by Karen Webs
Wednesday, 5th Dec 2018 | 08:16:09 PM
building a website WELL is not as fast or simple as I’ve made it sound. Just because you CAN do it yourself doesn’t mean you SHOULD
Years ago (early 90s), building a website was an incredibly time-consuming and complex process. You designed a site in Photoshop, chopped it up and converted it to HTML; it was highly skilled, meticulous, technical work.
The majority of the time, effort and expense of the website was spent on graphics and production. Marketing and message was secondary (or was the responsibility of the client, not the web designer); the site was designed to show off the business. Web design was the purview of graphic artists and coders.
If you want a good return on your web design investment, your site has to get traffic (visitors) and they have to do something (buy, donate, sign up, call.) That’s it. Your site design should support and complement your message, not the other way around. Web searchers are impatient and sophisticated; you need to give them what they want immediately, not “dazzle” them with a Flash intro or bore them with self-serving company history.
Most web designers still do it the old way While they may use modern software or tools, their focus is quite limited; it’s still on building the site itself, not building a marketing tool.
I’m not sure why this is so. Perhaps part of the reason is personal preference; they simply like technology or graphic design. They find it challenging or fun to puzzle out code or create a brand-new look. I know one designer who simply disagrees with me – his job is to build the site, and he expects clients to hire other people for the other tasks. And frankly many web designers are not equipped to offer copywriting or SEO services; they’re difficult skills to master.
Web design, the traditional way, is focused on one skill set – getting a site built. In some cases that may be all you need. And yes, building a website WELL is not as fast or simple as I’ve made it sound. Just because you CAN do it yourself doesn’t mean you SHOULD.
But if you truly want your website investment to bring in new customers, you need a modern website designer who’s skilled in copywriting and SEO in addition to site design.