With the increase in online website builders, a question increasingly asked is “Why should I still use a professional website designer to build my site?”
That or “My friend’s cousin builds websites as a hobby and can build one for £200. Why not let them build it?”
Let’s deal with the hobbyist first: designing websites properly is very involved, so you need someone that you can depend on.
Engaging the services of somebody who will be fitting you in around their spare time is a non-starter. If they’re not doing it full-time and charging the going rate, there’s a reason for that.
If you neither wish to use a hobbyist nor have the budget for a professionally made website, you could be tempted by DIY site builders.
Be aware that, while they may seem good value to begin with, adding extra features can quickly see costs build.
Also, it’s likely that you’ll not be able to move the website elsewhere later on down the line.
So, why use a professional? Sometimes, when new clients get in touch they will have no idea as to how the website should look and function, but many’s the time they will have a very clear vision in their head as to what they want.
The problem with this is that a website should not be about what a client wants, but what their customers want.
Let’s look at a hypothetical business: The Acme Conservatory Company. The owner of this company is very proud of their team who have been building conservatories for 25 years, and to celebrate this they want a picture of the team front and centre on the website’s homepage.
However, what your potential customers want to see first is quality images of conservatories you’ve made for previous clients. Yes, we can talk about the team and the heritage further into the site, but the potential customer first needs to know if you can solve their ‘problem’, which in this case is “I would like a new conservatory – who can build it for me?” So, when they land on your website and see pics of perfect conservatories, they know that they can potentially get their problem solved here … but how are you going to solve it for them? With your years of experience and time- served builders, that’s how.
Now, that’s a very basic example, but it demonstrates how important it is to engage with an experienced design and marketing professional. Not only that, but you don’t want someone who always says “Yes”. Our hypothetical Acme Conservatory Company needed someone to say “No” to them: no, you don’t want a team picture on the homepage, and they should be told what they need.
Being able to show clients how their website can fit with a social media strategy, email marketing, video marketing, etc, and help them overcome the challenges that they can present is very satisfying. So, should you use a professional? Yes. Am I biased? Quite possibly. If you’re still unsure, try it yourself and – who knows – youmay find that you have an untapped skill for it and a new career awaits you.
Andrew McEwan of ‘And We Do This’ in Morebattle (www.andwedothis.com) helps businesses in the Scottish Borders and beyond with website design, ecommerce, digital marketing and video production.