website. In fact, the use of the colours in your images is just as important as the use of the colours in the rest of your site.
The overlaying of text over images is very much a part of modern websites, and it can be used to create striking designs. This is particularly true for homepages, where we often see a full screen image with large text over it. However, it is important that the two work in harmony and that the text is easily readable, which often requires careful editing of images in programs like photoshop. Furthermore, large, high-quality images have a huge impact on the speed of websites, so it is important that all images are properly optimized before uploading.
Many web developers and agencies these days are more than competent at photography, and are happy to come and take pictures specifically for your website. Personalized, high quality photographs can really lift your site and help you to stand out from the plethora of companies that use lifeless stock photos. Furthermore, photographs taken in an intelligent way can help to show your business in its best light. I would strongly recommend hiring a web developer or company that can offer photography. Failing this, you could always hire a professional photographer to take some pictures for you.
With over 50% of internet users now browsing on mobile, having a website that looks and works great across all screen sizes is vital. One of the biggest challenges is developing a layout that scales seamlessly and efficiently. To achieve this, websites must be designed from the ground up with varying screen sizes in mind.
Unfortunately, DIY websites are often not very responsive, or they use separate versions of the site for mobile and desktop. The problem with this is that users don’t get to see all the same information across each version of the site. Unfortunately, websites like this typically don’t rank as well in search engines. Furthermore, the layout often changes drastically from mobile to desktop, which can leave users wondering whether they are on the same site. With layouts varying so much and with so many different device sizes out there, it is easy for important design aspects and key information to be missed out.
It amazes me how many websites I see today that are not responsive. In my opinion, achieving a fully responsive website should be one of your primary objectives. Web developers offer responsive design as standard these days so if you are unsure as to how to achieve it yourself, you can let an experienced professional take care of it for you.
Just as responsive design is integral to a modern website, so is the speed of a website. Actually, one of the most important considerations is how quickly your site loads on mobile. Mobile devices are typically slower at loading web pages than desktop computers, often due to poor internet speeds. For this reason, it is important to ensure that your website images, styling, and scripts are optimized for mobile devices. Achieving this is not always easy, or even possible on many web building apps. On the other hand, professional web developers will take steps such as minifying and deferring a website’s assets to ensure that everything can load as quickly and efficiently as possible.
Page load times are not only relevant for mobile devices, however. It is very important to ensure that everything is optimized for desktop as well. Many times a website is so inefficient that it takes a long time to load on even a decent internet connection. It has been proven that slow load times are one of the most frustrating things to internet users. If your page takes a long time to load you are running a serious risk of losing your potential clients straight away. In fact, studies by Akamai.com suggest that 40% of users will abandon a website if it takes longer than 3 seconds to load! Need I say more?
In summary, I think that DIY web building apps can have their uses. In my opinion, they are most suited to side projects or perhaps a CV website, where the mere fact that you have a website deserves merit. However, for a serious company, I firmly believe that it is important to have a professional website that is modern, functional, and properly optimized. It should also reflect your brand with distinctive design and deliver effective Search Engine Optimization (SEO).
The internet is at the heart of many businesses these days, and this trend is going to rise for a long time to come. A professional website should be seen as an excellent investment in your company.
A good website can help to build an audience, increase brand awareness, improve the company image, enhance client interactions, and ultimately boost sales. If you already have a website then make sure that it is doing everything it can to help your business. If you are considering investing in a website then I strongly urge you to think carefully about hiring a web developer or agency. They can help you to accomplish everything you need to be successful online.
Whether you have an existing website or you are looking to set one up, get in touch and I will help you out however I can. As always, if you have any questions or you think I’ve missed something out let me know.
Over and out!
I am a freelance web developer and graphic designer from Doncaster in South Yorkshire. I work with a wide variety of clients, helping them to develop their brand and online presence.More About Me
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