The Crucial Role of Website Design: A Decision to Reconsider?

Since founding my financial website design firm Harford Designs, each of my financial decisions as a self-funded entrepreneur has been meticulously considered. And with good reason. Only two-thirds of small enterprises survive their second year in business. Without direction, the struggle is real.

According to the Wells Fargo Small Business Index, self-funded entrepreneurs will incur startup costs of up to $10,000.

After foregoing a guaranteed income and potentially digging into savings and retirement funds, entrepreneurs cannot afford to engage in high-risk ventures with low returns. Each dollar and investment is essential.

One of the most significant (and costly) of these investments is the selection of website services and providers.

Without a website, people may doubt the legitimacy of your business, according to Forbes. Having a website is an opportunity to make a positive first impression and reassure visitors that your business is legitimate. One of the most essential things you can do is to display your brand to your prospective customers.

Opportunity Cost: Time versus Money

Should you employ a designer when you can likely sort it out on your own?

Sites such as Wix and Squarespace guarantee that ANYONE can build their own websites. It’s as simple as a few mouse strokes! You will not need to employ a designer…

If you charge more than $100 per hour for your services as a consultant or attorney, working with either of these platforms causes you to lose money. Consider the following—

  • You will invest countless hours attempting to create a functional website.
  • 10 to 20 hours are estimated to be spent attempting to understand the foundational design elements of the program.
  • In total, this endeavor to save money will require a minimum of $1,000 to $2,000 of your labor.

Are you willing to question yourself (and admit the humiliating truth): “Does my website look like I’ve invested in my business’ success?”

Following this narrative, you recognize months later that you only designed for desktops and that your mobile site is not accessible or visually pleasing. Add a few additional hours to reacquaint yourself with the site builder and to study mobile design.

  • Estimated time to redo your website yourself: five hours.
  • The estimated cost of your time exceeds $500.

Good website design, however, does not end there.

You’ve heard of something called metadata and are now attempting to understand search engine optimization to drive traffic to your site. Despite all the $2,500 of your time, the site still appears DIY. Admittedly, you are a financial and litigation genius and not a visual person…

The amazing truth is that prospective clients are more than willing to support small, local businesses over large banks, investment firms, or law firms. However, they do not feel confident turning over their money to a company whose website appears broken and poorly maintained. It implies that your business is struggling.

Your clients seek legitimacy and a commitment to long-term partnership; they want to know that your company will outlive the two-year mark. They desire consumer loyalty.

If that isn’t enough to convince you to engage a professional website designer, here are three more.

Your competition uses professional designers.

You can steal concepts from your competitors as much as you like, but you must develop and implement your own distinctive brand and marketing strategy.

A website is substantially more successful and will generate more leads when constructed according to a strategy and employs online best practices.

In addition to the site’s design, it must be appropriately integrated with Google, Microsoft, or any of your custom, industry-specific software. Your developer can complete all of these processes without YouTube tutorials.

A design agency such as Harford Designs will ensure your website is properly connected and indexed by search engines. Don’t forget their attention to creating daily/weekly/monthly website backups, ensuring site security, and access to optimization subscriptions.

Similar to the detested templated Vistaprint business cards, sites such as Wix and Squarespace offer templates consumers have seen countless times on the Internet. Unless you are willing to spend those hours carefully crafting a template that requires extensive customization to look unique and match your business’s brand (and you must have a brand), you may waste a great deal of time adjusting spacing and colors rather than pursuing leads.

You (and your more computer-savvy peers) cannot match the quality of a professional web designer.

Your competitors do not have their college roommates or nieces design their company’s website. In fact, employing family and friends can frequently damage relationships.

Here is an example I frequently use. Most towns have multiple pizza restaurants and each has a loyal customer base. When an out-of-town guest visits, they look at the reviews and visit the website. It may not be the best pizza in town (according to you) but these positive impressions lead them to their decision.

Designers have the latest industry leading-tech.

Designers have expensive instruments and extensive knowledge.

Here’s another relatable example. You have a photo on your mobile device that you would like to upload and include on your website. Fantastic!

Have you formatted it correctly and renamed it something descriptive and not img1575.jpg?

Designers have the required industry software, such as Illustrator, Photoshop, and Lightroom, to ensure your images have a high-end appearance and are the correct dimension so as to not slow down your website’s load times. For each additional second the website takes to load, another prospective consumer will leave.

In addition, designers and developers have specialized tools, plugins, and yearly/lifetime subscriptions that you may not have access to or know how to use without training.

Again, it leads to more long, tedious hours learning about websites instead of building your business.

Plugins like Wordfence security, WP-Optimize, and YOAST SEO are some of our essentials when creating a website.


There are too many reasons not to take this critical step in launching a successful business. Can you afford to give your qualified leads to your rivals in the market?

Choosing the right designer is key. Seek out professionals who understand the unique demands of your industry. They will be able to work within the parameters of your budget and incorporate all required content to inspire and educate users.

You may not be able to afford all the bells and whistles (yet), but you can afford to make a strong first impression. And the wonderful thing about websites are their scalability.

In terms of design, as with so many other things, you get what you pay for.

Even though websites have a cost, they have a positive return on investment when used properly! Never lose a chance to convert casual clicks into clients!

The Hill Law Group Mockup 2022

When your organization is ready to commit to a total redesign, don’t go it alone. Call in the experts!

Get in touch with us today to get started. We’re always happy to answer any questions you have about the process.

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