An up-to-date and usable website is a key element for most modern businesses. It acts as a point-of-contact, a marketing tool, a brochure or a shop-front. Your website can take many useful forms that should ultimately increase your contacts, visibility, brand awareness and sales.
How much do you have to pay for a professional car mechanic, a plumber, a photographer or an electrician? Most people are happy to pay these prices, but can be surprised at the price tag of a professional website. In fact, when we create even the simplest website it takes many hours of design, testing and liaising with the customer. Creating a bespoke modern brand is a tricky process that requires a great deal of experience – something that, fortunately, we have by the bucketful. In addition to our brand-building experience we offer solid technical knowledge and a flair for creativity, so you can be sure that your money is well spent.
Professionals know what they are doing
It’s the same with any profession. We can all Google how to do a certain task, or watch several YouTube videos and think that we now know what we are doing. For example, I’ve Googled plumbing and I know my u-bend from my bowl. I’ll just go and fix that troublesome toilet and you know what? I’ve fixed it. However, it’s taken me 10 hours and several trips down to Homebase. I didn’t have the right tools, made loads of mistakes (which I had to patch up and hide), and at the end of it thought “was this really worth it?”.
Professionals already know what they are doing, they do it every day and, in most cases have lots of experience behind them. Already equipped for the tasks in hand they can produce the work to a high standard and quicker than you could do it yourself.
It’s the same with any form of design. Professional designers will use the industry standard software, to produce your artwork and supply you with the appropriate files.
In terms of logo design this means they will produce your artwork in vector format meaning it can be scaled to any size. If you produce your own logo in a free app perhaps or maybe in a photo editing software, it may look great, but it will be in a raster format meaning increase the size will see your beautiful design pixelate and look fuzzy round the edges.
With graphic design, a designer will produce your artwork ready to send off to a professional printer, taking into account the correct colour values and bleed. Graphic designers also know the rules of graphic design, which layouts work best, how fonts work together, and they know the difference between black and rich black.
When working with a professional web designer they will provide you with wireframes and mock-ups before moving to the build of the website where they will build it to the latest industry standards. Professional web designers know how people use websites and will design them accordingly; key elements such as navigation will be kept consistent. The colours and graphic elements will reflect your branding, whilst taking into account good contrast for legibility. All content and resources will be optimised as far as possible, so not to slow your site down. Professional web designers will advise you on your site content and structure, making it easy to read and to navigate. Your site will be built so that it is easily readable by search engines and so that it has the potential to rank highly on the search engine results pages.
Working with a professional designer, no matter what the medium, means that you don’t have to worry about the technicalities: all of this is taken care of for you.
Couldn’t I just use a template, isn’t that professional design?
Yes, there are tools out there that allow you to choose from an already professionally designed template, and in some cases, they can look great. But these are generic templates that have been put together, so it can be used by almost any company, they haven’t been designed with your company in mind, and there is nothing to stop Joe Bloggs down the road from using the exact same design.
When you start to enter your content into your template, you will probably find it doesn’t look as good as the demo, and that picture looks a bit blurry. The reason your content doesn’t look as good is it hasn’t been added by a professional designer. The demonstration site where you first saw this glittering design had been put together by a professional. A competent web designer knows how to layout everything so it looks good and is easy to digest. They know the correct image sizes to insert and how to handle fonts. So yes, you can use a template and it may look OK, but it won’t have the polish and finish that it has when it has been professionally designed for you.
A different perspective
Designing for yourself is always tricky, as you can be too close to the project, as a designer I always find my own projects the hardest to work on. Designing to someone else’s brief is much easier. A designer is not part of your business and so can look at it objectively, coming up with different viewpoints, pointing out connotations that might not have been thought about, and looking at it from your customers point of view. A designer will also have different ideas from you. Two heads are better than one, and as you discuss and refine these ideas with your designer you can end up with something that works for your business and looks great.
Using a professional designer, you will get a site that is tailor made for you. As I’ve mentioned before, if you use a template it’s going to look very similar to lots of other designs out there. If you use an online design site, you’ll have a designer working for you who doesn’t know anything about you or your business, and you will end up with something that is generic and has nothing really to do with your business.
As a professional yourself, you should really consider the points we’ve made above, as there is no reason for taking a risk with your business when professional website design is cost-effective in the long term.
So why use us?
We know what we’re doing. We have accumulated countless thousands of hours experience between us writing code, designing logos and helping make our customers’ businesses a success.
We’re proud of what we do. We often blog about past projects as a way to share our experiences and recent work with a wider audience. Take a look at our blog and portfolio pages – you’ll find a wide array of designs covering small and large projects alike.
We start from the ground up. A site must be appealing and easy to navigate. The internal coding will be clean and well written, and all websites will be hosted on reliable, fast cloud-based servers so they are quick to load. We don’t use templates – all our sites are hand coded.
We test our work. We test our sites in all sorts of ways – on different browsers and on different devices. Before our sites go live, we follow our own internal testing procedures with over 170 different items that we check.
We’re with you all the way. We’re not a one-man-band. There are several members of staff who work Monday to Friday, 9am to 5:30pm, and we try to answer emails out of hours if we can. This is what we do for a living, not as a part time job in the evening! We guarantee our websites for as long as they’re hosted with us, and for three months even if you decide to host them elsewhere.
Choosing a web designer or a design agency can be a minefield – so we encourage you to ask as many questions as you need and we’ll do our best to help you. If you’d like to discuss a web design project why not give us a call on 01904 720 999.