Why you should hire a Professional Web Designer


Why you should hire a Professional Web Designer

Following on from my previous article a couple of weeks ago “Why do Websites Cost So Much?“, I wanted to cover the reasons why you should hire a professional for your online presence.

We will look at:-

  • DIY Websites
  • Getting a Friend or Relative to do it
  • Buying a Pre-built Template
  • Other Cheap Website options

DIY – How to make your own website

May seem simple right, you’ve purchased the “How to make Websites for Dummies” and you’re thinking I can whip this thing up over the weekend. Think of it as learning French, German and Spanish all in one weekend. Wow, you are a super person! Maybe I should hire you.

So learning HTML/CSS/JavaScript/PHP/ASP/MySQL from scratch didn’t work out, instead you’ve gone and spent over $600 on DreamWeaver. By the end of the weekend you walk a way with a website. Not a cutting edge professional website, but a website that works. Or does it. Did you test it in Firefox, Safari, Opera, Google Chrome, Internet Explorer 6, 7, 8 & 9?  Does it comply with W3C Web Standards? Does it work from a usability perspective?

Having a website can be a marketing tool for your business, but having one that looks awful and loses customers obviously will counteract your end goal.

Getting a Friend or Relative to do it

I don’t know how many times I have heard this, “My *insert relative or close friend* can do it for $100”. My response “So, your *insert relative or close friend* can build a website for about $4 an hour. That’s fantastic, but I am really sorry there is no way I can afford to match that”.

If you know someone who has the skills and the time then sure it’s a great deal. But some words of warning; most friends or relatives who offer cheap or free services are doing it as a hobby, it’s not a priority to them as it might be for you and if their still learning you may not get a website that is up to par. I guess you have to ask yourself, would you hire your nephew to do your accounting work because he got an A in Math?

Buying a Pre-built Template

Buying a Pre-built template can be the perfect option for people who are just starting out and who don’t really know what they want out of their website. I often recommend pre-built themes to clients who have smaller budgets or people just stating out, Theme Forest has some great themes for under $40.

Cost effective, yes, but there are cons. On occasion it can be like fitting the square peg in a round hole, it may never do exactly what you want it to do. You also are not getting a unique website, with many other websites out there look exactly the same.

Other Cheap Website options

Now these are the tricky ones, you see super cheap deals for Custom Websites when you do a google search. Some are reputable, and you would have to do your research, but a couple of things you should note about these options;

  • they probably aren’t custom and use a base template but still charge you $500 for changing an image and some colours.
  • They can often be built offshore at slave rates, now I am not sure how you feel about this but I find this extremely unethical.
  • They are often plagiarised websites, some sub standard companies copy websites and pass it off as their own (you can check this at CopyScape).

So why hire a professional

By hiring a professional you are not only paying for the time it takes to build the website, but also the years of knowledge and experience that person has gained in the industry. You’re paying for their programming skills, knowledge on usability (how people use your website), optimising your content for the web (so google finds you), making sure your website works multiple browsers and the hours spent each day in order to keep up with the ever changing industry (so you get a professional, modern website!).

By hiring a professional you are paying someone to create a website that is unique and reflects your business and brand appropriately.

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3 thoughts on “Why you should hire a Professional Web Designer

  1. Exactly right. The phrase “Buy nice or buy twice” comes to mind.
    In addition to time and knowledge, I also think efficiency is a key reason to hire a professional. Why spend the hours and hours trying to create a site or fix a “problem” when a web designer can do it in minutes. Businesses should spend their time on their business and let you handle the rest!

  2. Thanks for your comment Sara, I don’t know how many times I have had clients come to me with bad experiences from ‘cheap’ developers.

  3. Mobile phones and tablets are essential to drive sales – studies show that 4 seconds is the average time people will wait for pages to load on mobiles; none of the extensive list of DIY solutions trialled by my firm meet this criteria. Your competitors are only a click away, so if your site does not download quickly and have an engaging brand essence your stuffed. SEO, copywritng, etc are all essential to creating your online sales machine and require specialists skills. Rather than just thinking about the cost of the initial build, consider the long term return on investment by having a professional team create your site. Also be aware that sites built overseas are often left intentionally open to hacking, nobody wants to be held to ransom by some ghetto web builder.

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