Who needs a web design company? Doing it yourself seems like a piece of cake. Download some software or use your web hosting company’s built in website making software. Spend a few hours and then *poof*, your website is done. Maybe not.
The biggest problem in digital marketing today is that small business owners do not understand how important their website can be to their business. The look and functionality of your website can make or break you. While doing it yourself will certainly save you money upfront, within 1 year you will have lost more revenue and goodwill than it would have cost to hire a professional web design company…twice over. Today’s websites are nothing like those from 5 years ago. They serve as both a 24-hour marketing vehicle for your business and a tool to make your life easier. So what’s the big deal with having your site done professionally? Here are 10 reasons why going with a professional beats doing it yourself.
1. A Positive First Impression
The second somebody visits your website, they form an opinion of your business. This opinion is based entirely on the look of your site. Imagine that. Even if you provide the best service in the world or your products cure cancer, your website is the one doing the talking. What do you want it to say? When you go the extra mile to hire a professional web design company, they’ll notice the difference and your first impression will be significantly more positive.
2. Compatibility With the Latest Mobile Technologies
If you are not a freelancer or working for a web design company, you probably have little knowledge of new and upcoming technology standards for mobile websites. This can cost you big. For example, we know mobile is growing every month, but what solutions might you use to make your website mobile compatible? If you weren’t aware of responsive web design, you might instead pay a monthly fee to have a company create and maintain a mobile version of your website. A professional web design company would educate you on responsive design and build your site using the technology, saving you hundreds of dollars. Additionally, as newer mobile devices come out, is your self-made website able to adapt? Nobody knows, but with a professional your site will likely be far more future proof as new ways to browse the web emerge.
3. Beautiful High-DPI Retina Optimized Images
Wondering why your website’s images look fuzzy on your new iPhone or high-def tablet? It’s because these new high-resolution devices support high-dpi images – images with twice as much detail than before. You’ve heard the term “retina” used in Apple marketing and retina-compatible images are what we are talking about here when we say high-dpi. For the average Joe, even with a “retina-compatible” theme high-dpi images require a bit of trial and error. If you aren’t using WordPress, the process is even harder without ready-made plugins to start off with. But when a professional web design company is involved, you can rest assured your images will look razor-sharp on all of the latest mobile devices – iPads, iPhones, the Nexus 7 and more.
4. A Reliable Website
You designed your site yourself. It went live a month ago. But all of a sudden you get an error message when you try to change anything. These types of issues happen all the time, even with reliable systems like WordPress, when the site isn’t developed by a professional. If you’re on your own, what do you do? You might spend hours on Google trying to find a solution, eventually giving up and contacting a web design company in hopes of a fix. After spending hundreds for an emergency service call, you’re left with a working site – but one that could go down again at any moment. Is it work the risk?
5. Better Designs
When you use your web hosting company’s built-in website maker, you are using a pre-made template. Templates have two big flaws: They tend to be basic designs and everybody can use the same one you did. The result is a boring website. Who needs Ambien when they can just visit your website? That’s not good. We want customers to get excited when they visit your site, and when you hire a web design company with skills, expect an original, clean design built with your goals in mind. There is just no comparison. And if you don’t think design matters – in some cases it’s all that matters. Look at renowned companies like Apple, Dyson, and BMW. Each made the design of their products, not the performance, the focal point. The results of those efforts speak for themselves: They command a premium price, incredible word of mouth, and a very powerful branding. It’s no different on the local level.
6. A Faster Website
Most websites do not perform optimally as is. A web design company with experience is going to know the various plugins and 3rd party tools to integrate into your website to provide speed and security. Make no mistake, these are significant upgrades. The tools are a necessity for most WordPress sites and even more important for sites outside of WordPress where security may not be as strong. A popular testing tool for your website is GT-Metrix, which will rate the quality of your website’s coding. How your site is coded has a significant impact on performance. A score above 85 on both test is considered good and a score above 95 is considered a flawless site. The other advantage a reputable web design company can offer is recommendations on hosting. The hosting service you choose also plays a part in site performance. A great tool for testing site loading speed is Pingdom. Here’s what a test result looks like:
7. More Likely to Show on Google
When you design a website on your own, SEO is probably the last of your concerns. But without SEO, your website in most cases will never appear on the first pages of Google, if at all. Which means, of course that nobody will find you through search. With SEO, a web design company will code your site in a way that communicate the specifics of your pages to Google, Bing, and other search engines. The result is that when someone searches for a product or service you offer, you are far more likely to show up in the search results. Traffic from search engines costs nothing so this is a highly desirable feature. Be wary of any web designer that asks for hundreds of dollars extra to optimize your site for search engines.
8. It Will Save You Time
Web Design is about more than laying out a nice design. These days web sites support incredible functionality that can save you time and increase your revenue – automatically. Say you own a salon or car repair shop. Online appointment booking provides both a convenience to your customers and saves you from having to book the appointment by phone. Follow-up thank you emails can be sent automatically and add a friendly touch to your service. There are literally thousands of possibilities to automate parts of your business using your website. You’ll improve customers service, increase repeat business, and most importantly save time.
9. It Will Make You Money
In addition to automated technology to save you time and improve service, other capabilities allow you to increase revenue with minimal effort. Remember that online appointment booking we were just talking about? What if we allowed clients to check boxes for additional add-on services right in the online appointment booking process? We’ve just created a way to increase revenue without any effort on your part (other than providing the service itself). And that car repair shop? Offer add-on features like an oil change, wiper replacement, car wash, etc. The possibilities are endless. This is how your website can truly work for you.
10. It’s More Affordable Than You Think…
Don’t look at your website as a cost. It’s an investment that can make you a lot of money when done right. But the investment probably isn’t as costly as you think. These days, CMS systems and plugins have brought the cost of hiring a professional web design company way down, but the ROI has been ever increasing as these sites provide more amazing capabilities.
Final Words on Hiring a Web Design Company
I recommend you look at web design the same way you might look at other tasks best done by a professional. Doing your taxes. Installing a garage door. Paving your driveway. All of these things could technically be done by anyone, but most folks hire a professional, and for good reason: professionals have the proper tools, training, and experience to do the job correctly, on-time, and at a fair price. Nobody is saying you can’t do your own taxes. But using an accountant, just like using a professional web design company, is an investment: you are spending money upfront to make/save money in the long run.