Why hire a web designer (graphic design) and a web developer (computer coder) when there are do-it-yourself website builders? The short answer is, that professional web designers and developers are not for everyone.
As a web designer and developer myself, I am not one to hinder the importance of having a professional and custom website. A beautiful website makes your business look more legitimate, and increases the confidence your website visitors have in your business.
The visual appearance and ease of use of your website is extremely important, and helps promote your brand. Imagine that you walked into a grocery store where the food was old, unorganized, and dirty. You would probably not want to buy your food from that store, would never go there again, and would find somewhere else to shop. The same logic goes for online shopping where there are many competitors in the e-commerce market; judgements are made quickly and are hard to change.
The honest truth is that hiring a web designer and developer is expensive. My suggestion is that if your business is not yet generating a positive cash flow from your product or service, use a do-it-yourself website builder to start. First, create the foundation of your business before investing a lot of money on your website design.
Focus your time, energy and money on critical tasks:
Understand what problems your potential customers need solved – not what YOU think they need solved.
Develop your products/services to solve their problems.
Promote these products/services.
There are many great DIY website builders such as Wix.com, Wordpress.com and Shopify.com that are easy to use and much more affordable than hiring a professional.
Budget needed: around $70 USD a year for domain and hosting; plus (optionally) around $50 USD extra for premium themes and features
However, they have limitations and cannot do everything.
You can launch a ‘good enough’ website in less than a day
You can allocate more of your budget, time and energy to other critical tasks such as product development, researching your target market, marketing your products/services, etc.
You can change the website immediately, instead of waiting on someone else to make those changes
You can manage your financial risks as these website builders are not expensive
They are easy to use
Require a lot of time on your part
Website is made on ready-made theme, limited in functionality
Usually only good for basic websites
Basic understanding of website builder site needed
You will need to buy a domain name and register it on your own
When is the right time to hire a website designer and developer? If you are achieving a net positive cash flow, of at least $1,000 USD a month, then I suggest considering investing in a custom website to help grow your business even more.
A website designer and developer will design and develop a high-quality, custom website specific to your business’s needs and goals; building a website that will raise brand awareness and engage your customers and prospects. Not only will a professional help with the layout, logos, images, and picking the correct fonts and color scheme, but as well as, the strategic plan for your site; keeping your business model and future organizational goals in mind.
Reasons to hire a professional web developer:
Making it unique
When you hire a professional web developer, you know that your site will be created to suit your business. The designer will evaluate your business and products, and work with you towards your goal for the website. DIY website builders limit the capabilities of the website.
Saving you time
Hiring a professional gives you the benefit of hiring an expert who knows successful, efficient ways to create a web site quickly.
The way your site looks, the way it navigates, and the colors and graphics used are very important. Visitors do not like to search for information, nor do they wish to be barraged with loud colors and crowded text. A professional designer will make sure that your color scheme, text and navigation are designed to be user-friendly.
The Internet changes on a daily basis. New technologies, new computer code, new ways to draw visitors to your site happen each and every day. When using a professional web designer, you can be assured that the site is being created with the latest technologies and according to the latest trends, for optimal success. Many DIY site builders will not allow video, RSS feeds, or links in your website, which can adversely affect your site.
SEO or Search Engine Optimization is a technique used by professional web designers to make your website receive great rankings from search engines. If search engines cannot find your site easily, your potential clients will not either. Your site must be optimized in order to be found.
Contrary to what many people believe, a website is never complete. Websites must have continual maintenance to keep them current and relevant to their industry. Technology is continually changing, and for websites to remain popular and successful, they must remain up-to-date with these trends. When using a professional web design service, you benefit from their webmaster services to keep your site updated and fresh.
If you are unsure if you should invest in a web developer or need help with a DIY website builder, we are happy to provide a free consultation of your business and support at WebCreation.co.