What if one simple decision could transform your business for the better?
In today’s digital age, it’s fair to say your website is everything. It will be where most users get their first impression of you, your products, and your company.
But if your website is slow, out-of-date, or poorly designed, it will be a very bad first impression. The solution? You need to either use a website builder or hire a professional web designer.
How can you get the most bang for your buck? Keep reading to discover our top tips you need to know!
1. Know Your Budget
When you’re trying to decide whether to use a website builder or hire a web designer, there are many different things you should do. However, the most important thing is to fully understand your budget!
Some website builders are cheap or even free. But if we’re being honest, you typically get what you pay for, and it’s entirely possible to end up with a website that looks cheap.
Alternatively, some web designers may charge way too much (or at least, more than you are willing to pay). It’s important that you understand what you will be getting for the prices they are asking.
Long story short? The best website builder or designer is the one offering the bells and whistles you need at the price you can afford. Don’t be afraid to shop around until you find one that is “just right.”
2. SEO Expertise
Are you wondering how you could decide between a site builder or a site designer? Often, it comes down to how much you know about SEO.
Most website builders only help you to layout the site. For example, a WordPress website builder makes it easy to whip together a website. But if you don’t add the right SEO-friendly words and phrases in the right place, very few people may ever see the website.
If you’re worried about this, you should hire a good web designer. They can use their SEO expertise to make sure that your site ranks higher in user searches. If you truly want to expand your brand and boost your profits, this is absolutely crucial.
3. A Slick Theme (and Why To Go With a Designer Over a Website Builder)
Have you ever thought about the difference between an “okay” website and a great one? Often, it comes down to a well-designed and consistent website theme. Such a design makes all of your pages look like part of a consistent whole instead of each page looking slightly different.
Website builders like WordPress and others offer a selection of free themes and also themes you can buy separately. However, these themes are usually very limited.
With a good web designer, you can get a custom website that has more than just a barebones theme. The right custom webpage will also make good use of your logo, incorporate your company colors, and generally makes your site stand out from the competition.
4. Understanding Your Competition
You can’t really stand out from the competition if you don’t understand the competition. And that means that you need to really take some time and check out what your rivals’ websites look like.
Try to go in with an open mind. Pay attention to things they are doing right, including the use of professional photos, CTAs, customer testimonials, and so on.
Of course, you don’t want to create what looks like a knockoff version of someone else’s website. However, by figuring out what the competition is doing well, you can figure out what to do next.
Once you have it figured out, it will be worth your time and money to find a site designer that can completely reinvent your site as needed.
5. Ongoing Support
Why do we usually recommend hiring a website designer instead of using a website builder? There are many reasons, but one of the biggest is that a good designer provides ongoing support as needed.
Most simple site builders offer bare minimum technical support. Maybe they can tell you a bit about why a particular WP plugin stops working, but they may not be able to help with anything more complex than that.
But if you hire a good site designer, you get ongoing support from the person or company that effectively built your new site from the ground up. And since they were responsible for creating everything, they know exactly what to do if something goes wrong or if you need additional support for complex or even sensitive topics.
6. Responsive Design
Take a look at your current website via desktop. Next, take a look at your website on a mobile device. Ask yourself: does it look much worse on mobile?
When they build their own websites, most companies optimize the site for desktop users because they are designing it on a desktop. However, the majority of your users are going to visit your website on a mobile device, meaning they are going to have a poor experience and have a terrible first impression.
Some good news is that a professional web designer can help build your site using responsive design. This means the site effectively resizes itself based on the size of the user’s screen.
In other words, your site will look perfect on both desktop and mobile. No matter how someone visits your site, it will create an awesome first impression!
7. Do Your Homework
You might be nervous because you’ve never hired a professional web designer before. Here’s some good news: you don’t have to go in blind.
Check out what other customers have said about the designer. This may be in the form of user testimonials on their site or user reviews online and via social media.
There may be the occasional negative review, but a great designer should have plenty of satisfied customers. And doing your research about a designer before you sign a contract is the best way to make sure you become a satisfied customer yourself.
Get Started Today
Now you know why it’s important to hire a good web designer rather than rely on a simple website builder. But do you know which designer can really put your website on the map?
Here at AJ’s Web Designs, we help customers in Michigan and beyond craft perfect websites. To see what we can do for you and your business, come get a quote today!