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 A Few WordPress Websites I’ve Created Over The Years:
While I’ve created many websites over the past decade or so, some are no longer active, have been updated to be mobile responsive, or the clients have requested anonymity. Below are some active sites I can show. Since creating some of these websites, I’ve invested in improved tools which allow for more advanced features and site functionality.
Property Maintenance Website Design. This mobile friendly responsive website offers simple and clean graphics and messaging, and remains cohesive with the client’s brand identity. The site features parallax scroll, contact forms on all pages, and a text changing feature on the contact page.
Massage Therapy Website Design. This mobile friendly responsive website is bold in style as requested by the client, and is matching in aesthetic with the logo and other items I also designed. The initial site included a few more pages and additional content (which filled in the pages nicely), however some of this content had to be removed when the client decided to limit their service offerings.
Nashville Carpet Website Design. This is a very simple mobile friendly responsive website I created a few years back. This lower budget site consists of only a couple of pages, but offers the client a clean web presence to highlight their showcase products. As with many projects, some visual compromises were made due to specific client requests.
DesignBuddy Website Design. This is the 3rd rendition of my own website over many years. I re-created this site back in 2015 as a way to integrate responsive capabilities. There’s a lot more I’d like to do with this site; it’s just a matter of finding the time in between projects. I plan on changing the fonts and fixing font size issues, updating my portfolio with more recent work from the past 4 years, adding new site pages for pre-made logos and case studies, changing my contact forms, and revising my blog.
Humanities Website Design. This mobile friendly responsive website was created through a collaborative effort, where I designed the page layouts and most of the visual elements, and a developer handled the coding. The initial vision that I had for the site was changed slightly by the client, yet for the most part it’s as intended. There are some visual oddities that I would modify if the decision were mine (ex: cramped button text, font sizings, etc), and some imagery that I feel could be improved upon, yet since I was not in charge of the actual site creation, those changes were out of my control.
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 Contact To 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’d rather discuss things over the phone or have some questions for me, you can contact me here. Please note: if you’re in need of web services that are outside of my wheelhouse, I may be able to refer you to another designer who may be a better fit.
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.