Even though the internet is constantly evolving in different paths, there is one consistent aspect of this process – it is getting more and more user-friendly with each passing day. The CMS platforms are becoming increasingly beginner-friendly and there are free themes and plugins for you to use, yet some people still insist on spending $5,000 to $10,000 on professional web design. The most interesting part about this idea is that it actually might be a good business move, seeing how it was proven on several occasions that a quality made website brings an incredible ROI.
Unfortunately, there is no clear-cut answer. Sure, if you can afford to get a top-notch design you should definitely go ahead and do so but, then again, a lot of businesses operate on a tight budget and have no way of attributing such a large portion of their corporate funds for such a thing. It truly is a damned if you do, damned if you don’t type of situation. With this in mind and without further ado, here are a few reasons why you should always make some room in your budget for a professionally-made web design.
1. Design consistency
While it is true that no one questions your ability to create a great website with enough training and research, keep in mind that you aren’t likely to have enough time for all of this. Instead, you will probably find a crash-course on all you are supposed to know on this topic instead.
Imagine a scenario where you make a great website which operates flawlessly, only to witness it going non-responsive several weeks later. The reason behind this is a fact that your design may have an inbuilt flaw that currently isn’t noticeable but might cause a serious problem during next update or serious edit of your site. The chances that you will be able to uncover this error and fix it as a laymen aren’t that great, which means that you might still end up contacting a design agency to help you fix this error.
Keep in mind that your audience doesn’t expect your website just to run without any problems, they expect it to do so all the time, which means that the consistency is the name of the game. The problem with running a business in 2017 is the fact that every niche out there is already oversaturated, which is why having your website down for just a few days, or even hours, may cause you to lose a lot of business. For this reason alone, investment into a professional design and maintenance may end up being more than worth your money.
2. Branding through visual language
Speaking of the consistency, you need to keep in mind that the way in which your website utilizes its visual elements plays a great role in the way in which it is being portrayed by its audience. This is something that the world’s greatest brands have been known to do long before the invention of the internet. Take for example the long evolution of the Coca Cola logo. The first thing that you will notice is just how little it differs from what we have today. The only logo that steps out from this pattern is the 1890-1891 swirly one, which is the main reason why it didn’t stick. You see, even before you actually read the word, the pattern alone is sufficient to unveil the identity of the brand.
You need to do the same thing with your website. A lot of businesses, these days, operate exclusively online, which is why their website design comes at the forefront. Keep in mind that skilled web design experts, like those from Quikclicks for example, also need to possess an extensive knowledge in the field of marketing. In other words, they are required to know how to make a layout that will bring you the best response and thus give you the strongest first impression on your clients.
3. Myriad of little secrets
The next thing you need to keep in mind is the fact that creating an effective web design is far from simple. Sure, you can find a template that will allow you to simply insert the text on your page but did you know that the left side of the screen has a much greater viewing time than the right one? In fact, according to several eye tracking studies the area at around 400 pixels from the left edge of the screen is the absolute hotspot of attention and there are more than few ways in which this knowledge can be utilized.
Additionally, everyone knows that every homepage needs to have a call to action (CTA) button. However, the size, the positioning and even the color of the button in question can greatly impact its click-through-rate (CTR). Namely, one survey has shown that a red CTA button has a 22 percent greater CTR than its green counterpart. Also, different CTA locations have different conversion rates. Overall, too much information to handle at once but not a single redundant piece of data.
These two examples alone are a perfect example of all the little tricks most experienced web designers have up their sleeves. In order to hope to reach their level of expertise, you will not only have to learn all the technical aspects of your website-builder of choice but also follow a myriad of these surveys in order to see what works in which industry. Of course, not every web designer follows on this path of extensive research but most of them at least possess enough experience to know some of these things intuitively.
4. It’s not about how pretty your website is
One of the most common mistakes that the most people make is believing that a pretty design is a good one (or at least an efficient one). This being said, good looks aren’t necessarily what brings in the sales. The most interesting part here is the fact that even website contests work in the same way. Here, experts who evaluate the website might focus too much on the aesthetics but there is no guarantee that the award winner will bring in more money than the runner up. As a business owner, however, you are primarily concerned with the sales.
