The website you build is the face your brand shows to the world. That’s why it’s so important to hire a professional web designer when you’re planning your launch. While it may be tempting to save a little and try a DIY approach to web design, you may be shorting your brand’s potential by going it alone. Here are six reasons you should hire a professional web designer, versus DIY when you’re launching your brand online.
Professional Web Developers Can Consult With You About Your Site
If you’re new to web design, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed. Modern design languages let you do almost literally anything with your website, from smooth interactive graphics to static text to interactive this and that, and you could genuinely be at a loss for where to even start. When you design a website yourself, you are trying to balance accessibility and ease of use with the visual appeal your brand needs and the features that will nudge casual site visitors into the sales funnel. The sheer wall of possibilities can leave a DIY web designer paralyzed with indecision about where to go.
Going to a professional web design firm takes away most of that stress. The designer will consult with you about what you need your site to do, and how you want it to look on the screen. Do you want something high-tech and flashy? Do you want to convey a solid, dependable image for your brand? Would you like it to be organized around content, like a blog, or around items you have for sale, like an ecommerce site? The professional web developer you work with can productively narrow your options to just what you need and help you get more bang for your buck.
A Professional Web Design Looks Better
If the site you build isn’t attractive, you can’t expect people to stick around and follow your brand. Professional web designers have a palette of colors, textures, design elements and organizational principles that they use to make websites look great. This is a real advantage that design professionals have over DIYers, and it grows out of their education and experience in design. If you turn to a professional for nothing else, you should at least trust them to help you build an attractive, clean-looking site that welcomes visitors and encourages conversions.
Your Custom Website Will Be Portable and Scalable
It is extremely common for brands to start out on one platform, such as WordPress, and eventually migrate to new servers as they grow. If you’ve designed your own website, this might go smoothly, or there could be an unexpected problem arising from the coding language you’ve used, or several of the site’s design elements could wind up unsupported on the new platform. If you’re going to migrate at all, little quirks in the design can force you to effectively redevelop the whole site from the ground up.
A similar problem arises when you want your website to grow. Even if you’re sticking with one platform, the growth of your site needs to be handled properly, or you can expect lots of 404 errors and other issues that drive away customers. Professional designers might, for example, link your sidebar content, which appears on every page, to a single database call through CFML, which makes it effectively infinitely scalable. Doing the same in HTML forces you to copy and paste a single element onto every page that you add, which definitely slows down the growth of your web presence.
Lots of Website Features, But Only the Ones You Need
Speaking of features, you don’t need all of them. The temptation is always there for DIY designers to squeeze in a few cool features that aren’t strictly needed. While you can get away with a little of this, too much of it quickly creates a cluttered, difficult site layout and can dramatically slow load times. The leads to a high bounce rate for visitors and reduces the impact your site has.
A professional designer can help you sift through available features and only load in the ones you really need. This helps to keep your site’s design sleek and functional, reduces lag and load times and encourages an overall more positive user experience. It can also cut down on the bandwidth you’re paying for, which becomes a real issue for high-traffic sites using multimedia displays.
Professional Web Design Can Optimize Your Site for Mobile
Mobile is everything right now, and there’s no reason to think that’s going to change soon. Making your site functional on a tablet or a phone is largely the work of a designer, and you want a professional to help you get it right the first time. The actual majority of visitors to your site are probably viewing it on their phones, and it would be a shame to lose 60% of your traffic just because you’re not optimized for 720×1280.
Better Search Placement and Higher Traffic
The vast majority of visitors to your site will get there after finding you in a search, almost always through Google. If that’s how people are finding you, it’s crucial to get on the first page of their search results. Studies have found that between 71% and 92% of all clicks for a given search term are for results listed on the first page. What percentage of searchers wind up going with a link on page 2 of the results? Only 6%.
A professional web developer should know this. That’s why they take the current suite of best practices, design and content parameters Google factors into placement decisions, and apply them to your site. It would be a shame to fall to page 2 or lower in a search for your keywords, simply because your DIY website has poor border width or the text-to-image ratio is a little bit off for the algorithm. When your site is designed by a professional who knows what they’re doing, those background factors are taken care of and you’re much more likely to get the search result placement you deserve, based on your content and visitors’ search terms.