For most businesses, grabbing the attention of your site visitors, and establishing immediate confidence in your brand is essential. If you are, for example, a non-profit organization working with high net worth clients, angel investors, or important donors, establishing that confidence can and trust can mean the difference between funding and no funding! One broken link, misused header, overuse of color or excessive typography can have those potential investors or donors bouncing right off your site! And this is true for many, many industries.
The above in mind, here are 6 reasons why you should not DIY your company website to save money—it could ultimately cost you thousands.
1. What’s Your Design Strategy
Anyone can add text and images to a page and call it a website. However, it takes an expert to build a site around your existing brand strategy so that every header, call to action, and button increases your ROI.
Not sure what your brand strategy is? An agency can help establish that instead of guessing what the goals of your site need to be.
There are exercises Harford Designs and our clients work through together to help determine target audiences and your company goals.If you can verbalize your strategy in 1-3 sentences, what is it?
2. Do you have the design know-how?
Do you have the design know-how?
Many people will admit drawing is not their strong suit. Don’t be fooled into thinking that website design and development is any different just because it’s digital and how-to videos are abundant on YouTube.
Using Adobe Photoshop to edit your photographs or Illustrator to create custom iconography are second nature to dedicated designers, not to mention their subscriptions cover otherwise expensive programs.
Don’t spend money on something that could lead to wasted work hours.
3. There’s more to getting a site up and running than simply clicking “Save & Publish”
A published website doesn’t automatically place you on Google’s leaderboard. You’ll need to create various Google accounts such as Google Analytics and Google My Business and place their API codes in the correct location on your site.
Are you ready for code and how-to articles?
4. Security & Peace of Mind
Who is your emergency contact in case of a digital crisis?
If you’ve created and published your own site, that person is often you. And last-minute emergency fixes will incur a rush fee from a designer and developer you have zero relationship with.
- What do you do when you’ve somehow erased the entire homepage?
- What do you do when your password and password reset just won’t work?
- What if your site has been hacked?
- What if your site is down?
- How do you restore your website?
Let’s flip these sceneries and instead ask — who ya gonna call?
Before the launch of your site (and before it’s too late to fix), developers will install the industry’s best plugins to keep your site safe and secure.
Plugins such as WordFence will scan for hackers and trace their IP addresses to different countries, block users who trigger too many passwords fails, and scan your site for malware.
Backups of your site are also a must-have and can be set to automatically index every day, every week, or every month. Consider a daily or weekly backup plan if you are a frequent blogger or posting articles regularly.
5. Essential Industry-Specific Program Integration
Are you ready for the trial and error that comes with finding the right program for your organization?
Whether you’re trying to create memberships, free or paid events, or create portals, a professional designer and developer will know from experience which programs will work best for your site.
For example, Harford Designs will recommend MemberPress & The Events Calendar for non-profit clients who want memberships and events. Not only are these accounts discounted or free for nfps, they also integrate into apps you already use like MailChimp, Google & iCalendar, Constant Contact, PayPal and Stripe.
Don’t spend unnecessary time or money wading through the many apps available to find yourself frustrated and in need of refunds.
6. Better Site Performance, Faster Website Speeds
Many new business owners make the mistake of heading to Wix or GoDaddy for website hosting. While a popular option, it’s not the most cost or performance efficient as your site will share a server with thousands of other sites. Secret fees such as a license for an SSL certificate are also slipped into the unsuspecting user—a certificate that otherwise comes free of charge.
At Harford Designs, we set clients on their own servers at Cloudways.com. Our clients have dedicated servers and individual support from developers who worked on the site from Stage 1 of production.
Plugins such as Auto-Optimize that will keep your site operating at peak performance are also installed from the get-go. It’ll clear your site of any unnecessary data from content revisions or theme/plugin updates.
Another consideration is how frequently you will check your site for updates. Don’t let your website slow or break when plugins become data and are no longer compatible with the latest version of WordPress. Developers will receive notifications when updates are required.
PageSpeed Insights provides detailed metrics and a performance score for your website.
Who You Gonna Call?
These are just a few reasons why hiring a professional website designer or agency is essential from the get-go. Why start out ok when you can launch feeling confident and stress-free.