Why Do I Need a Web Designer

There’s no denying it, there are a lot of ways to make a website without hiring a professional. You can do it yourself using an online site building service, you can install site building software like Dreamweaver, or you can find a tech savvy friend to do it for cheap or maybe even for free. Why then, with all of these options, would a business consider hiring a professional website designer? One of the top priorities of any business is to move potential customers in the direction of knowing and trusting you right from the start. Your website is often the first interaction customers have with your business and it’s one of the most powerful tools available for reaching potential customers. Yet so many business owners never realize the benefits of getting professional help with their website.

In this article I will offer my top 3 reasons to consider hiring a professional web designer, I’ll explore why so many businesses choose not to hire one, and I’ll tell you how you can benefit from this cosmic twist of fate.

Top 3 Reasons to consider hiring a professional web designer

1. Return on investment

I put this reason at the top of the list because I think very often these are the types of questions first in a business owner’s mind when they consider hiring a professional for anything, not just web design. “How much will this cost? How long will it take? Can I save money by doing it myself or by finding the cheapest option?” Most people see a website as nothing more than a sign or business card on the internet, they pay someone to put it up and the job’s done. So it seems to make sense that if you can put the sign up yourself or get it done super cheap, so much the better right? Wrong! Your website is your gateway to reaching more potential customers than you could any other way (without a big budget). The internet is the most powerful marketing tool there is for businesses of any size.

It allows you to create a dialogue with your customers and engage with them on a more personal level. Your website can build you an audience of people that want to hear from you! Your website is not just a sales soliloquy that you hastily post on the internet. You don’t want to just throw it together, throw it up when you think it’s finished, throw your hands up, and hope for the best. Yet most small businesses do just that. If you build your website yourself, the bottom line is that you will most likely spend far more time with far fewer results than if you hired a professional. Most people don’t realize just how much work it takes to get an effective business website from concept and planning to running, looking good, and performing well on PCs, Macs, mobile devices, and the plethora of web browsers that run on each of them.

The point is, it takes time to build a website, even if you’re using the most amazing online site builder ever made, it’s going to take time. There are only so many hours in a day and as a business owner, you want to be doing what you do best, not making websites. Wouldn’t you be much better off spending time working on your business than on learning a skill you will rarely use? An investment in your website is an investment in your business. Don’t short yourself.

2. It’s not just a website, it’s your business! – SEO and Social Networks

Building an effective online presence goes far beyond just building a website. Good quality content that helps someone in some way is by far the best way to reach more people, increase traffic, and grow your business. Your information must also be easy to find ( SEO ) and you’ve got to have a presence on social networking sites if you want to stay in touch with today’s market. All of this takes time and if you build your website all by yourself, you’re in for some long hours at the computer. If you don’t do it, your most important customers may never find you. A business website is not just about a stylish design and adding some meta keywords for the search engines anymore. Google hasn’t used meta keywords for years and search engines are continuously advancing in their ability to find websites with good, useful, relevant content. Any professional web designer worth their salt will have a solid working knowledge of search engine optimization (SEO) and how to lay your website out in a clear and concise way that’s easy to read for both people and search engines. SEO is an entire field of information in itself and if you build your website yourself, you’ll most likely spend enough time getting your site online without having to learn SEO and all of its intricate, “money making” secrets.

If instead you hire the cheapest web designer you can find, you’re likely to get nothing more than a website and an “all in one” SEO plugin or some other quick solution. Social networking is another aspect of web design that cannot be ignored. So you’ve made a website, but is it connected to your social networking sites? Have you setup your Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn pages to match the style and information on your business website? If you want to have a consistent, professional brand online, your social networking profiles should look sharp and consistent. It can take hours to go in and setup profiles on multiple social websites each with pictures, videos, and other information to fill in. Hours you could be spending on more important things, like running your business. The point is it’s not just your website, it’s your whole business and what people are saying about it online! Invest accordingly.

3. Branding

Making a good first impression is a critical factor to success and your website is often the first interaction between a potential customer and your business. If even the smallest thing about your website is off, missing, or poorly executed, you may be creating a bad first impression and driving away potential customers. Even if your website works great, if it’s not easy to grasp quickly, your potential customers may get confused and leave. If your site is not optimized to be found in search engines, they may never even know you exist. These days consumers are more tech savvy than ever. If you skimp on your website, people will be able to tell. Some may not know why they don’t like your website, but they’ll leave and go looking for your competition just the same. How do you think a cheap website will reflect on your brand? Would you take a business seriously if their website was built using an online site builder or if it looked hastily thrown together? If you want to make a good impression, make the commitment to invest in a quality, professional web design and give your potential customers something to be excited about!

