Why A Website Is Important For Your Business:
There’s a misconception nowadays that having a social media presence is enough to promote a business / brand online. While it’s definitely advantageous to have a company Facebook page, Instagram profile or Google business listing, social networks lack the ability to fully customize your content or easily transfer your data when they become obsolete (ex: MySpace, Google+).
A website should be viewed as a hub in which all of your online accounts should link back to… a home base that allows you complete control over your brand aesthetic and messaging. A place to sell your products, write a blog, publish a newsletter, receive inquiries via custom forms, and so on. If that’s not reason enough, consider that 63 percent of consumers rely on a company’s website to find and engage with a business. Or that 93 percent of online experiences begin with a search engine, and 30% of consumers eliminate a business from consideration if they don’t have a website.
So while social media is definitely a great tool to market your business and communicate with customers in real time, if you want your brand to be taken seriously in today’s world, a professional website and logo are still crucial. It’s why every major brand has a website to promote their products or services.
Though lets be honest… a website isn’t cheap. Especially a good one. But what you need to ask yourself is “how much is it costing me by not having one?”. The thing is, if your website is serving it’s purpose by attracting more customers and increasing brand loyalty, it should easily pay for itself and then some. Not only can a website bring you more business via organic search results and provide a tailored customer experience, it can also reduce or eliminate the need for paid advertising. This can ultimately save you thousands of dollars that can be invested elsewhere.
Despite my having around 25k followers across various social media accounts, I rarely receive work from those platforms. Yet the search traffic I receive from my website provides me with a consistent flow of potential customers directly to my inbox. And they’re all leads I pay nothing extra for.
What Web Design Options Are Available To You?
So what are your options if you’re considering a new website? Well, if you’re wanting a flexible custom site, you can dedicate months to learning coding and/or familiarizing yourself with a content management system (CMS) such as WordPress. This is a viable option if you have the time and patience. It’s the route I took when first starting out, as I couldn’t afford the steep prices web developers were quoting. Though since I had experience as a visual designer and photographer, I had the advantage of being able to create my own logo, take and edit my own images, and put to use my knowledge of typography, layout, etc.
If you don’t have the time or patience to learn more advanced tools and wish to avoid the higher upfront costs of hiring a web designer, there are simpler do-it-yourself website building services/tools available. These DIY platforms can be great for those wanting a more convenient platform and more spread-out pricing. Though with these conveniences also comes limitations. For example, you’ll be forced to use whatever hosting is required, there will be less features and customization options available, and you risk ending up with a bland or cookie cutter website (especially if you lack visual skills). The more elaborate and feature rich DIY platforms such as Squarespace can produce the best quality websites and most flexibility, though do require a steeper learning curve and higher monthly cost. Simpler DIY website building services (ex: Wix) are easier to learn and more affordable, yet leave a lot to be desired when it comes to quality, available features and level of customization.
The other option of course is to hire a professional to build you a website. Just like how the website tools mentioned above vary in price and quality, as do web designers. Larger brands pay upwards of $100k for a website, while small startups may pay 2% of that. The cost will depend on whether you’re hiring a multi-person agency or a freelancer like myself, the designer(s) level of experience and expertise, and how elaborate of a website you require.
Some designers are more advanced in coding and can accommodate more advanced feature requests and customizations. I personally take a more visual approach to website creation, using WordPress and a set of tools I’ve familiarized myself with over the years. I find my abilities are best suited for small to mid sized businesses in need an affordable, simple yet professional, visually pleasing web presence.
A Few Advantages Of Hiring Me For Your Web Design Project:
- I have a strong understanding of typography, layout design, color, visual messaging, image editing, and seo.
- My branding knowledge allows me to effectively integrate your brand identity into your website.
- You’ll be working with me directly, instead of having to communicate through an intermediary.
- My web design and maintenance pricing is less than what most developers and agencies are charging.
- Dozens of testimonials and reviews provide a preview of what you can expect when working with me.
