Matthew Laurin

Do You Really Need Professional Web Design Services?

An image meant to represent professional web designProfessional web design services usually fall into the realm of things you (as a business owner) know you need , don’t know that much about and sound expensive.  For the most part these statements are all true.  Business owners know a lot about their business but not web design.  They do need a website (it’s almost essential these days) and it can be very expensive….depending on who you talk to and what you want.

This post is all about helping readers understand why they might need professional web design services and (if they don’t) the alternatives available to having a pro do it.

Do You Really Need Professional Web Design Services?

Websites are meant to serve some kind of purpose and for businesses, it’s usually some type of business objective.  Learning what that objective is and how a website can help accomplish it starts with questions.

What is the primary goal of your website?

  • Is it informational?
  • Is it functional (i.e. will you be processing transactions, having users create accounts, or similar activities?)

For informational-based sites (such as ones that only have content about your business and limited functionality such as contact forms) there are options available that allow businesses to forego a professional web design service (more on the alternatives in a moment).

Cost Benefit SignsOpportunity Cost

Even if you use a service that allows you to build a website on your own or leverage one of the many tutorials out there, you still have to invest your own time.  What will that investment cost you?  The time you could have spent working on your core business will instead be diverted to working on your website.

If it is going to cost you more to build your website by working on it yourself (because you aren’t running your business) then it makes sense to hire someone to do it for you.

Complexity

Sometimes all a business owner wants is a really simple page where they can throw up an address, phone number and basic information about their company.  If all you require is a one, two or three page website with really basic text content, you can probably skip calling a pro.  You’ll end up paying way too much for something that you could have easily put together on your own.

Alternatives to Professional Web Design

It used to be that if you wanted a website, you really had no choice but to find a professional.  Now anyone can look like a superstar programmer with the services available online.  Assuming you want something simple and are content with options that are determined for you, there are lots of website building tools available.

cms-or-customCloud-Based Blogging Sites

One of the easiest ways to build a site on your own is by using one of the popular free blogging platforms.  Don’t let the original purpose throw you off.  Even though these platforms were started as blogging solutions, you can make a traditional website out of them.  Here are a few to get you started:

They are free to set up and surprisingly customizable.  If you are looking to make a simple website with a little functionality, these are the way to go.  You can even apply a custom domain name to them.

Service Based Platforms

There are a variety of service-based solutions (meaning you have to pay for them) that allow you to build fairly sophisticated and stylish websites on your own.  With many services there is typically a setup fee and then a monthly service/subscription fee.

Website Building ServicesFees vary and even though there is a cost, the benefit usually outweighs it.  For instance with a traditional website you have to worry about finding hosting, having a designer/developer update the site, and paying a professional coder can often be far more expensive up front.  All of these things are rolled into a smaller cost when you use one of these services.

Here are a few examples:

You should do your homework and shop around.  There are many more services than just the ones listed so there is no excuse for not finding a value.  You’ll find different features with each service but here are some general benefits:

  • Easily update a site on your own via easy-to-use visual editing tools
  • Many services have built in SEO and social marketing tools/options
  • Startup and maintenance costs are typically much less than professional web design
  • Many times you can get analytics included
  • Apply your own domain name if you want
  • You don’t have to wait on someone else to do work for you

So I guess the answer to the question on whether professional web design is necessary is, it depends.  Not all businesses will need a professional to design them a first-class fancy website.  Just because you have a website that cost a lot to make doesn’t mean you’ll be more successful at marketing your business online.  Think about your business needs and goals.  If those require professional programming then the investment is probably worth it.  If not, there are tons of solutions you can use instead.

What suggestions do you have for business owners looking for professional web design?  Let us know by leaving a comment below!



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