The Trouble with Web Designers

With all of these awesome reasons to hire a web designer why do so many businesses decide not to do it? The trouble with web designers is that most of them are just web designers. They’re techie people, they’re not marketing people. They’ve never worked in a sales and marketing environment and easily become preoccupied with the technical aspects of building a website rather than keeping an eye on the overall goals and needs of the business owner. Your average web designer believes the selling is up to you and their job is simply to produce a website. The result is that many small businesses that don’t have time to learn the intricacies of web design are easily lured in by the unfeasibly low rates of average web designers. The designer builds them a website that looks great stylistically, but it acts as little more than a sign on the internet waiting for random passersby to see it. This ends up re-enforcing the belief that a website isn’t all that important and leaves business owners with a false impression of what a website can really do for them.

How you can benefit

The good news is that the majority of your competition will simply go for the bargain and leave it at that. They will hire an average web designer or build their website themselves. They will inevitably suffer the same dismal results as everyone else who fails to realize the value of an effective website design. Very few of your competitors will be willing to invest what is necessary for success. If you do, you can win. This does not mean you need to have a huge budget and hire a big design team to succeed. It just means that if you’re willing to go beyond the norm and invest in a professional web design, you’ll be well ahead of the game.

How to Simplify Web Design

If having an online presence is part of your business goals-and it should be-few things can be more intimidating than creating your own website. A quick search around the Web reveals site after site with professional-looking templates and user-friendly tools that seem out of one’s reach unless you are a web designer or at least a major techie. However, SiteBuildIt can give you the online presence you need without the hassle of learning the ins and outs of web design.

Whether you are in need of an eCommerce website or more of an information-focused site, SiteBuildIt provides an all-in-one package for someone who doesn’t have the time or desire to spend weeks researching design programs in order to create a professional site.

If you are going to do it, you want to do it the right way by developing a site that can stand up to other’s in your niche or industry. No one wants to have a website that screams beginner, even if you are indeed a rookie.

Perhaps you long for the professional website, but fear completely handing over the reigns to someone else to handle your website building. You still want to have control when it comes to the format and tools featured on your site. With SiteBuildIt, you have a program dealing with all of the confusing technical aspects, while you determine the look you want for your site as well as the components and format you desire.

Features of SiteBuildIt include:

–Domain and web hosting

–Website building assistance, including professional templates

–Keyword research tools

–Marketing tools, including site and article submissions

–Customer service from website professionals

Utilizing a program like SiteBuildIt means you can take your vision for your website and make it happen without having to know how to do it. Although it may sound too simple, it is possible. The customer service aspect of SiteBuildIt is especially helpful as you encounter questions and issues that require extra professional attention. Without such a program, you may find yourself paying for expensive professional services, pulling out your hair, or ditching the website idea altogether.

Because SiteBuildIt is a complete package, you will also have maintenance tools to help you manage your website even after the designing is complete. Other benefits to the product include assistance with domain name selection, newsletter publishing, unlimited autoresponders, monetization tools, and tracking tools to help you identify what is most effective on your site.

When you envision your future website, chances are you see an online home that brings in customers and makes the online experience pleasant for them and lucrative for your business. SiteBuildIt is a small investment that will meet your web building goals and ultimately help you to make your online presence as effective as possible.

How to Choose a Web Design Program

If you’re planning on creating a website, whether for fun or a business, you will need the appropriate software to create a website that is effective.

First of all, you will need to decide upon the type of website you are going to build. Web designers are either very focused upon the looks or technical programming and aesthetics. If you want a website that just looks good, your website will be pretty easy to create; however, if you want a website that is technically effective too, you will need to know html code.

The next step to take is to search for the web design application. Inputting ‘web design tools’ or ‘web design programs’ in Google should give tons of results from free programs to paid ones. How much you are willing to spend will affect the quality of program, for instance Adobe’s, formerly Macromedia, Dreamweaver is one of the best used programs, but also the most expensive. If you really want a high quality web page, then you have to go for the top of the market range of programs.

However, there are a number of free web design programs available for free online. These are often very simplistic though, hence they are free. Unlike professional programs they require no HTML code, so it is just a matter of designing how your website looks. You can as well get a hold of free HTML based web design software for those of you who want to focus on the content and the coding behind the website, as well as the aesthetics.

Look for trial software too. This will enable you to try before you buy – so that you don’t end up purchasing a program that is not appropriate for your skill level or your aims. If you do decide to go for advanced software, it may be best to buy a guide upon HTML (if you don’t know it all) and the program you intend to use. You can also get computer based training software for programs, such as Adobe Dreamweaver.

If you are still uncertain, it may be a better option to go to a web designer. They can offer web pages from a few hundred pounds onwards, depending on what you want. Always ask for a quote after you explain what you want and a web designer should be able to give you an estimate.

Web Designers Are Made in Heaven

Web design is the skill of creating presentations of content that is delivered to an end-user through the World Wide Web, by way of a Web browser or other Web-enabled software like Internet television clients.

The intent of web design is to create a web site that is a collection of electronic files that reside on a web server and present content and interactive features/interfaces to the end user in the form of Web pages. Such elements as text, bit-mapped images, and forms can be placed on the page using HTML/XHTML/XML tags. Displaying more complex media (vector graphics, animations, videos and sounds) requires plug-ins; they are also embedded into web page by using HTML/XHTML tags.