Examples Of WordPress Websites I’ve Created Over The Years:
I’ve created a variety of websites over the past decade or so, though some are no longer active, have since been redone or modified by others, or clients have requested their project not be displayed. Below is a sampling of a few websites I’ve designed which remain active. When viewing these sites please understand that not all designs fully reflect my vision, taste and intent. Clients often override visual and layout suggestions, and feel the need to tinker with things to the point their site becomes unrecognizable. If you’d like a truer representation of my web design work, please contact me and ask for screen captures. When time allows I will be updating my portfolio to include website previews, and also plan on creating test accounts to display my unadulterated website creations as they were intended.
NashvilleParkingLotStriping.com: I revamped this Nashville based property maintenance company’s website with an entirely new aesthetic and layout. The mobile responsive site provides a clean and simple layout and messaging per the client’s request, remains cohesive with the client’s identity, features parallax scroll, an attractive auto-changing text feature, and call to action contact forms on all site pages.
OwlchemyMassage.com: I developed this website for a NC based massage & cupping therapist, as well as her logo and other design items. The mobile responsive website is styled in the client’s desired bold aesthetic, which ties into the overall theme of her business/brand. When we first created the site it included more content which filled in the pages more thoroughly, though when the client downsized her business services the website needed to reflect those changes.
HumanitiesTennessee.org: This humanities branch of TN required a complete revamp of their entire brand identity, which was cluttered, ugly and out dated. I was asked to create them a new logo and was tasked with revamping their website from scratch. To meet the client’s shorter deadline, a collaborative approach was taken where I designed the look and layout of the site while a web development team brought it to life. As goes with some client projects, many of my intended design visions were overridden. In my opinion there were better logo concepts than the one chosen, and the website lacks some of the attention to detail present in my proposed mockups. Despite all this, the customer was happy with their revamped brand identity and the easier to navigate website.
DesignBuddy.com: The website you’re reading on now was designed by myself. It’s the 3rd significant revamp over the past decade or so, with the last drastic overhaul back in 2015. I’m including this site because I think it better reflects my design vision than many client sites I’ve done, which are tailored towards the customer requests. With that said, there are a few areas of the site that I’m not yet satisfied with. For example, I still need to update my portfolio with recent work, revamp my services pages, fix some font sizing and styling issues, and modify my blog. Overall though, I’m happy with the site and have noticed an increase in prospective clients, blog readership, and praise by customers who claim they like the direct messaging and layout.
OneLessCbd.com: A new startup brand that sells premium cbd topical products. Along with the design of this website, I developed the company’s logo, packaging, and print materials. The website included a block style home page (before the client changed it), custom icons, a store locator and parallax scrolling. Please note: since the creation of this website, for reasons unknown the client has drastically modified the look and layout to the point where it no longer reflects my work and design tastes. There are also currently many visual oversights that were not present in the original site design. If you’d like to view the website as it was intended please message me for screen captures. When time allows I will be adding previews to my portfolio.
What To Expect When Working With Me:
The first step, of course, is an initial conversation determining whether you need a website, and then establishing if we’d be a good fit for each other. This includes me learning about your business and what you’re trying to achieve with your website. After you commit to the project, a down payment and signing of a project agreement is required. Once the project is underway, we’ll discuss things more in depth to narrow the vision. My job is then to develop a plan to bring that vision to life.
While website creation may appear pretty simple on the surface, there’s a lot that goes into it: discussion and research, creating a site map, gathering necessary files, setting up web hosting, installing WordPress and various plugins, configuring WordPress settings, editing images and saving them for web use, constructing site pages, adding images / logos / copy, determining font and color scheme, setting up contact pages, creating any necessary galleries / image sliders / forms / elements / etc, optimizing all site pages and images, adding favicon, developing a mobile version of the website, testing and troubleshooting sites and contact forms, performing basic seo, attending to revisions as needed, redirecting the domain, etc.
Hire Me Or Discuss Things Further:
Hopefully the above information provides some insight into this process. If you’d like to hire me or receive a price quote for a website design, I ask that you please spare a few minutes and fill out my project questionnaire here. That link will bring you to my “website project” form. After submission of the form I’ll look over the information you’ve shared and provide you with a proposal that includes pricing options. If you have some questions or would rather discuss things over the phone, please contact me here.
Ready to get started?
Tell me about your project. I’ll send you a free price quote and a breakdown of how I can help you.