When it comes to this, it is vital to keep in mind that there are some crazy successful websites out there with seemingly chaotic and even ugly designs. In order not to be misinterpreted, ugly and beautiful are not the only two categories on the scale. For instance, the homepage of Google is definitely not ugly but it cannot be described as beautiful either. It is extremely simplistic, yet none of its several elements is chosen, positioned or formatted randomly. To make the long story short, what you need is a great tour guide. A design that will help them get what they need in the shortest amount of time as possible. Still, achieving this on your own is much more difficult than you may assume.
5. Preparing for different screen sizes
Another thing that every web designer knows well is the fact that the digital world is quickly becoming mobile. In 2015 Google officially announced that there are more searches from mobile devices than from PCs, while a few months ago (April 2017) Android officially became more popular web browsing OS than Windows. This being said, a skilled web designer knows that their website needs to look great on screens of different sizes.
Furthermore, keep in mind that there isn’t supposed to be much difference in loading time either. According to one infographic, only about 11 percent of mobile users expect the loading time on their phones to be much slower than that on their PC. The rest 89 percent expect it to be a bit slower, as fast or, in some cases, even faster. Finding a designer who can find a way to improve the loading speed of your website might significantly decrease your bounce rate, seeing how 25 percent of your entire audience might leave you if your site fails to load in less than 4 seconds.
6. Gaining a competitive edge
One of the reasons why these days it is more important to leave web design to professionals is due to the fact that your competition might be incredibly numerous. Therefore, gaining a competitive edge may require an incredible amount of work. With 644 million active websites out there, having a good website design might not be good enough. In the previous section, we mentioned that it only takes several seconds for your audience to abandon you and go someplace else. This is mostly because they know that they have so many different options. Therefore, creating a strategy that can win them over during these first few seconds may be all that you’ve got.
Aside from this, keep in mind that as a new business you won’t have much of a reputation in the business world. This means that the opinion of your clients will be based solely on your website. If your fonts, background image, icon size or logo appear off (for whatever reason) your audience may deem you unprofessional and thus avoid doing business with you. While neither of the above-listed several reasons may be objective or just, in a lot of cases, the subjective opinion of your clients is all that matters. This especially goes if you are new to the business and don’t have a rich portfolio or testimonials to offer as a proof of your expertise.
7. Better SEO
Anyone who has watched Christopher Nolan’s Inception knows that the idea we perceive as our own always seems more appealing than the one we got from someone else. In the world of online business, it goes without saying that the website you stumble upon on your own might seem much more credible than the one whose link you stumbled upon on social media. This being said, professional web designers know their way around the SEO and are therefore well capable of providing your website with a much better Google rank. In turn, this will give you a greater visibility and, thus, significantly increase a chance of people stumbling upon you on accident.
The importance of this cannot be stressed out enough. First of all, keep in mind that about 33 percent of all audience clicks on the first result in Google search. Moreover, 95 percent of the audience is likely to find what they are looking for on the first page. There are two main reasons behind this. The first one is the fact that Google’s algorithm has some pretty high standards, which means that getting ranked in one of these first few spots acts as a proof of your site’s credibility. Second, seeing how these first few results tend to be amongst the most quality ones offered, there isn’t any reason for most people to look any further.
8. It really isn’t that expensive
Finally, in the introduction, we mentioned figures as high as several thousand dollars, while in reality, you probably won’t have to pay that much. Sure, if you want a high-end custom website design, this has a steep price but an elaborate template customization usually tends to cost less than $1,000. Keep in mind that some companies really don’t have problem spending insane amounts to get to the top of their industry. For instance, the Insurance.com paid more than $35.6 million for their domain name alone. So, trying to compare the cost of your website to some of the top-dogs in any industry might discourage you before you even stop to consider some of the more affordable options you have.
At the very end, in order to generate some value, you need to invest first. When you pay for a professionally made website you are using the money to breach all the difference in training, experience and skill that the designers of your choice have under their belt. Most would call this a cost-efficient bargain. From this standpoint, you can only imagine how much money, time and effort it would take for you in order to reach this level of web design proficiency. To make the long story short the term ‘expensive’ is a matter of perspective and above all the matter of context.