Why work with a Web Designer?
The age old question – why choose to work with a real web designer when you could just do it yourself?
In over 15 years of running a design agency and working as a freelance web designer in Oxford, the biggest barrier has always been convincing small and startup businesses that they should use my services rather than use an online site builder system, or ask their cousin/friend/neighbour because they once did their own site and that “works OK and looks alright”.
It’s totally understandable of course – taking the time to find the right designer, understanding the process and perhaps having to pay more are all big concerns for small businesses who need to concentrate on doing what they do best and keep an eye on their costs.
But could you be doing your business a disservice by not dedicating the right time and budget to your website?
Plenty of people take the DIY approach, using some downloaded software or a pre-installed copy of WordPress and a template to quickly put together something that works for them. DIY sites are usually completed in a few afternoons, left to fend for themselves once completed because there is no time available to keep it updated. Surely you should be using your skills and talents doing what you are best at and helping your business to succeed, rather than considering how you should be keeping your site up-to-date, relevant and accessible to search engines?
Online site builder tools might help you quickly create a professional looking site, but being template based you are often constrained by what their designs allow and your site ends up looking similar to all those using the same template. Costs may seem attractive at first, but are usually based on monthly on-going contracts that can add-up over the life of a website, and there are often hidden charges involved for adding extra features, or employing someone to try and hack the system to work as you need it to.
Mate’s mates / cousins / neighbours who dabble in design can help you create a website at a good cost, but can they offer the time required to really know your business and create a site that reflects what you do? It can be a slow, frustrating process waiting for someone who only works as a web designer as a sideline and only has a few hours/evenings a week to complete your project, as well as help with on-going changes down the line.
But a “real” web designer is expensive and we only need a basic website?
Whilst it’s true that working with a designer may cost more, you will often pay a fixed-cost that works out cheaper over the life-time of an average website compared to paying on-going subscription fees. Most designers will also divide the costs up into 2, 3 or 4 payments, billed at various stages of the design process, helping to spread the cost of the project.
A designer can work closely with you to understand your business and it’s customers, creating a solution that fully reflects the quality of the services and products that you offer. Often working with bespoke designs and templates, you’ll be sure of a unique site design that helps you stand out from the crowd, and that is flexible enough to grown alongside your business. They will take considerations like accessibility, search engine optimisation, content creation and future expandability into account from the start, ensuring you have a site that performs now and in the future.
With a tried-and-tested design process to follow, and a 9-5 focus on your project, you can also be sure that a designer will apply the right time and care to your project to ensure you get great results. Get the right relationship in place with your designer and you’ll have a go-to service to help update, maintain and expand your site as you require.
A web designer is also likely to have the technical knowledge to help you with setting up domain names and hosting, making sure it all works seamlessly with your new site, and can also provide complimentary design services such as branding and print design, giving you the peace-of-mind of working with someone you have a good relationship with and who you know understands your business.
Why not get in touch to discuss your web design project? I’d love to talk you through the many benefits of working closely with a web designer…