Once you understand the term web design you might be able to differentiate between website graphic designer and website designer. Another thing is pretty clear that web designers have acquired skills which they are not gifted so naturally; some have acquired good and some are less skilled. Now, as a project owner, it is your job to decide who is good for you.

Let us see qualities of good web designer. Here we will see interpersonal skills of web designer, not the technical aspects because technical aspects depend on the nature and demand of your project.

Good Planner

Good web designer need to plan ahead of the goals of website they are going to build. Web designer can put focus on possible people who might be interested in website.

Good Organizer

Web designing needs to deal with lots of stuff at a time. Designer should organize code files, images, texts, videos, audios, and a lot more. If designer don’t put all in well-labeled folders and organize it in a good manner then some elements might be misplaced.

Good evaluator

Your web application is one kind of sales representative for you; therefore it needs constant faultfinding eyes so that final shape is a robust design. Your web designer need such eyes so your site can catch maximum traffic and you get maximum customers for your business.

Good Partner

Your web designer should have proper understanding of your business just like a partner so he/she can formulate effective design strategy that gives your business a maximum benefit.

Good Portfolio

Your website designer should have a good portfolio means he/she should have past experience in related field or technology so he/she can perform challenging tasks with a confidence. For instance your project need Ajax based application and designer’s portfolio doesn’t see any usage of Ajax at all then there are fewer chances to implement it correctly.

Good Relationship

Once your web design project is finished; you may require updates in your website. In such scenario, you may again need the services of your previous web designer because he/she is the person who is most accustomed with your project. In short, your web designer should be relation oriented and should believe in long-term relationship.

Good Communicator

Finally, your website designer should be good communicator since communication is a vital aspect from the beginning to the end of the project. Project designer should extract all needed information from the clients, convert it into coding, and deliver results as per clients’ desire.

All of above are the qualities of good designer or rather a good professional, that’s why I believe that good web designers are made in heaven.

Finding the Best Web Design Solution

Web design has become much easier than it was back when I first began building websites. There were a few programs that offered some WYSIWYG (What You See Is What You Get) interfaces, but you still had to do a good deal of the HTML coding by hand to get pages just how I wanted them. Javascript coding was done almost entirely by hand. Add to this all the new technologies that have emerged. CSS, PHP, ASP.NET, AJAX, and Web 2.0. Fortunately new technologies have come along to make things easier as well. You can either install software to build your own site, or use an online site builder.

Webpage creating software.

Web Design Software
Programs like Dreamweaver and Visual Studios now remove any need to do any HTML coding, but there is still the occasional need to modify code, but for the most part all the basic coding is done for you. If you are building a simple static site, this might be all you need. If you need to access information from a database, provide and dynamic and interactive site, or develop an e-commerce site; there is no way around having to know some coding.

Build It Yourself Web Design
Another alternative is to use a one of the online build-it-yourself services. Google lets you build free pages, and you can build an ecommerce site (for a fee) using Yahoo! or Big Commerce. These are just a couple options; there are literally hundreds of options. Having used several of these programs, I can say you can build a very nice website, with a lot of great features quite easily. The problem with these options arises when you need your website to do something unique that is not a feature of the site builder. There are a couple of other disadvantages with these types of sites. First, you are tied to services provider for your site. If for any reason, they go out of business or just decide to stop offering the service, you have to start over. This has happened with Lycos, Angelfire and many others. If you have a site built on HTML / Web programming languages, you can host your site where ever you wish without having to redo anything. Second, with these online site-builders, you are normally charged a monthly fee considerably higher than it would cost to simply have the site hosted on your own. The initial cost of hiring a web designer will be much higher, but if you plan to keep your site several years, you will not only save money in the long run, but you will have a much more flexible and customizable design that you own and do with as you please.

Web Design using Content Management Systems
A third option is called a Content Management System. These are like a hybrid between web building software and online site builders. CMSs are pieces of software that you install on a web server. Some of the best and most popular CMSs are free to use. Once installed they assist you in building your own site much like the online site-builders. CMS software is usually has a steeper learning curve than online site-builders, but can create incredibly robust, well featured websites. In the hands of a seasoned web developer, a CMS can be customized to provide almost anything you wish. One strategy I would recommend is to have a professional web designer build a site for you using a CMS, and let you do your own updates and changes. With a CMS making these changes is very simple and about as complex and using a word processor. With this strategy you’ll have a website that can still be upgraded and customized if needed, but you still control it and can have it hosted anywhere you wish without an additional cost for using the software. A web developer that has experience in building CMS websites will normally charge less to build a CMS based site as opposed to building and coding one from scratch.

Roger Alexander Sibaja has been creating websites and programming for the web since 1991. He is the lead web developer for GOBI Web Designs an Atlanta Web Design, Peachtree City Web Design company focuses on making the entire web design process as simple as possible for their clients. By choosing one of a handful of very affordable packages, clients have everything they need for a small business website for one price. One price includes everything, you just provide GOBI with the content, and they take care of everything else. How’s that for simple.