Your website is the centerpiece of your business.
People find you on social media, via word of mouth, advertising, SEO, customer reviews and maybe even through direct mailers. No matter how people see you and your business, everything points to your own special location on the web that you can call your own. This is completely focused on you, your branding and your unique value message you need to communicate. This is huge! You don’t have to fit within the constraints of design paradigms on Facebook, or limit the length of your message to 140 characters. I’m looking right at you, Twitter bird.
So having total control of your website and ultimately your brand message is the key then, right?
If you agree, then you have two choices: do it yourself (DIY) or hire a professional.
We live in an age of DIY.
People are learning how to do anything from homemade light bulbs made out of old beer bottles to major home improvements. I love getting things done myself, like building my own custom gaming computer. Now I’m no electrician or computer expert, but I can get by and make it happen. Some people also have the mindset that if you want something done right, do it yourself, right? For the most part you could probably get away with making things for yourself even if you don’t know exactly what you’re doing. I can tell you I’ve had a few problems with that computer I decided to build myself. When the power supply failed and I had to order a new one, it still didn’t work after hooking everything up. Matters got worse when I sought help at a local computer repair shop and they pointed out the power button wasn’t even hooked up to the power supply.
I was not only embarrassed but I also wasted my time trying to figure it out myself.
Here’s a real-world example:
At the writing of this post, I have a client who is a perfect example of going down the path of creating the centerpiece for their business on their own. We were discussing a plan to produce an awesome eCommerce website for his organic beverage company. He took a look at the proposal and said he just couldn’t afford the upfront cost at the time and decided to do it himself on Squarespace. Less than 2 weeks later he was back and bashfully confessed that he needed more out of his website. Squarespace, for those of you who aren’t familiar, is a drag and drop website builder with templates you can choose from.
The problem was that he found when you try to appropriate content to fit inside of a predetermined template wasn’t the best choice for his brand. When you go with one of these ready-made solution you’re letting a company platform, and the people that run it dictate what is best for your website. And they have never even heard your goals set out for your website! You not only end up looking like everyone else, but the way the website is designed doesn’t exactly convince anyone of doing anything.
That’s a really big point, so be sure to write that one down.
If your website doesn’t move people to action then it’s not doing it’s job.
A large part of website design is the strategy behind the design. You have to be able to say why you decided to make that button a certain color. And beyond those little details, what you decide to do with your main content areas, side bars, pop up windows, navigation and footer have big impacts on how your website performs online.
Own your website.
You’re thinking, well of course I’m going to own my website – I’m paying for it! If you use platform-based drag and drop website builders, they will own your website, even though you’re paying for it. They lock you into a monthly recurring expense for hosting and ability to continually make updates to your website. What happens if the company no longer exists?
For a lot of people, this might be fine. The easy route with simple designs to choose from and monthly billing. That’s OK and there is definitely a market for those types of people in need of websites. The group of people I’m referring to are the ones who need a message told and ones who are ready to own their own website.
The best solution is to have your own installation of a content management system (CMS) installed on your own private server. Getting server space is cheap and there are companies dedicated to having the fastest servers in the world, which is where I host my client websites (Amazon EC2).
Platform website builders are not as versatile as a proper CMS. With your own WordPress site or Webflow website, you can design anything you can dream of. And this is very important when you want to optimize your website for revenue by telling relaying your perfect message.
The key is finding the right professional web designer you can trust for the job. The right professional will save you headaches. The wrong professional will give you more headaches.
Not all web designers are created equal, and there are countless articles that attempt to help your search for the right web designer. I’ll write a post on this later. That being said it remains that a good web designer will save you headaches in creating your website. Let’s look at a few of these.
- Design optimized for results
- Setting up email addresses
- Mailing list integration and setup
- Portfolio image sizing, import and setup
- User logins
- Seamless eCommerce setup and experience
- Seamless site-wide branding
- Blog categories and tag setup
- Search Engine Optimization on all pages and store items
- Domain registration and dynamic name servers setup
Depending on your needs, hiring a good, professional web designer will save you hours of your time, and time is money.
Your time is valuable, and running a business is hard. But if you stick to your core competencies as a business owner then your time is optimized, saving you headaches and money. Delegating all of the other tasks that it takes to create and grow your business is important. The work is completed faster by a professional, it’s of higher quality than if you did it yourself (no offense) and since the web designer’s reputation is riding on the line then it’s usually exactly what you were looking for.
You will also own your own website. By having your own server and CMS you can reduce cost of ongoing platform prices (and price changes) like Squarespace and Wix.
I hope this post gave you clarity on creating your website.
If you're ready for a professional to do a great job on your Bellingham website design then give us a call today. We will design you a beautiful website, do your SEO, start generating leads and get your phone to ring for your business.