A while back I had someone contact me about rebuilding her website.
She had been using a site builder, and a bunch of plugins, but realized that she’d just outgrown what she was capable of doing and was frustrated.
“I’m not a designer, I’m not a developer,” she said. “I know this isn’t working for me, so I’m hoping you can help!”
When I asked her about her workflow and how she was getting things done she described it as “painful”.
Have you been there?
Have you struggled with your site to the point where the whole thing just makes you want to throw in the towel and get some real help?
I know I have. And I work with a lot of clients who’ve been in that exact same place.
Context is everything.
Here’s an example to illustrate the point.
When you’re just getting started with your website, you don’t know what you don’t know. That’s why I talked about the reasons you should not hire a website designer before.
But after you’ve been online for a while, and you’re starting to get some wins through your website, you start to figure out what you don’t know and can’t do.
- You start to feel the restraints and things that are holding you back.
- You start to understand why your traffic isn’t what you think it should be.
- You start to realize the bottlenecks in your website that are slowing your business down.
- You start to figure out there are barriers you need to overcome to keep growing.
The context in which you approach your online presence matters more than anything because, without that, it’s hard to build out that roadmap.
Figuring out what’s next for your online presence is a struggle for every website owner I’ve ever come in contact with.
And so the time will come when we need to reach out to get some expert help is a step they all reach at some point.
Doesn’t matter if you’re a blogger, e-commerce shop owner, or something else, hiring a web pro is a vital step to getting more out of your online efforts.
Here are six good reasons to hire a website designer for your project.
1. Hire a Website Designer When Strategy Is Important
You know it’s time to hire a web designer when you’ve reached your limit with what you’ve done so far, and you need a better strategy to help you get where you want to go.
Once your site has grown beyond the “getting started” phase, and you’re not quite sure how to get to the next step, working with a pro can help launch you to another level.
What was good enough for you yesterday isn’t good enough for today, and certainly won’t be good enough for tomorrow.
A huge part of good web design strategy is instilling trust in your site visitors.
Joe Putnam, founder of ConversionEngine, in his post on CrazyEgg’s blog, points out that, “design has a significant impact on website visitors”. He refers to a test on trust signals on health websites that found that “When deciding whether or not they trusted a health website, participants mentioned design related issues 15 times more than content related issues. That’s incredible.”
Design strategy matters. Just like the lack of design strategy matters.
Great design in the wrong context can hurt you just as much as ignoring design can hurt you.
Working with a pro can help you maximize the opportunities you have and avoid pitfalls you probably don’t know about.
They will be able to work with you to build a website dialed in on a clear strategy that will help you achieve your goals.
They can help you refine your strategy and how that translates to how your site needs to be designed.
A pro web designer helps you design around that central strategy by helping develop great page layout, calls to action, opt-in opportunities, how elements should be placed on a page, and more.
2. Hire a Website Designer Because You Need to Assure Your Website Code is Top-Notch
Before we continue here, let me clarify something.
Technically, a web designer is the one who creates the overall look and feel of the website.
The web developer is the one who takes the design created by the web designer and builts it into the living, breathing website.
I’ve used the term “web designer” in the broad sense that the person – or persons – who you hire to build your website has the ability to not only design the website but also to create the code that powers it.
It’s kind of like this: Architects and engineers are usually the ones who design the plans for a house, a building, or some other kind of big construction project.
But it’s the general contractor who’s the one who is responsible for doing the actual building, making sure everything fits together perfectly and works according to the design.
So, the web designer is the artistic person who knows web strategy, and how to design the right elements to drive the results you want to deliver.
The web developer the programmer is the one who translates those designs into living, breathing code.
Does that make sense?
Now, that we’ve covered that, let’s talk about why good code on your website is important.
Rick Mulready, who recently rebuilt his site from the bottom up, had a big issue he needed to address. His old site was seriously slow and badly in need of an overhaul so he hired an agency to rebuild his site.
In addition to improving the overall performance of his website, working with an agency to rebuild his site helped him refocus his brand and ultimately deliver greater value to his community by providing an overall better experience.
The speed by which your site loads is crucial to so many things, of which the most important is the experience your visitors have when they land on your site.
And one of the biggest causes of a site loading slow is poor coding practices.
Most times, website owners don’t have the coding skills to be able to execute the features and designs that they want so they end up relying on plugins and page builder tools that result in a lot of what’s called “code bloat”.
Code bloat is what it sounds like: fat, overstuffed, unnecessary code.
Code bloat can slow your site down and make for a really poor experience for your visitors to your website.
In addition to having a slow website, bad code can introduce security risks, and make it difficult for a developer to work on your code in the future.
When you need to get the most out of your website hiring a web pro is your best bet to make sure that your website’s performance is top-notch, the code is good, and that you’re set up for success.
3. Hire a website designer when you need to develop a unique branding approach
How much would you be willing to spend on an average website designer to build out your website?
Let me ask this:
How much do you charge for your services? $100 an hour? $10,000 for a project?
Because that’s exactly what you’re doing when you elect to do your own website instead of getting it done the right way by working with a pro.
Sounds harsh, eh?
It’s the hard truth. Getting a pro to work on your site can mean the difference between a great site and a very average one.
Working with a web designer brings a fresh set of eyes and can deliver solutions and ideas that you’ve not even thought about.
