Website Builder Vs Website Designer – Hire Or Do It Yourself

A well-designed website that is built using the best practices will work for you 24/7 to attract visitors and turn those visitors into customers. The good news is that you have a few choices when it comes to having a website designed for your local business:

1. You can do it yourself (DIY) by learning to code or use a Website Builder

2. You can hire a professional web designer

Learning how to build a website from scratch will be time consuming and hiring a web designer can require a larger budget than planned, which is why the free and low cost website builder services like Weebly, Wix, and Squarespace have become all the rage these days. You can’t visit a website, listen to a podcast, or watch a video online without seeing or hearing ads talking about how you can create a beautiful, fully functional website in as little as a few hours. With no coding or design experience.

Wow. That sounds amazing, but is it really what you’re looking for?

For local businesses, a web builder can seem like the best option. However, it’s important to understand the pros and cons of using one of these tools and whether it will really serve your business goals in the long run.

Website Builder vs Website Designer
If you don’t plan to teach yourself how to build a website from scratch then you are left with: website builder vs. website designer. As convenient as web builders may claim to be, below are a few reasons why, at the end of the day, we recommend you at least consider investing in professional web design services rather than just settling for a DIY website builder. After all, you are running a business so you are going to need a website that sells customers.

The Pros & Cons of a Website Builder
DIY website builders have become so popular recently.

The main attraction to them is that users can quickly choose a template, upload their content, and have a website online in a matter of hours, at little to no cost.

These website builders use “drag and drop” and “WYSIWYG” (stands for “What You See Is What You Get”) tools to make it easy for anyone to format and edit webpages. If you can use Microsoft Word then you can use these services, which is much better than having to learn HTML and CSS to build a website yourself.

With web builders, their paint-by-number templates make it very simple for you to upload content, like text and images, and place where you want it on the page. As long as you stay within the lines of the template and properly size your images to fit the space, then you should be in good shape.

Speed Does NOT Equal Results
While getting a website online as fast as possible might be convenient in the short term, it does not mean you’re going to see results quickly. As you can imagine, there is more to web design than just uploading a few pictures and pasting some text into a template.

Many business owners enjoy the DIY website builder process but are disappointed when they don’t see new customers coming into their office saying they found you online. After many hours or weeks of website editing, many business owners find out the hard way that not all websites are created equal.

The most beautiful website in the world can’t generate new customers if it can’t be found by the people looking for it or if it doesn’t provide a great user experience. Here are just a few of the very important web design and search engine optimization (SEO) elements that website builders can’t do for you:

  • Monitor and fix user and mobile experience issues
  • Create lead generation strategies
  • Keyword research and targeting
  • Title optimization
  • Local schema
  • Image optimization
  • Meta description optimization
  • Google Analytics & Tag Manager integration
  • Sitemap creation
  • Submit the website to the major search engines
  • And more…

Why Hire a Web Designer? (Besides Professional Design, of Course)
When hiring a professional web designer, you should expect the overall quality of your website to be higher.A great website designer will take the time to understand your business, not just the niche you are in but also what is unique about YOUR business, and then design and build a website that’s customized to you. This is very different than having to stuff your business into a predesigned and predetermined box. Also, if you’ve ever tried to use Photoshop or design any type of images for a website, you know how hard and time consuming it can be. Great images and designs will take your business to the next level and immediately create a higher level of trust with your potential customers.

Professional web design will make your business look unique and professional, helping it stand out from the crowd while still being functional and user friendly.

Local SEO (Search Engine Optimization)
Free web builders may offer speed and convenience, but they can’t offer unique design to specifically fit and market your business. They also can’t work with you one-on-one to create lead generation opportunities and other digital strategies, like SEO, to drive more traffic to your website.

Let’s assume for a minute that you built a nice looking website using a web builder service. That’s great news, but it doesn’t mean anything if Google doesn’t know your website exists or doesn’t have enough faith in it to show your business off to its users. For example, let’s say you run a small business called “Dave’s Martial Arts” in Chicago. Your self-built website will likely come up in search results for “Dave’s Martial Arts,” but how likely is it that someone would search for that exact term? They are more likely to search “martial arts Chicago” or something similar if they’re not quite sure what they’re looking for. The people that you want to find your website probably won’t be able to unless they already know who you are.

That is not a great way to generate new business online.

When building your website you’re going to need to account for people who find products and services based on location. As more and more searches go mobile, search engines are using your location to deliver geo targeted results. “Dave’s Martial Arts” could be a few blocks from where a potential customer is searching, but if the SEO is not set up correctly on the website, and information like name, address, and phone number (NAP) are not easily found, the potential customer may never find you through an online search.

One of the many benefits of hiring a professional web designer is that they should understand how to maximize local SEO so your business comes up in a variety of Google searches. You will still need to work on your local listings and citations but having great on-site SEO is a huge head start.

