As we enter 2016 (Happy New Year everyone!), ponder our coming diet plans, and consider how we intend to make 2016 as profitable as possible for our businesses, some people might be thinking it’s time for a new website. Some others might take the courageous decision to launch a new venture, or expand their start-up, all of which may require a new website or rethink of their digital strategy.
Surely this is something they can mostly do for themselves now?
Content management systems like Joomla, Drupal, and WordPress are so well supported in the market, with high quality themes and plugins, that the need for a geek to spend countless hours coding and testing simply isn’t required anymore. Where in the past you might have had to budget thousands of pounds to build even a simple website, you can now have a high quality responsive website for less than £100. That includes the cost of a professional theme, and plugins to handle whatever you need.
So, if that’s the case (and it is), why on earth would anyone need a web designer now?
The Web Designer will become an endangered species
All a person needs is some cheap hosting, and a little time to tinker around. Before you know it, hey presto… a shiny new website!
Well, it’s possible. Sure. Of course it’s possible. It’s highly unlikely, but yes it’s possible.
If you give enough monkeys enough typewriters, given enough time you’ll end up with the complete works of Agatha Christie, or some other author. Bill someone.
For some people it really would be true to say that given enough time, they could create a decent website. Possibly even responsive (mobile friendly). Some people would enjoy learning how to do such a thing, working with designs, layouts, and images, etc. Some people would discover they have a bit of a flare for it. Or an eye for it.
Is it the best use of your time?
If your spending several hours a day for weeks on end creating a website instead of devoting your working hours to billable work, then it’s probably not the best use of your time. Not when a professional web designer could do the job for you in a fraction of the time for not a lot of money.
The thing is you see, while there are great tools and platforms available now to make the job of creating an impressive website much easier, they are best used in the hands of professionals who are:
- Aware of the tools
- Know how to use them
- Know how to combine them
- Understand what works and what doesn’t
- Can guide the client towards a superior online presence
- Will consider search engines
- Consult on social media integration
- Integrate usage analytics
Actually, the list of advantages of having a professional website designer create your website, host it and support it, is a very long list indeed!
Several analogies spring to mind that emphasise the point:
Many times over the years I have visited my local Halfords store to buy things like spark plugs, oil, tools, bulbs, and even gaskets. There’s lots of little maintenance tasks I can perform on my car myself. Could I build a car, even a kit car? Well, maybe. Given enough time. It doesn’t strike me as a good idea though. It’s not an area where I have any expertise.
Can I do a little DIY around the house? Sure I can. I don’t think I would attempt to build a house though. Not one I would want to live in.
Have I got a first aid kit at home? Yes of course I do. Surgery of any kind is probably not something I should attempt though.
The Website Designer Lives!
With the use of tools like the previously mentioned CMS systems, themes, templates, plugins, etc… the web design process is much faster than it used to be, and with better results than ever before. That’s the great news! What might have been a £5,000 website a few years ago, could now be as little as a few hundred. The time required to build the website is now reduced significantly because the tools available are so good. It’s therefore infinitely more cost effective to let a professional build your website with the latest tools and technology in order to give you the best online store front possible.
There’s been a lot of articles written in the last 12 months that suggest “Web design is (finally!) dead“.
It’s not dead. It’s simply become more affordable and well, better.
The medium has shifted towards smaller devices than desktops; tablets and mobile phones. Scrolling is now preferable to clicking, because of the use of ‘gestures’ on the smart devices.
Web design though, is here to stay. It’s evolving rapidly, changing focus and medium. Great web design is the in the realm of the professionals.
Now more than ever, the DIY website for business is folly.
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