We’re going to begin this post with an anecdote about shampoo; stick with us, we promise it’s relevant!
My shampoo costs £1 a bottle. It is not a fancy shampoo. It cleans my hair. My hair has nothing to do with my work. I am not a hair model, nor a model of any sort. As I write this, I sit in my apartment by myself, and there is a good chance I will be seen by a total of exactly one person today. I don’t need my hair to look extra shiny and silky smooth. For my purposes, my £1 bottle of shampoo suits me just fine.
I have a friend who has a successful career as a news anchor and public speaker. She uses fancy shampoo. It costs much more than £1 per bottle. Her hair looks great. Her hair is seen by thousands of people per day. Her hair has a beautiful glowing sheen.
Where am I going with this, you ask? Website design, of course! Choosing between a DIY website builder and hiring a professional website designer is a little bit like deciding on a shampoo. Do you really need to hire a professional website designer, or could you get by with an online site building tool?
Let’s start by considering how established your business is. Are you brand new into the marketplace? Then you probably don’t need a professional website designer. If you’re just starting out, your website probably just needs a few basic parts, and those can be accomplished by using a drag-and-drop website builder – such as Website Builder from WestHost – and putting things together yourself. However, if your business has been around for a few years and has recently begun to grow, you may require customized add-ons to make your site function at its optimum level. In that case, using a professional designer will be your best option. Not to mention the great smell from organic botanicals and exotic oils! Or was that the fancy shampoo? Oh, yes, it was. Apologies.
Next, consider how important your digital first impression is to your company. If most of your marketing and sales take place offline and your website is merely a tool where customers go to seal the deal, then it’s not so important to have a website that looks out of this world (though it obviously still needs to look good). However, if your customers get their first impression from your website, then it really needs to sparkle. Using a professional web designer will accomplish that, although many website builder tools allow for the creation of a good-looking website without the fee.
The third thing to consider is how important SEO is to your business. Suffice it to say if your business is online, SEO should be one of your biggest considerations. As with the previous example, if you are a destination website and you are not concerned with how much site traffic you are receiving, then an online site builder tool may be enough for you. However, professional website designers are able to optimize the SEO of your site to increase site visits – this is one of the major draws to hiring a professional. And it’s no secret that the more site visits you get, the more chance you have to make a sale.
Finally, is your website accessed by mobile devices? It should be. Although some do-it-yourself website builders offer ways to make your site mobile-friendly, hiring a professional will ensure that every single photo, link, and piece of digital content will show up just as well on a smartphone as it will on your desktop. Bear in mind, though, that Google penalizes websites that are not responsive, or optimized for different devices. Website Builder from WestHost automatically ensures your website looks great and functions perfectly across all devices.
Professional website designers can be a huge asset to your business website, although they aren’t for everybody. Consider how much time and effort you have to spare for your business website, and how important your company’s website is to your overall business, and from there you can decide on which website construction technique is for you.