A question that often discussed at companies around the country is: Why should I hire a professional website design company, when I can get my neighbor’s kid who dabbles in html to create one for me for less than $200? In this blog we discuss why to hire a professional, how to find one, and what to expect.
Hire Someone to Design it
You may not have the need or budget for a huge, complex site, you should still hire a professional to ensure your website looks good, runs fast, and is easy to navigate. If you do put a cookie cutter website or an amateur looking website online, it will reflect poorly on your business as being a trustworthy and professional organization. You may want to have the option of editing your own site or have continuing content to post. For this you will need a website designed with a CMS (Content Management System), often referred to as a Blog Post Platform. Another reason to hire someone to design your site is when it is time to expand your website. Professionals always keep that in mind when they design, most amateur guys do not.
Why Do I Need A Professional?
There is an abundance of constantly evolving knowledge and skill that goes into every step of creating a website. Just as you know your company better than the guy down the street who dabbles in your field part-time, so are professional web design companies. With a professional company you will have specialists who devote their lives to the internet. These website designers will know what your users expect from a website experience, where the new web technology is trending, and how to display your content consistently over all the different devices people use to browse the web.
A professional web design company is versed in search engine optimization (SEO), usability (US 508 compliance), W3C web standards, secure coding/log-on, and the most current design techniques. This knowledge will ensure that your site looks modern, works with current and older technologies, is secure, is organized in a way that allows users to find what they need in your site, and will be found by major search engines such as Google, Yahoo, & Bing.
Things to Consider…
A common mistake businesses make is, buying an inexpensive website from an online template store or using a site that allows you to create your website free with their template. This may seem like a great idea for a company with a small budget, but you will end up paying more for it in the long run. From licensing fees, billable hours spent later having a professional edit or fix it, or having to pay to remove advertising from your website, it all adds up later. And if you choose not to get a professional involved you will spend weeks learning enough to edit these templates to do what you want them to. Wouldn’t your time be better spent focusing on your customers and generating sales?
There are an abundance of websites that sell or will give you website templates. One of the best is: Templatemonster.com. It is a good idea to look through them for inspiration when you first start considering a website, as a lot of them is very nice looking. It will give you a chance to see what can be done, what types of site layouts you like or dislike, and you will also see what some of the standard practices in website designs are. A template does eliminate the ability for customization and a competing company can purchase the exact same template and have a site that looks just like yours in a few minutes!
How about SEO? Do you know about Meta tags, alt tags, text links, and correct percentages of keyword/phrase content, keywords in header tags and more? These are all things that a professional will do as standard practice, making your site easy to index by search engines. If your content is not easy to follow, search engines won’t link to you, and then people will not find you! No point in having a website no one can find.
It may be tempting to have your website built by someone inexpensive and inexperienced, or to purchase a template and build it yourself, but if you are going to make the investment and get your company online, why not do it right? A professional web design company has a vested interest in your website’s success. They have the knowledge, experience and practiced judgment to incorporate your website into your brand, to get your site found by search engines and to create a useful product for your customers, which will in turn increase sales and pays for itself.
Written By: Chuck Dowe (@chuckdowe)