WHAT YOU (AND YOUR CLIENTS!) MISS WHEN YOU DIY A WEBSITE
You’re at a networking event (remember those?) and you hit it off with a potential client. The two of you exchange business cards. What’s the first thing you’re going to do when you arrive home?
Look each other up. Wander around their website. Gage even further who this person is, and you trust their website to tell you all of that. I can’t say it enough: websites are our new age media first-impression. They “hold the door open” for those business leads we work so hard to get, and a technically proficient website offers you the best chance at turning those visitors into clients.
Before we jump in, I’d like to say that there are a number of reasons someone might want to DIY a website. Personal and travel blogs, to host an online portfolio, or an otherwise simple, low-traffic website. As coding becomes less common and template design more, we see a rise in well-intentioned business owners trying their hand (usually to save a buck) at DIY-ing their website.
Saving money is good: investing money is better.
Similar to a brick and mortar store: when we enter a website, we want to be taken care of. You might walk up to a business for the pretty decal on their door, but people put their money where they put their trust. If you step inside to see that this business is unkept or poorly managed, you’re going to take your time and resources to a more promising experience.
Let’s Talk About You and Me
There are some exciting elements to what makes a good web design. We know it’s a delicate balance of professionalism and relatability, individuality and stylistic choice, who your brand is and how your brand is expanding. And yet, to stand out amongst clients and competitors, it’s not enough anymore to pick a brand palette, a choice font, and call it a day.
Your clients want to remember you, which means you’ve got to offer them something to remember. Professionals are readily using elements like movement, graphics, and navigation to create an aesthetically pleasing experience for their site visitors. It maintains a modern energy, while showing clients that you’re both aware and in tune with current media trends. While all of these standout effects are uniquely integrated by code, it’s also worth noting that in hiring a professional web designer, you’re hiring someone to help you analyze every web page as an ongoing conversation between you and your audience, or the ongoing story of your brand.
It takes a village to be a successful brand, and to think big-picture. I can’t do it all, and neither should you. In house at De La Foye Design Studio, we have a graphic designer, a marketing specialist, a photographer, and a data analytics specialist (sounds like a perfect walk-into-a-bar joke, doesn’t it?), in addition to myself, the (ever witty) web designer. We’re with you every step of the way. Our specialists are creatively tag-teaming your website to life. We’re devoted to helping you stand out, because when you look good, we look good! While I create a booking calendar that can hold the data of your client list, Geoff modernizes your logo, and Lisa captures the welcoming energy of your team for your About Us page.
Harmony is attractive. Harmony is memorable. People can instantly tell when something looks or feels off. This means your winning design is lost without winning functionality to match, and that’s when having a designer on your side really comes in handy.
Let’s Talk About Funct-ional-ity
Design makes people stay, functionality makes people return.
It’s also one of the key ingredients to a high-trafficking website. More to click, more to see, more to interact with. Kind of like eggs in cake; without competitive functionality, not much expands.
Hiring a web designer takes the stress out of functionality and widens your options. Because unless you’re an experienced designer, putting money into DIY templates or widgets here and there is, unfortunately, a gamble. Designers know exactly how to integrate to avoid clunky composition, slow loading time, need I go on?
It’s really as simple as this: together, we can create a “wish list” of the functions that best serve your business, that might be fun to try, or that can take your user experience to the next level; whether that be a calendar, contact form, or checkout basket. Tell me what you’ve noticed other sites have that you adore. Ta-da! Now you have it, too.
And unless you love reading about website innovation in your spare time, partnering with a web designer will consistently keep you in the loop of what the cool businesses are doing. I’m a WiX woman for this very reason. I love how often they update, their readily available helpline, and how they take word from designers like me into consideration when implementing core changes to functionality. I can count on them to deliver the best of the best in modern design, which means I can then offer it to you.
Start investing in yourself, and stop sweating web design. Together, we’ll make people ooh and ah over your presence. I promise, never again will a broken link (yep, it happens!) or a slow loading page keep you from that new client.