As an example, I just met with a potential website client to do an initial discovery of what they wanted and to see how we could help.
It was a fantastic conversation. We talked about several ideas that had never even been on his radar regarding approaches we could use and how we could empower his business through the new website.
At the end of the conversation when talking about next steps he said, “I knew I was talking to the right people – this is the kind of thinking that’s foreign to me and it’s exactly why I need you.”
I don’t say that to humble-brag but to point out that working with experts who really know what they’re doing can do things for your brand and business that you never even imagined.
4. Hire a website designer when you need to build complex features
When your site is growing and you start to see the need for bigger and more complex features it’s a good time to get a pro involved.
Last time I talked about letting the need drive the functionality or feature requirement and why it’s important to not get in the weeds with stuff you don’t need yet.
When that time comes there is no better alternative than to work with a pro to get it built.
Maybe it’s adding a booking and scheduling feature where someone can purchase advanced access to your product or service.
Maybe it’s adding a new web store to your site.
An expert can make recommendations or point out alternative solutions that may be a better fit for what you’re trying to achieve.
We all get shiny-object syndrome from time to time and want to have the new feature that [insert influencer name here] just added to their site.
However, that new shiny feature may not be the best fit for YOUR website.
Get a pro to help you reach the goal you’re trying to achieve with your website. When you work with a pro to get that new feature implemented, you can be assured that it meets your needs, is done right, and fits into your overall plans for what you’re trying to do.
5. Hire a website pro to help you with the necessary ongoing maintenance & upkeep
One thing you may not have thought about is that a website is never *really* done. Yes, you can log in to WordPress to create your posts, upload your podcasts, etc. but there are other aspects that are vital to the health of your website.
In the last couple of weeks, we’ve helped our maintenance customers update their opt-in forms, help manage their member’s subscription issues, work on landing pages, manage media files for broadcasts, and more.
In addition, there are regular updates that have to be done.
Content management systems are continuously updated. Extensions, modules, and plugins are regularly updated with new features, fixes and security updates.
Security procedures like backing up to an off-site system have to be done.
Hiring a pro to handle your website maintenance and upkeep will accomplish a couple things:
- It will get you the expert help you need to make sure that your website is healthy, fast, and functioning properly.
- It will free you up to focus on the things that only you can do, that make your brand unique, and clear the way for you to focus on delivering the value you deliver to your community.
There are thousands of things that are competing for your attention every day – literally (and I do mean literally). And there is always something going on with your website that can distract you from shipping your art.
Maybe it’s getting that header image just right.
Maybe it’s that nagging red circle that’s telling you that you need to update a bunch of plugins.
Maybe you notice that your site is really slow and in desperate need of help to get it moving faster.
Hire a pro to handle your website maintenance and upkeep needs and focus on building your business.
6. Professional web designers bring a wealth of experience
Think about this:
Say you’ve been under the weather for a few days and you’re not getting better. All you want to do is sleep, your sinuses are driving you crazy, and you’re miserable.
So you go to the doctor and she says, “Yep, you’ve got the flu. We need to get you on some meds and you’ll need to stay home from work until you’re better.”
Do you correct them and say, “Thanks Doc, but I think it’s just a cold, and it will only take a couple days to pass, so we just do the doctor’s note so I don’t have to go to work, and I’ll take some cold medicine instead.”
How often do you correct your doctor?
Wait – you don’t correct your doctor?
Could it be because your doctor has years of education and experience? Years of medical school, training, and practice carry a lot of weight and they make their recommendations and treatment plans based on that education and experience.
The same goes for a professional web design firm.
When you hire someone to design your website you’re hiring their years of education, experience, and expertise to create something that will be effective and achieve your goals.
Sometimes that may look different than what you’re thinking. Many times it is. But that’s the point.
When you hire a web designer you’re leveraging their experience creating beautiful effective and results-producing websites to build your own.
A good web design firm will be able to make recommendations about things related not only to design and technical capabilities but also how to maximize conversions, drive traffic and market your website.
We’ve been talking a lot about how much a website costs lately.
We’ve been talking about the real truth about the expenses involved in creating a new website, or designing an old one.
If you’ve been following along you should have a decent idea about where you’re at on your own journey with your website.
Just like hiring a web designer before you’re ready can waste time and money, trying to do it yourself when you really need a pro is also a huge waste.
Hiring a web designer is a big step. It can be overwhelming thinking about the costs.
I get it.
But when it has become clear that your current site isn’t working the way you expect it to work, or you’ve simply outgrown your own capabilities to bootstrap it any longer, it’s time to look at hiring an expert.
When you need a new strategy, or you need to refine your strategy for your website hiring a pro is just about the best decision you can make.
When you need to make sure your site is delivering the best possible experience for your site’s visitors and your community, hire a web designer.
When your approach to branding isn’t getting the job done, and it’s not representing the real value that your business delivers, turning to a web designer to help you get to the next level is your best bet.
When you need to focus on building your business instead of being a part-time web developer find a pro to get you some help.
The expertise and experience that a real pro web designer can bring to your site can make the difference between a website that’s just getting by and a thriving website that’s really cranking.
Hiring a web designer is one of the best investments you can make when the time is right for your business and you’re ready to take things to another level.