Tips for Hiring a Web Designer
If you’d like your business to look professional, get found online easily, and start generating business for you from day one, then we recommend talking with some professional web designers. Start by doing a Google search for “Web Design in [your city, state]” (replace [your city, state] with the city and state you live in).

Most web designers will charge a one-time cost to custom design and build your website. You can expect the cost to be a minimum of $2,000.00 and can go up to $10,000.00 or more, depending on your specific business needs and they type of web designer you contacted. Keep in mind that large advertising agencies will always cost more than local boutique agencies. These prices will not include any ongoing SEO or the domain name (youbusiness.com) and web hosting (where your website will be stored), which you’ll most likely be responsible for supplying (don’t worry if you don’t know how to get those, the web designer should be able to help you through the process).

That is the traditional option but if that doesn’t sound right for you then search around for other solutions. There are other web design service options and models available.

Regardless of which path you choose, remember that it is 2017 and your customers are looking online for the solutions to the problems that your business can fix. If they can’t find you online then you are missing out on real customers and real opportunities. You need to start investing in your business’s online presence.

Good luck!

Web Design and Its Evolution

Web design has come a long way since August 1991 when the first ever website was launched. Tim Berners-Lee published a text-based site on behalf of the European Organisation for Nuclear Research. The site itself was informative only and in no way interactive. Primitive in its looks, content included hyperlinks and was actually removed from the web in 1993. It was later decided to reinstate the website due to the importance of human and technological development.

Q: What’s one of the biggest differences between websites of the early 1990’s and those of today?

A: The first website ever created was solely for informative purposes whereas today, owners can offer a wealth of information, sell products and services, provide platforms for social interaction and much more. All of this is carried out in a visually appealing manner.

Q: Can we talk about speed?

A: Absolutely! You may have been around long enough to remember the days of dialup internet. If not, its highly recommended you look into it. Those used to lighting fast fibre broadband will almost certainly be enlightened to learn the process of dialup and how this would mean the telephone (land line) could not be used and was somewhat slow and at times intermittent. Taking this into consideration, websites of 90’s were based primarily around text. Design layouts were a concept of the future along with imagery, typography and navigation. Due to the simplistic (looking) nature of a primitive website, it meant that the user experience was as optimised as it possibly could be and this notion was based upon a user requiring information from a website that worked through a dialup connection.

Q: So what happened next?

A: Towards the mid 1990’s on site page builders began to grow in popularity with web designers choosing this option as a preferred layout. Offering tables, columns and rows, content was able to be separated into specific blocks based upon a subject or category. This meant a web page held even more visual appeal than that of those from the early 1990’s. The main focus continued to be the users’ experience.

Q: Do you remember the page counter?

A: Page counters were great landmarks, offering insight into the number of people who visited a web page. This type of information was important to both the website owner and the customer. The former gives an idea of the number of people landing on the website with the latter giving the potential reader an idea of website popularity.

Q: Can we look at page structure then and now?

A: As previously mentioned, early website structure was based heavily around text before moving onto a more boxy feel in terms of blocks and columns. Today, web pages are hot on offering great navigation in order to complete a call to action in as fewer clicks as possible. Great images, well-written content and trust signals are all strategically placed within a professional build.

Q: Can we learn about the 2000’s?

A: This is where content and design saw a clear separation through the magical realms of CSS. Whitespace became a positive aspect making way for the eradication of block colours throughout a web page. Another positive feature of this era included the addition of links to icons as well as text. Resolution and pixelation moved to the forefront of important design considerations.

Q: What about today?

A: Known in the industry as the ‘modern web’, and starting out with the birth of Web 2.0, this modern era has built up over time including the likes of social media integration, interactive content and multimedia applications. Results over time have mapped out how websites are built and how we have come to market them today.

With the user experience always at the forefront of design and development since 1993, it will be interesting to re-visit in a further decade.

5 Tips to Avoid Mistakes in Your Website Design Process

Many people design the website for their business to save their money. Awkwardly, they don’t know the concepts of a good website design. To design a good website is an art and science. Art is its design and color combination and science is its user interface. No matter if your business is new or the old one. But a creative website design definitely attracts the target audience. In the absence of a website, nobody knows you and your trade. To design a website, you need a reliable website designing company. That will create a good website for your company.

To design a good website, a designer needs to avoid several mistakes at any cost. In this article, we are going to mention the mistakes as well as the tips to avoid them. A designer needs to know about these common mistakes to avoid design inconsistencies.

Top Five Tips to avoid the mistakes while designing a website

1. Clutter: Most people put too many videos, content, images and design elements on the homepage. It looks very messy, which makes the site busy as well as difficult to use. It confuses the user and looks untidy. As a result, a user is not able to make any wise decision as it fails to conclude what the site is about?

*In order to avoid clutter,the home page should be very clear and give a quick information to the users. Keep the important things on the home page and add additional pages for detailed information. It will save the time of the target audience.

