With so many DIY websites systems on the market, I often hear people question is it worth paying for a web designer.
Since I started working as a web designer (I didn’t always do this, did you know I was trained children’s nurse? many years ago) I admit I questioned it myself and struggled a bit with valuing and charging for what I was doing. There was a part of me that said, I’m not doing anything that anyone else couldn’t do. Actually perhaps those first few sites it was true.
But I’ve been doing this for 10 years now and things have changed. I’ve come to understand that by hiring a web designer, you’re not just paying for the site to look pretty or to just slap the information on randomly you’re paying for the years of experience, the reading of blogs, webinars, courses, books etc. The hours of screen time put into researching, testing and developing skills. The research into GDPR, hours of work experimenting with cookie banners, the panic when a site doesn’t load or breaks. All of which go into creating your website.
I try to demonstrate my skills and my knowledge through my posts on social media and through my blogs.
So why do I give away my knowledge for free? Because knowing something need to be on a website and actually putting it onto the site are two different things. Knowing about the need for keywords in SEO and knowing where and how to use them isn’t the same thing. I’ve helped a number of clients who had started to do their own site. They’d bought the domain and hosting then hit a wall. They realised that they don’t have the time, they don’t know where to begin. It’s harder than they thought.
So this is why I think you should hire a professional web designer rather than create the site yourself.
A web designer can:
- save you time – a professional will have already done the years of research learning about different web design platforms and software and which one might be right for you. They’ll know about the policies and information you’re are legally required to display on your site. They may be able to offer additional services like content writing or SEO (search engine optimisation). Yes, all these things you can go out and learn yourself but do you have the time, the patience or could you be using your time more wisely?
- give you the edge over your competition – if your competition made their sites themselves, then having the professional create your site make your site stand out. Not just in looks but on search engines. Your competitor may have used standard templates or stock photos. You want your site to show your personality not just be generic. You could spend hours going through all the theme and premium (paid for options) available and believe me, there’s a lot. A designer can create or alter themes to look and work exactly the way you want them to.
- give you the site of your dreams – most people would know how they want their site to look, but not necessarily how to create it. You are more likely to get excited and want to work with a site that you want, rather than one that your heart isn’t 100% behind. A web designer should be able to give you the best of both worlds the site that reflects you and your business but that gives good customer experience and works well for Google. Or be able to explain to you, why certain aspects of your design won’t work.
- save you pulling your hair out. Websites and computers aren’t infallible. One piece of code out of place can cause the whole site to crash. Occasionally themes and plugin conflict and things stop working. A web designer who knows about coding should at least be able to identify potential causes of the problem and be able to find a workaround or fix the situation. Sometimes sites stop working after an upgrade to the core file or the plugins. If you don’t know how they work normally, how will you know if they’re not doing what they’re supposed to be doing? So whose headache would you prefer that problem to be.
So to answer the question is it worth paying for a web designer the answer is down to you. Where do you want to put your time and energies?
The little voice inside, still says that anyone could make a site – but not everyone has the know-how to pull it off, to know where to start or the time to spare to learn.
Sometimes I know that money is an issue, (It is for a lot of people). But think of it as an investment in your business. You will need to invest both time and money into your business and you need to weigh up where your time is best spent. You don’t always need to start with a huge site, start with just a few pages that say who you are and add more over time. Your website should grow with you and your business.
For those that want to create their sites, I will continue to share my knowledge. (I recently added a new website audit service which may be useful for them.
For those who want help, I can recommend a very reasonably priced web designer that you should speak to, wink wink.