When Is It Time to Hire a Professional to Design Your Site?
You’re about to invest your own time into creating a new website. Along the way, you’ll be watching online tutorials about how to upload content. You’ll be researching the latest trends in graphics, icons, and horizontal photos. You’ll be writing copy, then rewriting copy. You’ll be trying to figure out the stroke weight of fonts and to line up text boxes.
In short, the project could be significant—something that could absorb more time than you anticipate and require more design skills than you currently have.
What if you want to avoid that investment in time completely? With the widespread availability of easy-to-use website design templates, is it still necessary to hire a professional web designer to build your site?
The answer is: it depends on your availability, goals, and website needs. Here are some guidelines that can help you determine whether or not it’s time to hire a professional to design your website.
You Don’t Have Enough Time to Run Your Business and Create a Website
Launching a great website is a bit more complicated than uploading text and photos onto a content management system (CMS). Even with drag-and-drop capabilities, you need plan each page, research keywords (primary, secondary, longtail, and negative), write copy, and obtain digital assets (photography and graphics), and figure out how each page fits together (navigation). Then, you begin the data entry process.
Once the site is complete, you launch and subsequently test its functionality. As your site, and traffic grow, this can become an elaborate process, which often requires additional work to fix unforeseen issues.
For businesses with a dedicated in-house marketing team, a website launch is just another deliverable. However, for most small to medium-size businesses, it’s a challenge. Why? Staff will need to split their time between performing duties related to their job title and assisting with the web development and maintenance.
It’s common for smaller companies to attempt to put up their own website, get delayed, and never publish the site. You can skip this delay and duty juggling by outsourcing the website build and launch to a pro.
You Aren’t Sure How to Optimize Your Site for Search Engines
Where your website ranks on a Google search directly correlates to how many visitors your site gets. Google accounts for roughly 80% of all desktop searches and receives more than 60,000 queries a second. The top spot on a Google search gets clicked on at least one in three times.
In other words, the stakes are high when it comes to SEO. That’s why it’s a multibillion dollar business.
Without professional experience in marketing and SEO, business owners cannot reasonably expect to stay on top of search engine algorithm changes, find and effectively implement their own keywords, and develop their own high-value, conversion-focused content. There’s simply too much exotic knowledge to digest and too much ongoing work involved in on-page optimization.
A web design professional has insider knowledge of the latest SEO tricks the same way you have insider knowledge about your business. In the event your web designer doesn’t have extensive SEO experience, they can bring on a contract SEO specialist they’ve worked with on several websites.
Your Goal for the Site Is to Build Credibility and Demonstrate Thought Leadership
Currently, there are excellent web design platforms for small businesses. They look sleek and professional. They are responsive to mobile devices. They are simple to navigate for people without a technical or design background. In many cases, these platforms provide a simple solution for businesses needing to put up a website.
However, some businesses need to truly dazzle prospective customers and their competition. They need a site with unique design features and a custom layout. In these instances, businesses are developing a website that will set them apart in their industry. They’re using their site as a digital business card. It has to demonstrate their credibility within their vertical and their ability to be an innovative thought leader.
Projects like this require a high level of design expertise. To pull them off successfully, a business owner would have to hire a professional design agency.
Your Site Will Need to Scale as Your Business Grows
Let’s say you built a fantastic ecommerce site. It clearly displays all of the products you sell. It’s optimized for Google. It has a no-nonsense checkout experience. It’s integrated with PayPal. Your site is so successful, in fact, that its traffic begins to boom. That’s not a problem because you have unlimited bandwidth with your web hosting plan.
Your business continues to grow. With your company’s higher profile, you begin to have a new concern: the customer experience. Your site doesn’t include a live chat. It doesn’t feature a custom search. Your current design doesn’t allow you to feature product reviews or to offer suggested products your customers will like. Despite your design template’s aesthetic and functionality, it has finally reached the limit of its use for your business.
Herein lies the problem. If an ecommerce business shuts down the site for an upgrade, it would quickly begin to hemorrhage cash. Your website is the only place your customers can buy your products. You have to keep the store open, hire a professional designer to build the new website, and then transfer the content to your current domain.
Before You Start Designing, Secure Your Domain Name and Web Hosting Plan
Review these guidelines before you begin building your new website. User-friendly website templates enable many business owners to build a professional-looking site in a short period of time. For example, all of iPage’s web hosting plans include six pages of an easy-to-use website builder and hundreds of templates and themes.
Not all websites are well-suited for do-it-yourself design templates. If your website design needs exceed iPage’s simple, user-friendly tools and clean templates, then we invite you to speak to our team of design and marketing experts. They can design and optimize a responsive, mobile-friendly website that will scale with your business, saving you a significant amount of time and, potentially, frustration as well.