2. Compatibility with Browsers and Mobile Devices: If you tested the website on a single browser, you cannot declare it a good website, until you test it on all browsers and mobile devices. This mistake may harm the reputation of a website design company.

*Continuous Testing: Test the Website properly and consistently on different browsers, including Chrome, Internet Explorer, Firefox, Opera and Safari. Make sure the website works appropriately on all devices like smartphones and tablets.

3. Poor Navigation: Navigation is an important component, try to make it simple. Make sure that user should be able to navigate very easily without wasting a second.

Tip: The top navigation or left hand side navigation bar is the most popular way to direct the user.

*How to avoid poor navigation: A clear Navigation bar must be available on every page. A site map is also helpful for navigation. Through a map, users can see overall view of the website at a glance.

4. Unorganized content and keyword stuffing: It is a myth that keyword stuffing will generate traffic to your website. Putting the name of your business in every single paragraph makes your content awkward to read.

*Hire a Content Specialist: A content writer possesses the expertise to write quality content without stuffing the keywords. Quality content will help you generate traffic on your website.

5. Cheap Design Agency: In order to save money, sometimes people hire a cheap design company. This decision sometimes proves to be very harmful for your business.

Several Ways of Finding Out Professional Web Design Companies

A site describing your services, products, and other factors can let everyone understand the business anywhere around the globe. Thus, it is very vital that you should build your website perfectly so that it catches everyone’s attention and people whoever once visits your site should get attracted towards your services and desires to do business with you.

When you are using the internet, it is entirely reasonable that you get contacts of the various web design company. And it is very obvious that it will be problematic for you to choose the best among the displayed options. Thus the exact method which can assist you in gaining the right option for you are described below:

Check the work experience- While you are interested in building a website for your business, you would need the assistance of a professional, experienced, and trustworthy organization. Check the work experience of the firm whom you are going to hire to satisfy your needs. A company having years of expertise certifies that the corporation will have professional and skilled web designers and developers who can understand the exact requirements of the clients. If the company is working in this field for years with a renowned identity, then it will be a right catch.

Check the portfolio- When you made up your mind to do business with a distinct entity, then they will provide a portfolio of your works and designs incorporated in their previous works. Check them, and you can get a brief idea about the working procedure of the firm through the sites developed by them and also the efficiency could be calculated, also you can very well understand that whether they will have the probability of fulfilling your desires and meeting your designing needs.

Also, there are chances that the firm you have selected to build your website has crafted a website of some other company who is doing business the same kind of business like you. Ask the web design company to show you the site so that it can be easier for you to check out and find out the work of their designers and also verify the satisfaction level of the clients for whom they have crafted the site.

The charge also plays an important factor which would help you in choosing the right organization. Thus, before hiring a company to build a website be sure about the rates they offer because various companies are available in the market and there are huge differences in the rates they offer. You might have fixed a budget to build the website thus, check the prices offered and go with the company which fits in your budget.

Apart from designing there is one more factor which needs to be focused, and it is the Search Engine Optimization, choose a company who is able to build an outstanding website and also make it SEO friendly.

Why Small Businesses Should Invest In Graphic Design

Generally, the start-ups and small businesses don’t give enough attention to the graphic design, as they think that it is costly and it will not help in generating revenue. But, the graphic design actually helps in making your business a success, let’s check out why graphic design is essential for the small businesses:

1. First impression matters more than you think: you must know that you have only one chance to catch the attention of your potential customers. Like, when a customer visits your site for the first time and finds that it is badly designed, then he/she will not take more than a second to move back and will never be coming back, even after you have made the improvements later on. Your customers actually judge your business based on the appearance of your site and if you have a high-quality design then your business will become more credible.

2. Your design can tell a story: your design should tell your customers what you do. Although, the customers might haven’t heard about your company, they should be able to relate with your services by looking at your design or logo. Like, the website of a digital marketing service will look different from the website of a law firm. The colour schemes that you choose should be attractive and soothing enough and must relate to the service and products that you do.

3. Branding helps in making a company memorable: a solid and appealing graphic design will proffer consistency in branding across every customer facing aspect. A graphic design which looks professional and uses appropriate colours and sets the right mood for the customers will be the first choice for the customers. When the customers get the desired information in just a single click and when everything is understandable on a site, then the customer feels that he is reading a brochure. This will help you in making your business recognizable and memorable by increasing the consistency and professionalism. It will be a win-win situation for you, as trust will increase.

4. Creativity can be a differentiator: There is only one thing, which is common in all types of business and that is they all have to face competition. But, you can make yourself different in the market by being a little creative. All you need to do is think different and implement that thought on your site, it can be the way you present your ‘About us’ page or ‘Services’. The visual communication plan of a company can serve multiple purposes and will make your business unique.

5. Good design converts: a website which is slick is a good thing and the slick website which can convert is the best thing. A website which has a smart design can persuade and entice the customers. A professional design has the capability to deliver measurable results, especially for a small business.