As a follow-up to my previous article “Day 2: Are Clients Stupid?”, I’ll here list the reasons why it’s a good idea to pay the price for professional web design services since a lot of clients don’t fully see the value. There are a lot of solutions for creating websites yourself, for example Apple iWeb or Adobe Dreamweaver, and there are lots of cheap alternatives. So why should you pay a seemingly high price?
This is the day four post of 30 days of creativity.
By hiring a web designer, you make sure that you can change the website’s content using some sort of content management system. I would say every professional web designer today use (or should use) either a CMS or some other way to allow you to edit your content.
There are a lot CMS’s to choose from and if you already have one in mind, you can choose a person person for the job with the appropriate expertise. Many web designers choose to specialize themselves in a particular platform.
A good and diverse web designer will help you select the right tool for your project. For example, if you are looking to run a blog, WordPress may be your best bet but if you are aiming for a very custom solution, the developer may choose to create the site from scratch. You’re best off hiring someone that really knows what he or she is talking about since there are a lot of options to choose from.
An experienced designer/developer will select a tool that is easy for you to use. If you hire someone that makes the site without a tool for editing the content, you’ll have to edit the source code to change it. Even if you hire someone that does install a CMS, he should also make it simple for you to access the content.
By paying the price for a good designer/developer, you’ll prevent a lot of headaches and make it easy for yourself in the future. You may actually save money since you’ll be able to make changes to the site yourself and reduce maintenance overhead.
The simplicity extends to the experience of communicating with the designer as well. An experienced web developer is used to communicate with clients—informing and educating them is part of his job. If you decide to let your 15-year-old nephew create your site to save money, you likely won’t get the same smooth experience.
It’s of course good to hire someone with at least a few years of experience and make sure that he or she has the right knowledge. Again, your nephew who “knows a little HTML” most likely doesn’t have nearly the skill-set of an experienced developer. With his skill-set, a good developer can get a better site ready faster than a hobby coder.
Creating a beautiful site that communicates your message and does what it’s supposed to do isn’t easy. It takes a lot of hard work to build up a decent portfolio. Sure, you can install WordPress and download a good-looking theme but your site won’t be unique. Paying the right price for website development will give you a unique and thought out site that does its job.
There are many reasons to hire a professional to build your website and these are only a few. Take my advice; don’t let a family member do it for you unless he or she is a designer or developer. Designers understand that building a website isn’t just about “building”—it’s about brainstorming, researching, planning, gathering requirements and making decisions based on those requirements.
The whole time you should be kept informed about what’s going on and the final word is yours. The web designer is there to give you advice on what he believes are the best options for you. Listen to your designer and you’ll have a fantastic website before you know it.
So who should you choose? There are a vast amount of people working with web design and Google is always a good place to start looking. I suggest you check if the designer has a blog and a Twitter account, and check those to learn more about the person. Of course, the portfolio is important as well as it gives you an idea of how good your site could be if you’d decide to hire the person.