When it comes to creating a website, there are a lot of free and low-cost services out there: GoDaddy, Wix, Weebly, WordPress, Web.com, etc. Some will create a website for you, or you can do it yourself. However, using one of these website services or going the DIY route leaves out all of the vital knowledge, skills and strategy that are actually involved when you work with a professional.
Website design/development is much more than creating a look; it’s also about usability. A successful website—one that works as a marketing tool for your organization or business—does not just consist of pages with a logo, matching colors and text. It attracts and speaks to your target audience: it’s not about you, and you don’t want to attract everyone. A high amount of traffic is not the same as the right traffic (it just results in a high bounce rate—when the visitor gets there and immediately leaves).
So what will a website design professional do for you that you cannot do for yourself? Quite a bit! Here is some of what we do:
Create a unique design
Benefit: Achieving your goals and giving your organization or business a branded look that appropriately reflects how you want to be perceived
Create a responsive design
Benefit: Not alienating smartphone or mobile device users. What portion of your audience does this comprise? Doesn’t it take enough effort to get visitors? Don’t make them leave because they cannot navigate your site without constantly panning in and out. If your site isn’t responsive or mobile friendly, they may not even find it via mobile Google searches in the first place!
Help you make good decisions about design and user experience
Just say no to the Comic Sans font, a Flash website that cannot be seen by Google or on certain devices, dizzying animation, huge video files, etc.
Benefit: Providing a positive user experience that visitors will want to repeat
Organize your pages and navigation
Benefit: Visitors easily finding what they need
Optimize for search engines
Benefit: Your site being found. The phrase “If you build it, they will come” does not apply to website design! By the way, most of the aforementioned companies build sites that no one finds because that’s all they are doing: building the site.
Crop and size images in the proper dimensions and resolution
Benefit: Pages loading faster, meaning happy visitors and a more Google-friendly site
Perform technical updates
These should be done from time to time, but should not necessarily as soon as they are released.
Benefit: Lowering the possibility of your site being hacked (leaving you with no access to it or it completely going down) or having a plugin compatibility issue
Check links to pages, images and downloads
Benefit: Visitors finding what they need
Drive traffic to your site
We can help you devise a plan for sharing content, which should be helpful and not “salesy.”
Benefit: Demonstrating your expertise and building trust in those who are not yet ready to contact or hire you
Create a branded email newsletter (and corresponding signup form)
Benefit: Repeatedly putting a recognizable, consistent look in front of your subscribers, reminding them about your offerings; building your list and staying in touch with your audience until they are ready to use your service, join your organization or buy your product
You see, there are a lot of benefits to working with a professional web designer! However, if you cannot yet afford to go that route, then create a WordPress site using a well-constructed theme. To help determine that, check out the popularity (number of downloads), reviews and date of last update. Paid themes are not necessarily better than free ones. Later, you can hire a professional to redesign the site around your existing content and get you great results.