Every business person has seen the advertisements for website builder templates that can be used by anyone to design and create a beautiful, enticing web property that will attract and sell unlimited customers on auto-pilot. Chris Wiegman, owner of Multimedia by Chris, cautions business owners considering that very tempting scenario. He maintains that while there are some great advances in DIY website builders, they are limited in scope and design. Done properly even the simplest of websites require planning, design and development.
Some parts are easy, however what people often find when they try to create a website themselves, is that they really underestimate the time and creative energy needed for the process. In addition, as with most things professional, it appears to be easier to do than it actually is. If the DIY route is chosen, technology has advanced to the point where there are some reliable do-it-yourself solutions. Two that Wiegman would recommend are: Squarespace.com and WordPress. “In each instance, there is a learning curve in operating the builders and there are plenty of training videos and articles that will help the process.” So if the DIY website builder is too simple, the resulting site will be as well and that may not be suitable for every business.
Building a successful website is multifaceted. A well designed site should appear seamless and clean and that begins with a clear plan and marketing strategy, before diving into actual web building. Initially, the consideration should focus on the business goals and mapping the initial site build around the best traits of the industry being promoted. Once a plan has been established, the steps are taken to create and build the site. Testing is done at various milestones to ensure the site functions correctly, then improvements can be made as needed. Finally, the website is ready to ‘launch’ or ‘go live’.
Not wanting to appear self-serving, Wiegman nevertheless maintains, “In order to create and sustain a high quality website, the best option is to hire a professional.” He equates his ‘virtual property’ with real estate. “If a person was looking to build a house for their family, that person will do well to hire a contractor, rather than trying to do it alone. Planning and building a high quality website is best done by a professional designer,” Wiegman says.
It’s worth the time and cost to use and collaborate with a professional, particularly for the photography and design elements; those quality images, arranged properly, will get attention in the few seconds that are available to make an impression on a site visitor. In addition, having live support for assistance and trouble-shooting provides invaluable benefit. Wiegman acknowledges some of the most frequently asked questions about his industry such as creating logos, updating sites built by someone else, keeping track of traffic, project cost, time of delivery and more, but he suggests there are two questions that consumers should ask that they generally don’t: “What needs to be done to maintain the quality of the site?” and “How can I make sure prospective customers will find my site?” Wiegman always brings those two elements into play with any design project.
Bringing those two points to the forefront demonstrates one big benefit of working with a local or independent designer rather than DIY or a ‘big box’ company. The local designer will generally provide a more personalized experience that focuses on the client and their individual business needs. With a freelancer, high quality design can be achieved collaboratively without the significantly higher cost often charged by larger companies. Independent designers such as Wiegman relate to the fact that his clients rely on the income from their websites for their livelihood and he takes that very seriously. He realizes that when businesses implement a planned and well-designed website, it can significantly boost business potential and visibility.
Indeed, Wiegman’s motivation as a web designer stems from the sense of accomplishment he feels when seeing the success that comes from helping a client take their business to the next level. In summary, Wiegman recommends that business owners concerned about building an online presence that anchors their business on the internet develop a plan around what the website will accomplish, how it might look and function, discuss the idea with people they trust in their target market and make note of any helpful insights. Then, contact a designer.
More information, including some design ideas, can be found at: http://www.mulimediabychris.com.