These days, it’s easier than ever to build a website for your small business without the assistance of a professional website designer or developer. DIY tools such as GoDaddy’s Website Builder make it a snap to design a mobile-friendly website and get it up-and-running in as little as an hour.
Although this option is perfect for many small businesses, others find the money spent on calling in a professional website designer is well spent. Businesses that want something a little more bespoke and snazzier than they could get from a website builder often benefit from calling in a website designer.
Here are some of the reasons you might find it worthwhile to get professional help from a website designer:
- You don’t have time to do it yourself
- You have limited experience with digital tools and technology
- You have complex requirements
- You want something special that will stand out from the pack
Let’s explore these points in further detail:
1. You don’t have time to do it yourself
If you’re like most small business owners, you’re constantly on the move. You’re in meetings with clients, brainstorming with the team, trying to meet your revenue targets, and tearing your hair out about paperwork and finances. Perhaps you know that getting a proper website in place is important, but you can just never seem to find the time.
Website builders are easy to use, but there’s also a lot of thinking to do before you start designing a site. What templates are available? What should the website look like? What domain name should you buy? What content should you put on the site? Which features does it need?
A website designer can help you arrive at answers to these questions faster, and help you get up-and-running with your website in double-quick time. In short, a website designer will have the experience to offer answers and ideas in minutes, whereas you may need hours of learning.
Time is money for a small business owner. Sometimes billable consulting hours or squeezing in a few more client meetings are a better way for you to spend the time rather than designing a website.
2. You have limited experience with digital tools and technology
There are many small business owners who have limited hands-on experience with content management systems, e-commerce, website builders, or buying domains. As simple as the technology is today, there is still a learning curve if you don’t know the basics of SEO, web design principles, or domain hosting.
If this describes you, and you don’t have the time or interest to learn digital skills, you can turn to a website designer to accelerate development of your website.
3. You have complex requirements
Building a static website, so-called brochureware, with information about your company and perhaps a blog is relatively easy. But what if you want to include e-commerce functionality or all-singing, all-dancing animations? A website developer can help you build a secure and stable site that is quick and easy for people to use.
If you plan to sell products online, then you need to make sure your site has e-commerce functionality. You’ll need features like:
- Payment gateways
- Order processing and tracking
- Multiple product pages
- Multiple shipping options
- Process for returns and reorders
- Inventory management
A website designer or agency can help you integrate and design these features, including the extensions and tools that will help you build a robust e-commerce capability.
4. You want something special that will stand out from the pack
You’ve looked through the standard templates available for WordPress or your website builder, and you just can’t find something you like. You want the design of your website to pop out and grab the user’s attention. It must look and feel like your brand, not like every other website out there, and it must be slick and super professional.
You could try to customise the template yourself, but if you are not a design professional, you could expend a lot of time and energy to get a result you’re not completely happy with. A professional can help customise your theme or build one from the ground up to your specifications.
Choosing the right website designer
If you have decided to get professional design help, here are some things to consider before choosing your partner:
- How much budget do you have? Costs for professional website development depends on the size of your site, scope of intricacy, and timeline constraints within which you’re working.
- Check which tools they will use; a website builder, content management system or custom code for your site. The price of your site will be more expensive for custom projects and less expensive when designers use pre-built themes and drag-and-drop tools.
- Ensure the designer will give you access to the content management system, so you can refresh or add content yourself.
- Find someone who clicks with you and communicates well.
- Ask for references and their portfolio to see if you like their work.
Whether you decide to get help from a website designer or go at it alone with your website, building your digital presence is a sound investment of time and money. It will help you drive customer acquisitions and showcase your story and offering to the market.