To Design Or Not To Design…Your Own Website (Part 1)

Many people enjoy a challenge where they can make use of those skills and interests that have been lying dormant for a while. Let’s just call them the DIY types and the world could probably do with more of those who take the do-it-yourself-approach to life. These self-proclaimed artists, handymen and yes, even web designers, are likely to take on projects that turn out to be more than what they bargained for.

Knowing when it’s actually time to call on a professional could be vital lesson to learn, especially when it comes to designing websites. Professional web design really does matter when it comes to your business and it’s future growth.

The Designer Matters

The web development industry is saturated with self-proclaimed web designers who’ll quickly agree to slap together a web design for your business. They might offer you a cost-effective, short-term solution but eventually these websites will end up doing more harm than good. If you value the reputation of your business ‘off-line’ or aside from the Internet community…we suggest you value the reputation of your business on the web.

As a web design and development company, we offer a free web analysis service. This service of ours has proven time and again that every web design will reflect the experience or lack thereof in its designer or developer. Carefully reviewing your prospective designer’s portfolio and showcase might not be a bad idea and attractive service charges won’t always deliver attractive websites.

At Lilo we’re well aware of the fact the design is a communication tool and your design will often say more about who you are as a company than your words.

Impressions Matter

In our industry we’ve seen a number of businesses diminish their own brand-strength through poorly designed websites. And, yes, a website can do as much. Websites are often the only introduction that users and potential customers will have to your business and/or product and we all know how important first impressions are.

Investment Matters

Many reputable, smaller companies have built their success on customer loyalty and word-of-mouth referrals. During the global economic setback, many of these companies have recognized the need for an effective online presence. Yet, few of them are prepared or able to flesh out the finances for a professional web design service. It’s during this critical period that “DIY web design” seems like an ideal alternative. Or better still, a self-proclaimed web designer offers to design and develop your website for half the price. You might even have a relative who can get your website up and running free of charge.

Many business owners fail to realize that a professional website is a short-term investment with long-term benefits. An established and well designed website will work on behalf of your business, selling and marketing your product even when you’re not physically present to market and sell your business and products.

Usability Matters

Last year Econsultancy.com discussed the importance of professional web design with an emphasis on usability. In an article posted on their site, they shed light on the fact that Non Profit organizations often loose out on sponsorship opportunities due to bad usability in web design. The point was made that poorly designed websites leave users and potential sponsors with a feeling of uncertainty and distrust. Many users visiting these poorly designed websites won’t feel safe or secure enough to make an online donation or even affiliate their own businesses with these companies online.

Users Matter

Non Profit Organizations are not the only ones who fall prey to the lure of unprofessional web design services, but many businesses are not aware of the brand and business-building potential locked up in a professionally designed website. It would seem as if many smaller start-up business and even larger established companies can’t see pass the momentary benefits of having a quick fix website up and running. The reality is that your business is likely to loose out on potential customers. The online community is much more relentless when it comes to choosing where to spent their time, attention and money.

A professionally designed website will supplement your business; reestablish your brand as an authority on the web and help you to gain customers in the form of online visitors. We suggest you think twice before tackling the challenge of designing your own site. A “do-it-yourself” design might force you to “un-do-it-yourself” at a later stage. See your website as a business tool, a digital illustration and online statement of what you want to achieve with your business.

At Lilo we’ve established a unique set of project processes, helping us to design websites that are not only current and innovative but also fully functional and brand centric. Read Part two of this article to find how you can deliver exceptional designs through effective planning, management and technique. Click here to read the second part of this article.

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