Creating a website for your business can be an exciting experience, and if you are paying someone to do it for you, there are many things to consider.
Creating a website for your business can feel like the next step up on your journey to a successful business. Regardless of whether you’re starting from scratch or considering an overhaul of your current website, if you are considering paying someone to do this, please read on.
I didn’t realise that there was a difference between a web designer and a web developer. Add in copywriting and SEO skills and there’s even more differences. Before I delve into my top five tips of what to look for in a website designer/developer, I want to help you understand the difference.
A Web Designer is an IT professional who is responsible for designing the layout, visual appearance and the usability of a website according to Technojobs.
A Web Developer is responsible for programming code that tells websites and web applications how to operate according to Brainstation.
Basically, a web designer creates a website that looks pretty on the front end, while the web developer actually builds the website - the techy bits behind the scenes.
This is a crucial distinction though, because although a web designer may be able to create a website, they may not have all the knowledge and skills to ensure that everything runs smoothly in the background, which is essential for a good user experience when someone visits your website. A web designer may even do your SEO research and copywriting whereas a web developer most likely won’t since they’re much more focussed on the technical aspects of creating a website.
Here are my top 5 considerations when considering paying someone for creating a website for your business:
Do your research. Going for the cheapest option is not always best. Remember, you get what you pay for. So many of my clients have come to me after paying very large sums of money to a web designer, but weren’t happy with the end result or because they weren’t ranking on search engines. Often the web designer would offer these services as ‘add ons’ once the job was completed, making a ‘cheaper option’ suddenly cost a lot more with additional monthly costs.
You want to ensure that your website will be found on search engines.
Once someone lands on your website, you want to ensure that their attention is grabbed instantly and that they are inspired to take action
Users need to find the information they need quickly and be able to take the action you want them to in as little clicks as possible.
Ongoing search engine optimisation (SEO) is important to keep your website climbing through the search rankings and staying within the top 5 - 10 of your niche.
Retain control of what goes on your website may be important to you and that’s absolutely fine. But at the very least, your web designer or developer should give you some support and guidance, along with SEO best practices to help you maximise your user experience.
Of course, you could pay a professional copywriter to write your copy for you, but you’ll need to consider their search engine optimisation experience. Ensure that you ask them whether they understand how to write website copy following SEO best practices.
What is your initial goal for your website? If it is merely to hold information that you can sign post to from your social media, then SEO is perhaps not so important for you. However, if you want to be found on search engines, then starting with SEO best practices is super important, because going back and redoing it all at a later stage will take a lot of time, money and effort.
Now, SEO isn’t a one off activity. It takes time and effort to keep climbing through the search rankings and staying within the top 5 - 10 search results because those who rank there will be using their own SEO strategy. So, in order to compete, there are a number of actions that you can take yourself (shameless plug for my FREE ‘How to Get Found on Google’ guide here). Or, you can of course pay your web designer or developer to do this for you. Be clear up front how much this will cost and exactly what they will be doing for their fee.
Search engine optimisation is a whole blog on its own, so I’ll come back to this in a future blog to share more tips on how to do it yourself.
A website is much more than just words and pretty pictures on a page. Perficient wrote about a study where they compared mobile versus desktop internet usage, comparing traffic patterns between 2019 and 2020. They found that over 68% of website visits came from mobile devices compared to around 29% from desktops.
This means that your website needs to look good and be easy to navigate on both desktops as well as mobile phones. A web developer would most certainly take this into consideration, but a web designer may not always understand this.
However, there is also a real skill in the layout of a website page that is viewed on a desktop. There are many studies about how people’s eyes move across the screen, and knowing how to make the user experience as comfortable and natural as possible is important. You want your website visitors to find the information they want easily on the page.
As with web designers and web developers, not all website creation platforms are created equal. Here is a quick rundown of the three of the most popular website creation platforms:
Wordpress is often the preferred website creation platform for website designers and developers, however, it can be quite difficult for you as the end user to navigate if you take over your website from the designer or developer.
SquareSpace is a great ‘drag and drop’ website creation platform that is easy for you to navigate and make changes should you wish to.
Shopify is considered one of the best e-commerce website creation platforms and is easy to navigate for users who aren’t very tech savvy.
In my opinion, you cannot create a successful website if you don’t know how to optimise it for search engines by writing the copy as well. The skill is then ensuring that the graphics and the user experience is all considered when actually building or developing the website.
I have just created a free video guide on Creating a Website that Converts. Sign up here.
Whether you are interested in my services or still shopping around, I’d be more than happy to have a no obligation Strategy Call with you to discuss your website goals and go through these considerations in more detail so that you can make an informed decision whomever you choose to use.
The Branding and Website Strategist for female entrepreneurs who are ready to take their brand and online presence to the next level