Build Your Own Website or Hire a Professional Web Designer
There are a lot of do it yourself website design products out there. Here are a couple of things to think about when deciding to DIY or to hire a professional web design company.
Images for your website.
Unless you have all your own original photographs or a supply of stock photography you’ll need help finding pictures to use. There are a variety of sites that provide Commercial stock photos and work under Creative Commons copyright for use. Having somebody that knows copyright law and the best sites for photos might be a good idea. Original photographs may need to be altered for web use, they need to be big enough to look good but not so big they slow down your site. If it’s not professional you want to make sure that you find somebody that can touch them up to make them look their best. Amateur point and shoot digital cameras can take good pictures but they may need to be fixed up to look their best on a professional website.
Hosting, e-commerce and security.
At the very least you want to make sure that the site is backed up on a regular basis. Some hosting services will backup the data on your website but you may want to have another backup system if you have a lot of information that would cause major damage to your business if lost. If you are taking any personal information from customers you have to make sure that information is protected and that account login information can easily and safely be stored and verified. If you are selling products through your website, you will need to set up an online shopping cart and a way to process payments. There are online services for this but integrating them into the site might take a bit more technical skill. When hiring a web designer make sure they can take care of all your concerns, they should be able to explain exactly how they will address any of these issues.
Keep you web visitors engaged.
Special features can be a great way to keep customers coming back to your site. Blogs, social media feeds, videos, animated banners, and games can be great features that keep website visitors engaged. There are embed codes and apis for you to integrate these features into your site but it could prove difficult to get them the perfect size, shape and color to blend smoothly with the design of your website. This would require a web programmer with experience working with these technologies. If you are creating the content and uploading yourself you can get someone to set it up and assist if complications arise.
Many businesses that have a clear marketing plan, the resources to generate content and update the website on their own may simply need to contract a web design company for their technical skills. Those that are really unsure of what they need for their website and need some direction should look for somebody that not only has the technical skill but will help with the creative process. You should look for a company with experience developing marketing strategies. Before deciding on who to hire ask what strategies and tools they would use and how they would track their success. This gives you a good idea of how involved you will have to be with the process and if they can work independently and still produce a website that will be the best new asset to your business.
Give us a shout if you need help with your project.