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Having a website is just as essential to a successful startup as the business cards used to be a few decades ago. But creating a website for your organization is only half the job. Unlike what business cards used to do, your website is not only a place to share contact details and hope potential customers will connect, but it is also a place where you inspire and attract users and start converting them into customers.
Do it yourself or hire a professional?
One of the major decisions small business owners have to make is whether they want to hire professional help or build their own website. DIY website builder templates and tools are excellent for personal blogs, and their functionality is constantly improving. Initially, it is also a cheaper option than working with a professional web designer. However, they do have some drawbacks.
Your creativity will be limited to the number of designs included in your package. Although it is not impossible, you may struggle to achieve a close alignment with your brand. This can lead to brand consistency issues.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
SEO is vital for your business to be found by search engines, but it can be difficult to get it right at first without expert support. Having great ratings also means regular updates.
respect the time
As a founder, you are already deployed. If you are not an expert in web design, can you afford to dedicate large portions of your time to creating a website? It may save you money today but it will likely cost you in the long run.
Working with a professional agency or marketing agency allows you to focus on your current priorities. Your web design and UI/UX will be customized and on branding, maximizing your site’s chances of standing out from the crowd.
Related Topics: 5 Reasons Why Your Company Should Have Its Own Website
How do professionals approach the website development process?
Marketing agencies or professional web designers have a strategic process in place. The workflow will vary from agency to agency but often includes defining the project scope, creating a strategy, and developing the site structure and network framework.
- Project Scope: Defining a project scope means gathering information about your business and its competitors. One of the most important points to determine is what your website needs to do for your business.
- strategy: Target audience and keywords can be considered as part of this stage as well as thinking about how users will move through the site.
- Site Structure: It’s time to think about the content. While Google ranks websites that provide quality content and solve problems for its users, more is not always better. Consider what is important to your brand and stick to that.
- wireframe: Also known as modular design, this is one of the early creative stages to help you get used to the layout of the site. If you’re using a DIY approach, this is often the first thing you’ll notice in your mold. Once you start moving the drag and drop elements, you start tweaking the look, but there will always be limits to your creativity.
Approaching the website design process
With the site still developing well, it’s time to consider key areas of site design, including:
- Brand Guidelines.
- Objectives and strategy.
- User Experiences (UI/UX).
- Appearance and visual content.
A successful startup needs a website more than self-beauty. Your organization’s website needs to represent your brand. This means that anyone who has visited your social media accounts or met your team in person should instantly recognize them as yours.
User experience may have become a bit of a buzzword, but it couldn’t be more important. Creating a positive user experience starts with building a fast-loading website. Statistics show that pages that load within five seconds have the highest conversion rates.
Aside from the speed, your site needs to be optimized for mobile devices. The majority of website traffic today comes from mobile phones, and according to Google, 60% of mobile users have connected with a company directly from mobile search results. As a new business, you cannot afford to miss out on these opportunities.
Related: Vroom! Why website speed matters.
The structure and content of your website is critical to its performance on search engines. Text is still the main basis for searches, making it the focus of SEO work. However, remember the value that other assets have on your website: descriptive text around images and graphics will help them rank. Clear calls to action (CTAs) make it easy for your customers to understand what you want them to do.
The visual appearance of your site should match your brand image. Compromising your branding to fit a DIY template is not worth it. On the other hand, you may be able to get a form that allows you to follow the brand’s guidelines while offering creative options.
Choosing between a professional path or a DIY path when building your company’s website involves many considerations. Time, cost, technology knowledge, and more play into the decision.
What shouldn’t be up for debate is whether or not your business needs a premium website. A well-designed and well-functioning website is critical to the success of any small business or startup. It may seem like an afterthought when you’re busy building all the other areas of your organization, but it can make the difference between securing those important first clients or not convincing investors for your next round of financing.
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