Stay Away from Amateur Web Designers

Last week I got an email from someone who needed a website. Someone offered $500 to build it for them. That sounds like a good deal, doesn’t it?

When I see a price like this I surmise the offer was by TGMBK (This Guy My Brother Knows) or a PFK (Pimply-Faced Kid). A professional web design company wouldn’t be around long if they offered prices like this.

We are creatures of belief. We want to think the $3,000 cash back from a car dealer is a deal. We want to believe our children are telling the truth when the evidence is to the contrary. And we want to believe that a $500 website will allow us to build a business.

Marketing your company with a $500 site is a gamble. Are you willing to gamble your company’s success on a site like this? Building a high-quality website takes time and expertise from someone who has built dozens or hundreds of sites.

Here are three questions you should ask yourself when choosing a web design company:

Do They Have Success Stories?

The only way you can forecast the weather is to look at prevailing patterns and historical data. Choosing a web design firm is no different. They should have dozens of sites for you to look at so you can see a pattern of historical success, as well as the quality of their work. Is there a variety to work and skilled design structure?

Do They Specialize in Website Design?

Just because someone is good with computers, like reinstalling a printer driver or bringing your laptop back to life, it doesn’t mean they can create a website that is attractive and generates business. It would help if you had someone who is focused on web design. And, by all means, call the computer network company when you need additional security on your computers.

Are They Concerned About Your Long-Term Success?

A responsible web design company will think beyond just the site design. They’ll create a site that is also search engine friendly and converts visitors to leads or sales.

A company called several years ago that wanted search engine optimization for their site. The site was created entirely in Flash, which means that the search engines can’t read any of the text on their site. And it couldn’t be viewed on Apple mobile devices. The web designer failed to create pages that the search engines could actually read.

The same questions can be asked of companies that offer search engine marketing. It needs to be a primary service of the company you choose.

My company has made a choice over the years to continually narrow our focus. We focus solely on web design and Internet marketing. We rarely do print projects and definitely don’t get into radio or TV. And we use professional designers for our websites.

Hiring an amateur or inexperienced web designer can hurt you in the short run and the long run. I see people start a small business that spent tons of time and money on brochures or embroidered shirts when they should concentrate on a good website and even better business cards. Great business cards are cheap and easy to design and communicate a lot about you when you hand them to a possible new client.

And having a great website says even more about you than a great business card. It will be a foundation for your business for years to come. And that can’t be found by having your site designed by an amateur.

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