DIY or Hire a Web Designer?
DIY or Hire a Web Designer
Should you DIY or hire a Web Designer? So you’ve decided to take the leap and start your first website? Where do you start first? Like most people do, you’re probably trying to consider what options will produce the best results for the cheapest price. And if you’ve done your research, you’ll find heaps of articles online that will try to persuade you to hire a professional for the best quality but if you’re like me, you’re probably feeling a bit sceptical because convincing you to hire them means more money in their pockets, not yours, right?
You’ve probably also heard about some pretty awesome drag and drop online editors that are now available that promise you the world and entice you with their easy to use interface. Let’s say you have an eye for design and can easily learn how to use these incredible new web design platforms. I’m sure you could build a gorgeous site using them if you have just enough design skills to make everything flow beautifully. Even I’m impressed with them, but then my primary joy in my design work is Graphic Design so for me, it’s a Graphic Artist’s web building dream come true.
But did you know… that even the most amazingly designed websites are practically useless without the proper SEO (search engine optimisation), marketing and advertising? Your SEO alone is one of the most important factors to consider when trying to get your site found on the search engines. Google is especially choosy about what they allow through their ranking systems. If you don’t have your site properly optimised, not only could you not be found in the search engines, you can also find your site being penalised by Google which would hurt you even further when you do finally get your SEO up to par. Gone are the days where you can simply enter a bunch of relevant keywords to be found on Google. Now, you have rules and standards you need to meet for the content of each page you want to be searchable. For that alone, you really do need a specialist if for no other reason.
Let’s face it. Web design is challenging, even with the most user-friendly web building interfaces. One of the first things people like to do is pile on all the neat animations and effects. Truthfully, they’re great, but you also need to ensure that you’re not slowing down your site, causing visitors to avoid visiting because it takes too long to load everything. Another potential area of concern are the images you use. Unlike print design, your images actually need to be as low resolution as you can get them without losing quality. They really shouldn’t be any larger in pixel size than necessary and should be saved down in a web ready format. Unless you have experience with this sort of thing, you’re already at a disadvantage. The choice to DIY or hire a web designer can mean the difference between making it and breaking it.
I’ve used some of these user-friendly programs like Wix. In fact, I happily offer this platform as an option in my budget web design packages. I think it’s definitely got great potential but as I was working with this platform, I quickly realised that without my prior knowledge in web design, I’d probably be pretty confused about what many of the features do, what some of the advanced settings mean, why they’re important, etc… My fear would be that many people would skip over many important features, not even realising how important they are and lose out on the potential benefits.
Functionality is another area of importance. Is your site easy to navigate? Do you have a call to action prominently displayed? Will your site work properly on all browsers as well as mobile devices? Is your site going to achieve its purpose? There are so many factors one must consider when building a website. Whether you choose to DIY or hire a web designer, you need to make sure you’ve done your research, understand the pros and cons of both choices and if you do decide the DIY (do it yourself) approach, make sure you take time to read and understand the ins and outs of making your site work for you.