In the days of a million options for the do-it-yourself website, many people are asking themselves if having a professional website design is worthwhile, or if they can just use a template and do it themselves. There are a lot of DIY options to choose from these days, such as WIX, Square space or even WordPress.com. Many of these options give you nice looking templates to choose from, so why hire someone and pay for a professional website when you can pay a fraction of that and do it yourself?
Let me count the ways!
The number one thing that I want to impress upon anyone reading this is that when you hire a professional to make your website, you get a lot more than just a pretty looking site. Because we do this for a living, we think about a lot more than just how the site looks. We think about how it functions, user experience, search engine visibility, calls-to-action and mobile-friendliness in addition to making it look good. In short, we think about all the things you probably don’t think about. And the problem is, you won’t even realize you are missing things.
Reasons why hiring a professional is a good idea
- Mobile-Friendliness: When we make a website, we think about more than how it looks on a desktop computer, because in truth your site visitors are landing on your site from a multitude of devices. Things that work on desktop, such as multiple columns, large images, and big text, don’t really work well on a phone. That’s why it’s important when we set up the site to take account various screen sizes and make your website work on all of them. What does this entail? Making sure your fonts adjust for screen size. If I use a 40px font on the website, that’ll look good on my big 27″ monitor, but is going to fill the entire iPhone screen. If I don’t make an adjustment for that, then all someone who lands on your site on their phone is going to see is your main headline. The DIYer is probably not going to think about this when they set up their own website, or know how to vary it for different devices. For 2017, nearly 53% of global website traffic came from people on mobile-devices and trust me, that number isn’t going down. It’s no longer optional to be mobile-friendly. People will leave your site if it doesn’t function on their phone. I predict a day in the future when people will not have computers at all, and will rely solely on their mobile devices for Internet.
- Search Engine Visibility: Everyone who comes to us wants us to make them #1 in Google, and we want that for everyone too. But the DIYer probably won’t realize how much is involved in SEO. Many people think that by virtue of having a website and publishing it on the Internet, that people will find them. But that’s not all there is. It needs to be a good site with quality content. It needs to be easily navigated so a search engine can find all your content. It needs to be mobile-friendly, because the Google Gods made that a super important factor in the ranking process. You need to create an XML sitemap and submit it to the search engines. Did I just lose you? This is why having a professional is important. Not only do we know what an XML sitemap is and how to submit it to the search engines, we know why it should be done and we do it for every site we create. It’s something the DIYer will not even think about, and something we do it as a standard practice.
- User Experience: The experience your customer has on your website is SO important, and yet so overlooked by so many because they are focused on how the site looks. UX is more important than design. Can your customer find the content on your site? Can they find your phone number? Is there a clear call-to-action so they know what to do next? For many, they think these things are obvious. “Won’t someone know to click to the contact page for my phone number?” You should think that, but that’s only if you think. If you’d like to learn more about how important User Experience is, check out the book “Don’t Make Me Think” by Steve Krug. The title says it all – don’t make your customer have to work to hire you.
- Measurable Goals: For the DIYer, the goal when they set up a website for their business is just to “have a website so people can find them.” But when you have a professional website design done, we think about return on investment and how to measure those goals. For example, we put Google Analytics in every site we create, so we can track what kind of traffic is coming to the site and if it’s converting into real leads. That’s a measurable goal. If your goal is “having a website” – then you aren’t really planning for the future of your website.
Those are just a few reasons why hiring a professional is worthwhile. I’m going to add one more here as well. We keep track of the changing trends. You may read a few articles, understand the basics, use a template that looks good. And it may work for you. But are you keeping track of the trends and changes in design, user experience and SEO? Google changes their algorithm regularly, and we keep an eye on things like that. Does the average business owner? Probably not. Just as I’m not keeping track of changes in the law or medical practices, or changes in road design or city planning. Those aren’t my areas of professional expertise.
Me? I’m good at the Internet.
“But Amy, can’t I just read up and learn all this stuff?”
Sure you can. Just like I can read up and learn all new tax changes and be my own accountant. But who has time to be an expert on everything? Jack of all trades, master of none. Be an expert at your business, and let us be an expert at ours. Together, it’ll be a great match.
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