The Website Checklist: Step 4 - Get a Professional

Handshake With ProfessionalToday's web is full of do-it-yourself programs advertised to allow individuals and small businesses the ability to make their own websites. With all of these tools available, why should a business hire an outside designer and programmer for their website? Why not do it themselves?

While it is a cost-saving in the short run to do it yourself, in the long run hiring a professional to design your site has huge benefits:

  • There is more to a website than just looks.
    Websites need to look good ? no argument there. They need to draw in your current and potential customers - and convert those visits to a sale. But your website also needs to be optimized for navigation and for content. The code behind the site has to be as sleek as possible in order to minimize load time. Images should be structured and sized in such a way as to convey your meaning without slowing down the experience for your customers. Codes for tracking website visits need to be implemented properly. A professional knows these elements and others that to go into producing a successful website.
  • An outside eye is a good thing.
    Small business owners are highly committed to growing and running their businesses. That passion, though, can sometimes lead to putting too much on the web, not putting the right things, or leaving things out that are important to good customer experience. A good professional will listen to your dreams and tap into your passion. Because she is a third-party, however, a professional will help you make good decisions concerning your website structure that are sometimes only available from an outside point of view.
  • A knowledge of current trends will pay off in user experience.
    The web changes constantly. New programming languages, the emergence of cellphones, and an increase in customer-savvy all dictate that sites not designed to current standards will not attract customer that convert. Designers and programmers stay on top of the current trends ? and will work with you to deliver a website that looks good across all media platforms.

Ready to take the plunge and hire a professional? Consider the following:

  • Know the difference between a designer and a programmer.
    A designer handles the layout of the site, all the looks, and the optimization needed in terms of navigation and text. A programmer generally handles the coding of your site. A programmer will take the ideas of the designer and put the programming languages behind them in order to make your site work. Both are highly involved in the process. Sometimes they are the same person - often they are not.
  • Find a professional that will tap into your passion.
    While a professional understands the web, no one understands your business more than you do. A good designer will transfer your dreams into an appealing layout. A programmer will make sure the user experience on your site mirrors the experience that you want all your customers to get. Don't be afraid to share your dreams, passions, wants, desires and ideas with your professional hire. Avoid the ones that will not listen to you.
  • Make sure you know what their price structure entails.
    Know what the designer will provide. Know what website programming language will be used to construct the site. Will the programmer and designer assist in training you and your staff in the use of your site. Will they handle ongoing maintenance, or are there additional costs associated with site updates. Knowing the price structure and services ahead of time will allow you to choose the most cost-effect professional for your business.

Act242 provides both design and programming services. Ready to hire a professional for your site? See how we take the time to translate the passion for your business into a beautiful and profitable presence on the world wide web.

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