One of the questions you may ask yourself when starting a new business is ‘should I hire a web designer to build me a website?’. The answer should always be yes. You may be thinking ‘of course you’ll say that, it’s your job’ – but having a professionally designed website is an investment in your brand and business.
Here I’ll explain some of my top 5 reasons why you should have your website professionally designed:-
1. A website is a reflection of your business
Your website represents you online to the world, so it’s important make sure it’s what you want people to see. You should be proud and happy to show off your website instead of reluctantly giving out the domain name the next time someone asks if you have one.
Have a think about the message you want to share with your audience. My guess is that you want to appear professional, trustworthy and that you provide a high quality service or product. The best way to do that is by giving them a positive impression straight away and that starts with your website.
A well designed website gives your business credibility which is vital online as customers need to trust you. If your website is badly designed, out of date or difficult to navigate then people lose faith in your business. This is when a professional designer can be a real asset, they have the experience to help create a website that not only represents your business but also effectively conveys your message to the target market.
It’s also worthwhile considering what makes you choose a particular business over another. Do you look up a businesses websites before contacting them or visiting their shop? Would you choose a business with a shabby out of date website or one that has a clean design, is clearly laid out and is regularly updated? I know which one I would choose and you can bet that many more people base their decision on their first impressions of you online.
2. A website is an investment
Starting a new business can be a costly affair so it is common to forgo investing in a website to save on the initial start-up costs. Instead opting to get a ‘free website’ on one of the template sites or having a family member or friend create one for you. While this does save money initially, it may cost you more in the long run.
A professional web designer doesn’t cost as much as you may think and many have a number of packages at rates which suit all budgets. It’s also worth noting that once the website is online, the running costs are minimal compared with other types of advertising like print ads.
A newspaper advert can cost several hundred pounds and is only shown for a limited time and may not even reach your potential customers. Whereas a website is a one off cost that is available all day, every day – making it an effective long-term investment for your business.
3. It’s always open
With the digital age that we live in, the first place most people go to find out more about you is online. A website is accessible 24/7 providing a convenient place for your customers to find out what you offer at anytime, day or night. Most people are unlikely to call up businesses to ask them about their services, it is much easier to pop online and have a quick look at their websites. Doing this gives them all the information that they need and if they like what’s on offer they can contact you at a time that is convenient for them.
4. A good website is more than a flashy design
There is more to a good website than an awesome looking design. Functionality, easy of navigation, how fast it loads, if it can be found on search engines are also major factors to consider. A professional designer has the experience and knowledge to deliver a website that not only looks great but is a key asset for your business, allowing you to attract new customers and retain existing ones.
5. Anything (or almost anything) is possible
The problem with free websites or inexperienced designers is the lack of features available to you. Things like contact forms, photo galleries, blogs and search engine optimisation are not usually possible, which limits what you can do with your website.
A professional website designer will spend time with you to work out your exact requirements and ideas. With their experience and knowledge they will be able to take those ideas and create a fully featured website that does exactly what you want it too.
So, really what are you waiting for? Have a look around at some designers and find one that you feel could be a good fit for you and your business.