Although it is impossible to know for definitely how many websites there are in total, recent surveys carried out by research companies have suggested that in October 2012 there were approximately 625 million websites in the world. The internet has become an ingrained presence in our day to day lives - everyone and their mothers seem to have their own website or blog. As a result of this proliferation of 'internet presence' there are a multitude of companies offering web design services to businesses and individuals alike. Is it worth engaging the services of a professional to design and develop your website? Does it make sense to involve a web-designer in something that can easily be done for free? A quick search for 'free website templates' will bring up hundreds of websites offering the tools for you to create and design your own website. This is a great option if you want a personal website or blog that you can share with family and friends. However, if you are aiming to start a business or you already run one - using free design tools and a do-it-yourself attitude is usually not the best option.
Some businesses simply think about their website as an advert. They see the website as a placeholder for the business itself and think that a website with sparse content and a few pages will do the trick. It won't. The internet has become one of the most important arenas for advertising your business, connecting with your customers and building your reputation. As a result your website has become the equivalent of your shop-front. In real life you wouldn't want your shop to be too cluttered, completely empty, poorly decorated or difficult to look around, so why let your website have these failings? In a similar vein, it is unlikely that you would build and design your shop from the ground up by yourself, so why do the same with your website?
Being able to stand out from the crowd is becoming increasingly important for business websites. Much like in real life where you have to get noticed from the sea of competitors, the same can be said for your website. Attracting more traffic to your website can mean more potential customers and therefore more business. This is an area that a professional web designer can help you with. Rather than having the same website template that can be seen on a number of different websites, a web designer can help you to create a unique website that can attract new traffic and new customers. Rather than making them hit the back button as soon as they land on your homepage, a unique and carefully thought-out design can help draw people in.
Building a website takes time. Your audience has become more tech savvy and will know a shoddily put together website when they see it. You may be able to build and design a basic website yourself but more often than not a lack of experience will show. A badly designed website will often do more harm than good. Think of your website as an investment, putting time and money into is likely to give you a return of more business in the long run. Hiring a professional to design your website will give you more time to concentrate on actually running the business and will take some of the weight off your shoulders.
A website that is professionally designed and built will often offer more functionality than a self-build will. Many people do not often consider that a website will look different in other browsers and that it may not even function in certain browsers. Using the services of a web designer will give you a site that has uniformity across different web browsers. A professional service may also be able to build in extra features that you may not have previously considered. Being able to tie in social media to your website can be very important and a web design company will be able to help you do this effectively. Having a professionally designed website will also give scalability, a well-designed website should be able to grow as the needs of your business change and develop.
Using a web design company can also bring a certain amount of expertise and knowledge about other areas. It is all very well to have a nicely designed website, but if it does not appear in the search results a great deal of your potential audience will never see it. A web design company will often be able to advise you on search engine optimisation or pay-per-click campaigns that will help to bring in more traffic and increase awareness of your business. Using the services of a web designer is an option that should be considered as it can give you a professional website that can draw in business and help you stand out from your competition. Your ultimate goal should be to provide the best customer or user experience possible and a web designer will help you to achieve this goal.