Web Designer: Do I really need one?

So you’ve started your own business, and you’ve finally come to terms with the importance of a digital presence. Now you’ve realized…your website needs some work. Your options are to settle for an amateur site and finish it yourself, or fork over loads of cash to have a web designer do it for you. At the get go, it may seem best to tackle it on your own. You’re feeling ambitious, you want to save a few bucks, or you just wonder how hard could it really be?

What does a professional have that you don’t? Well, more things than you think,  but we’ve narrowed it down for you. Regardless of how professional and appealing you may think the site is that you, the inexperienced and untrained web designer, whipped up in a few hours, viewers can almost immediately tell if a site has been constructed by a professional or not.

Here’s what a designer will bring to the table:

1. Professionalism

A professional designer will make a professional website. Simple enough. They know how to create a website that is attractive, effective, and creative. All three of these aspects will amp up the credibility of your website, as users will feel a sense of security about your services. A business gains such credibility when its website looks legitimate. It should have a trustworthy feel to it and appear to have intelligent business professionals behind it. A user wants to be assured that there are humans on the other end,  so they can trust the products and services they purchase are legitimate.

2. Save time, energy, and frustration

A professional is educated in the craft of web design. They not only know the basics, but also current trends when it comes to changing environments of SEO, JavaScript, Photo Optimization, Communication, Languages (Flash, PHP, etc.), you name it! Designers know how to adapt your website to user receptiveness, navigation, search, etc. Learning all these aspects from scratch will require a lot of time and energy, and is more complicated than you’d think. The difficulty can lead to unnecessary frustration, which can be avoided by seeking professional assistance.

3. Avoid the faults of templates

Maybe you’ve considered using a pre-made template for your website instead of hiring designer. The problem them is they limit your business’s singularity. Pre-made templates harbor no uniqueness for your business. They hinder your ability to customize your website, as many do not allow for certain features such as galleries, contact forms, special scripts, etc. They also limit expansion, which is important to think about as your business itself may expand.

If you want any of these elements, just forget about using a pre-made template. Additionally, templates limit expansion. Even if you think you can do without them, if you change your mind later on, it becomes virtually impossible to add these things using a template. At this point, you would have to bring in a designer anyways. It would be smart to have a designer work on your website from the get-go, allowing the ability to add features as you see fit.

4. Designers are communicators

Designers know how to communicate. They do so with font, color, shape, and layout utilization. Designers make websites easy to navigate and an enjoyable, interactive experience for the user. They make websites clear and consistent, which will make you look like an business expert. Designers also know how to create a website in a way so that search engines can easily read and rank your page. This is important, as your website exists to attract existing and potential customers to it. If the SEO is weak, there won’t be a lot of user traffic.

5. Browser compatibility

It is important that your website can be accessed easily across multiple browsers. A high percentage of people search using mobile devices, so your website needs to be mobile friendly. A designer will test the layout of your website across multiple browsers to ensure that there aren’t any issues, whether you’re a fan of Google Chrome, Safari or Firefox. There shouldn’t be any variation between browsers, and designers specialize in guaranteeing a crisp website no matter what browser the user prefers.

6. Fight competition

There are at least a billion websites floating around the internet today. It is important to have a website that is distinguishable from the rest. A designer will create a unique website for you. If your website doesn’t stand out, it won’t gain attention from users. Designers focus on launching a more effective website than your competitors. In doing so, your business will be chosen over the next best.

 

If you’re still pondering the idea of building your site yourself, consider the product you could create compared to something a professional would. There are endless advantages to having a professional, custom site built for you, and they almost always outweigh any financial burdens.

colo

Brand Recognition: The Importance of Color

When it comes to choosing the colors for your brand, logo, and website, it’s not as simple as picking out your favorite color combination. In the world of marketing and advertising, color holds a lot of significance. The consistency of your color palette in visual marketing materials is important to create better brand recognition. Did you know 80% of brand recognition has to do with color? Colors can invoke certain emotions and moods (both consciously and subconsciously), and even hold cultural meanings. Studies show that visual appearance is 93% responsible for customer buying decisions. Ever wonder why red is used in almost every fast-food logo? Studies have shown that the color stimulates your appetite and creates a sense of urgency.

Before picking your brand’s colors it is important to identify the atmosphere and purpose of your business, and then decide which color palettes and schemes would be the best fit.

Know the Color Wheel

  • Analogous: colors that are next to each other on the color wheel (ex. yellow, yellow-green, green)
  • Monochromatic: tints and shades (lighter and darker versions) of the same color (ex. light blue, royal blue, dark blue)
  • Complementary: colors that are directly across from each other on the color wheel (ex. orange and blue)
  • Triad: three colors that are equidistant from each other on the color wheel—forming a triangle (ex. the primary colors and the secondary colors)
  • Neutral/Neutral with one accent color: using mostly shades of brown, gray, and black and white, but one color to make things pop (ex. the classic black, white, and red color combination)

Know what Colors Represent

  • Warm: These are your oranges, yellows, pinks, and reds.

These colors generally bring lots of energy and excitement to your logo, website, etc. They are very attention grabbing, spark creativity, and playful.

Often seen in: restaurants, toy stores, and technology.

  • Cool: These are your blues, greens, and purples

These colors generally create a relaxing and calm feel.

Often seen in: coffee shops and spas.

  • Neutral: These are your browns, tans, grays, and white and black.

These colors are often associated with the earth and outdoors or for more formal/sophisticated businesses and organizations.

Often seen in: outdoor gear stores, funeral homes, law firms, government agencies, etc.

It is important to note that the emotions provoked with these color categories change when paired with another category. For example, you can pair a warm color with a scheme of cool colors, but your business may not quite align with the principle emotions associated with these choices.

Additionally, you should pair warm or cool colors with neutrals, to create more interest and help with brand recognition.

Know Where your Content will be Viewed

After finally picking your color scheme, it is important to be aware that the colors may appear differently on computers or mobile devices. Make sure the colors will be easy to see and read whether printed or on a screen. Don’t use a pale yellow for a long body of text, and don’t alternate fonts with two colors that are hard to see.

Despite how simple a color scheme may seem, choosing what colors represent your brand is a huge deal. Colors have a lot to do with brand recognition, and can truly make or break a company.

For more scientific information on the topic check out this blog!

Hat Tip:

Small Biz Trends
The Branded
YFS Magazine
Write On Track
The Ultra Linx