In a recent interview with Clutch, HMG’s very own James Trumbly gave his professional insight on the importance of hiring an expert when creating a web design and how to choose the best one. Here is his advice on developing the perfect website for your company.
Today, websites are “must haves” for businesses of any size. Large organizations, of course, generally have the resources to invest in developing robust websites. But, on the other hand, smaller organizations and entrepreneurs are often extremely budget-conscious. With tools like WordPress, Wix and other do-it-yourself options so readily available these days, it’s not uncommon for many of these smaller, cash-strapped businesses to attempt to create a website themselves.
In most cases, the decision to create your own website is a mistake. In fact, the only real benefit to building your own website is that you are likely to save money in the process. Unfortunately, it’s money that could have been invested to generate better outcomes for your small business, such as better brand awareness, a vibrant identity, and strong lead and sale generation.
The example below demonstrates the risks of a “do-it-yourself” approach. This website was built on Wix, and as you can see, it looks outdated and is unattractive to the browsing audience.
It takes a lot of time to build a website. The process requires a lot of strategy up front to ensure that the site will meet business needs. “Depending on your skills in web design, the finished design can look unprofessional,” said James Trumbly, owner of HMG Creative, an Austin-based digital agency that focuses on brand development, web design, and interactive marketing services.
A website is a reflection of your business and, more important, your brand. If you’re an organization that conducts business exclusively online, your website may be the only means you have of conveying your desired brand image. Get it right and great results will follow. Get it wrong and you’re unlikely to achieve the results you’re looking for. Worse yet, you may tarnish your image so extensively that it never recovers.
“Even though there are tools available to the public, like WordPress and Wix, the user is still limited to how much they can design based on their knowledge,” says Trumbly. And, even for those small business owners who may have the knowledge—web designers and developers, for instance—there are two good reasons not to take a do-it-yourself approach.
First, your time is better spent focusing on building the business. Someone from outside the company will bring a fresh, unjaded perspective that will yield a clearer portrayal of business’ brand and mission.
The image below is an example of a beautiful, custom-built responsive website that HMG Creative designed for Texas A&M’s Student Activities Center. The fresh, modern design provides quick access to the most popular sections on the site, with easy-to-navigate pages and a rich color scheme that promotes and enhances the Texas A&M University brand.
The bottom line: it pays to invest in working with a professional when designing your website.
So, how do you choose from among the many web design firms available? One key point, says Trumbly, is looking for a vendor that is “agnostic toward different design platforms.” In other words, they should not be locked into using one particular platform for their designs. “You want a firm to be flexible with their abilities, as this will help you in regards to your budget, design and overall product.”
When talking to potential firms, be prepared to answer questions they are likely to have, such as,
- What is your budget?
- Who are the clients you currently work with?
- Who is your target audience?
- Why are you building the website? What do you hope to accomplish with it?
These are critical considerations that will ensure that you, and your web developer, get off to a good start and that the designer aligns with your goals and objectives.
Trumbly goes on to add, “The best thing to do is to create a list of your goals for your new website, and then provide the firm with your budget. This allows the firm to see what resources you have available, so they can do their best to include as many of your goals as possible, while working within that budget. This allows you, as a company, to get the most bang for your buck in terms of design.”
Websites are not the place to cut corners, even for the most budget-conscious businessperson. There are ample benefits to working with an expert in web design, not the least of which is the assurance that your brand identity will be conveyed in a way that not only establishes the image you desire but also sets you apart from your competitors.
Don’t take a do-it-yourself approach with your website. Do it right the first time by selecting an expert to help you achieve the right look, feel and functionality to meet your goals and objectives.
Clutch is a B2B research company that identifies leading software and professional services firms in order to help start-ups, mid-market and large enterprises find partners that meet their needs.